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ITN's Bill Neely tweeted that there was "full-scale chaos" as Cameron left a library in Jaffna, with "hundreds of screaming" protesters and police pushing people to the ground.
During Sri Lanka's 28-year civil war, Jaffna, the capital of Northern Province, was a stronghold of the separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam and a frequent battleground for clashes with government troops.
Cameron is in Sri Lanka for the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting. The summit opened Friday amid concerns about the rights situation after its war with the Tamil rebels, which ended in 2009. The prime ministers of Canada, Mauritius and India opted not to attend.
Cameron issued a statement Thursday saying he saw his attendance as "an opportunity to raise our concerns clearly and directly, and to focus the eyes of the world on Sri Lanka." He also reiterated calls for an investigation into alleged human rights abuses during and after the war.
Max Foster spoke to Bill Neely about what he describes as the "frosty" meeting between Sri Lanka's president and the UK's prime minister.
As many as 70,000 people were killed in Sri Lanka's war and in its final stage, which lasted from September 2008 to May 2009, the Sri Lankan army advanced into an area of the north where about 330,000 people were trapped by fighting. A U.N. report in 2011 said the government used "large-scale and widespread shelling" that left a large number of civilians dead.
The number of civilian deaths and injuries are unknown to this day, and U.N. figures greatly differ from those in reports from Sri Lanka's government and various nongovernmental organizations.
Sri Lankan President Mahinda Mahinda Rajapaksa told media Thursday he would "not hesitate to take action against any human rights violations, adding that he has nothing to hide and is very open," according to a Sri Lankan government website.
Chatham House's Charu Lata Hogg talks to Max Foster about her thoughts on the summit being held in Sri Lanka and the message it sends.