Sri Lanka state press says UN rights chief ‘prejudiced’

COLOMBO, September 1, 2013 (AFP) – Sri Lanka’s state-run media Sunday accused UN human rights chief Navi Pillay of being “prejudiced”, a day after she warned that the island was becoming “increasingly authoritarian”. Pillay ended a fact-finding mission to the country to probe allegations of war crimes Saturday by saying Sri Lanka was a place where the rule of law had eroded and the independence of the judiciary was undermined.

“She came with a prejudiced mind and she is leaving with a prejudiced mind,” the Sunday Observer said in a front-page article headlined: “She hasn’t changed a bit.”

“She probably thought of the visit in some way as an opportunity to give credence to her preconceived judgements, and nothing else,” the paper added.

The rights chief accused military officials of harassing and intimidating priests, journalists and other civilians as punishment for meeting her during her visit.

“This type of surveillance and harassment appears to be getting worse in Sri Lanka, which is a country where critical voices are quite often attacked or even permanently silenced,” she said.

The government did not immediately respond.
Pillay’s visit was marred by personal attacks against her by gover