UN rights chief pre-judging Sri Lanka

August 30, 2013 (AFP) – Sri Lanka’s President Friday suggested UN human rights chief Navi Pillay had pre-judged his Indian Ocean island, according to a statement from his office, as the nation faces allegations of war crimes. President Mahinda Rajapakse, in face-to-face talks with Pillay, told her that Sri Lankans believe that the UN is biased, his office stated.

“They believe that your report (to be presented to the UN Human Rights Council in September) may have already pre-judged (Sri Lanka),” the statement quoted him as telling Pillay.

The statement, issued in the official language Sinhala, said: “President Rajapakse told Pillay that people of this country believe that the UN is a biased organisation.”

Pillay began a week-long visit to Sri Lanka on Sunday after Colombo appeared to drop its public hostility towards her and the UN rights body, which has adopted two resolutions against the island in as many years.

She had publicly called for a war crimes investigation into what the UN calls “credible allegations” that up to 40,000 civilians were killed during the final stages of Sri Lanka’s separatist war, which ended in May 2009.

The statement said Pillay had expressed surprise over violence against