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The UN’s top rights official began her visit to Sri Lanka Sunday by brushing aside criticism that she overstepped her brief and vowing to raise human rights concerns with Colombo.

Navi Pillay, who has previously called for a war crimes investigation against Sri Lanka, said she was only holding it to human rights standards agreed to by all nations.

“I am not writing my own statute. I am looking at the (human rights) framework that was also developed by Sri Lanka,” she told reporters as she began her first meeting with local UN staff in Colombo.

“If I raise criticism, it is on whether they (Sri Lanka) comply with those standards,” she added. “I have not come to criticise. I have come to raise human rights concerns.”

Her week-long mission will include talks with President Mahinda Rajapakse and visits to the former war zones in the north and east.

A pro-government group said it will hold a demonstration outside the UN offices in Colombo on Monday to protest at Pillay’s visit. The same group has held similar protests in the past and called Pillay a US stooge.

During her visit, Pillay is scheduled to hold talks with local rights activists.

“We are in the process of finalising our memo to her. We want to talk about the culture of impunity during and after the war,” activist Nimalka Fernando told AFP.

“We are also specifically taking up the issue of media freedom in Sri Lanka.”

Fernando said an armed break-in at the Colombo home of a senior journalist at the Sunday Leader newspaper on Saturday could be linked to her work, although police insisted it was only an attempted robbery.

The attack was the latest of several violent incidents involving the staff of the privately-run newspaper, whose founding editor Lasantha Wickrematunge -- a fierce government critic -- was shot dead while he drove to work in January 2009.

“The murder of the Sunday Leader editor has still not been solved and this is also something that we will take up,” Fernando said.

Tamil groups are banking on Pillay’s first visit to Sri Lanka to revive calls for a war crimes probe.

“We will take up with her the question of accountability, the issue of thousands of missing people, the militarisation of Tamil areas and the lack of political freedoms,” Tamil National Alliance lawmaker Suresh Premachandran told AFP.