Sri Lankan defense official says Tamil rebel propaganda influenced visit of UN rights chief

Powerful Defense Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa says the reason the United Nations human rights chief visited Sri Lanka was because of propaganda from remnants of the Tamil Tiger rebels who lost the civil war four years ago.

His remarks Tuesday came after U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay said during the weekend that democracy was being undermined and the rule of law eroded in Sri Lanka, with the country increasingly becoming an authoritarian state despite the end of the war.

Rajapaksa said that although war is over, the "re-emergence of terrorism is still a threat," and that remnants of the rebels and their support groups were working to increase international pressure on Sri Lanka.