Sri Lanka becoming more authoritarian: UN rights chief

COLOMBO:  UN human rights chief Navi Pillay warned on Saturday that Sri Lanka was becoming “increasingly authoritarian” with rights activists apparently suffering growing harassment from security agencies.

“I am deeply concerned that Sri Lanka… is showing signs of heading in an increasingly authoritarian direction,” Pillay told reporters at the end of a week-long visit to probe war crimes in the country.

Pillay said it was “utterly unacceptable” that rights activists who spoke with her during her fact-finding mission had subsequently faced harassment by the police and the military.

“This is over the top,” she said in the capital, ahead of her departure later in the day.

“You don’t invite a person like me and then do this type of thing. 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.”