International showdown brews over calls for full inquiry into Sri Lankan war atrocities

Sri Lanka remained defiant against calls for an independent inquiry into its 27-year civil war — setting the stage for an international showdown as Britain's leader pledged to press the issue with the United Nations if no progress is made by March.

British Prime Minister David Cameron said he held a "frank" discussion with President Mahinda Rajapaksa after skipping the first day of a Commonwealth summit to travel to Sri Lanka's war-torn north on a fact-finding mission on Friday.

He said "not everything I said was accepted, but I sense they do want to make progress on these issues and it will help frankly by having international pressure."

The Sri Lankan government dismissed Cameron's comments Saturday. Water minister Nimal Siripala de Silva said "we will resist an international inquiry."