Prime Minister's Sri Lanka trip defended

Thousands are still missing after a long and bitter civil war that ended in 2009. Credit: ITV News

MPs have criticised the Sri Lankan government's record on human rights and the British government for agreeing to take part in an important commonweath meeting there in an month's time.

Foreign Office minister Baroness Warsi said the Prime Minister and Foreign Secretary William Hague will attend because "it is the right thing to do for the Commonwealth".

Yet reports of torture continue - especially against members of Sri Lanka's Tamil minority. ITV News has obtained two accounts of such torture.

Watch this report from our International Editor Bill Neely, explaining the history behind the latest tales of horror:

The Commons Foreign Affairs Committee has accused the Government of being too timid and inconsistent in its policy towards Sri Lanka over human rights abuses.

Stephen Harper, the Canadian prime minister, has said he will stay away from the meeting.

Labour spokesman Lord Triesman said it was fundamental to the role of the Commonwealth that human rights violations were addressed.

Accusing ministers of a "muted response" to the criticism, he said the UK delegation could not be "more heavyweight" and the decision to attend had been taken "too early.

"From a Commonwealth point of view I believe that is simply unacceptable."