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* Sri Lanka hits U.N. rights chief Pillay on abuse reports
Wed, Feb 27, 2013, 11:10 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Feb 27 (Reuters) GENEVA- Sri Lanka accused the U.N. human rights chief on Wednesday of being biased against it for criticizing alleged killings of former Tamil Tiger independence fighters and political dissenters and journalists.

In a speech to the U.N. Human Rights Council, a senior official from Colombo also asserted that Western countries strongly critical of the country's record had fallen prey to lies spread by former members of the Tamil Tiger movement.

U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay, the official said, lacked "objectivity and impartiality" in reports to the council and her comments on Sri Lanka were based on "unsubstantiated evidence."

The official, presidential envoy on human rights Mahinda Samarasinghe, was speaking as the United States and European countries urged the 47-nation body to agree to instruct Sri Lanka to cease what they call rights abuses.

His sharp comments on Pillay, a former high court judge from South Africa, clearly reflected concern in Colombo - which is to host a summit of former British Commonwealth countries this year - at the prospect of fresh action by the council.

Non-governmental rights organizations, including a Geneva-based "rule of law" group, the International Commission of Jurists, are already campaigning for the 54-nation Commonwealth to cancel the high-profile gathering.

Last March the council, which is separate from Pillay's office, passed a resolution calling on Sri Lanka to ensure that government troops who committed war crimes near the end of the war against Tamil rebels were brought to justice.

That resolution was, like the latest now being prepared, brought by the United States and backed by a small majority of the council including India, Britain and other Commonwealth member countries as well as the 27-nation European Union.

Read More:: Reuters (Source)