Pillay's observation that Sri Lanka "is showing signs of heading in an increasingly authoritarian direction" is a political statement on her part, which clearly transgresses her mandate and the basic norms which should be observed by a discerning international civil servant, reported Xinhua citing Sri Lanka's information department.
"The judgment on the leadership of the country is better left for the people of Sri Lanka to decide, than being caricatured by external entities influenced by vested interests," it added.
Pillay was on a week-long visit to Sri Lanka on an invitation extended by the government. Post the comment, the Sri Lankan government took steps to address international criticism.
Pillay criticised the regime and said that there was lack of progress investigating war crime allegations and there is a drift towards a authoritarian style of rule.