British Prime Minister David Cameron traveled Friday to northern Sri Lanka, where his motorcade was mobbed by protesters seeking answers about the country's civil war.
Several hundred people gathered on the streets of Jaffna, saying they wanted help from the international community to find missing loved ones from the war.
Some of the protesters scuffled with police and one group blocked a media vehicle. The protesters held up pictures of lost loved ones and some shouted, "We want to meet Cameron."
Mr. Cameron said on Twitter that the stories he heard in northern Sri Lanka were "often harrowing."
Northern Sri Lanka suffered the worst of the country's decades-long civil war between soldiers and ethnic Tamil rebels.
The British prime minister is in Sri Lanka for the Commonwealth summit, a meeting of nations once linked to the former British empire.
The leaders of India and Canada boycotted this year's gathering, amid controversy surrounding allegations the Sri Lankan army committed war crimes during the final months of the civil war.
At the opening of the conference Friday, Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa urged his fellow leaders not to pass judgment on his country's past.
Mr. Rajapaksa said the Commonwealth must not be a "judgmental body," and warned his peers of trying to impose their own "bilateral agendas."
Mr. Cameron, who has called for an international investigation into the alleged war crimes, said ahead of the meeting that attending the conference is preferable to boycotting it.
The Sri Lankan government is under international scrutiny for the conduct of the final stages of its military campaign against Tamil Tiger rebels, when thousands of civilians died. The government has staunchly denied committing war crimes.
The civil conflict ended in 2009 after nearly three decades of fighting.