Sri Lanka’s ambassador to Switzerland summoned to explain the alleged abduction of employee

(COLOMBO, LANKAPUVATH) –Sri Lanka’s ambassador to Switzerland Karunasena Hettiarachchi has been summoned to Bern to explain the incident concerning an employee of the Swiss embassy in Colombo.

State Secretary Pascale Baeriswyl received the Sri Lankan ambassador, who is based in Berlin and asked him to explain the purported evidence that contradicts Switzerland’s version of events, the FDFA said in a statement.

The Swiss embassy in Colombo has lodged a complaint with the authorities that a local female officer of the Embassy was abducted on November 25 and threatened by unidentified men to force her to disclose “embassy-related information”.

While the embassy has lodged a complaint with the police calling for a swift and thorough investigation, the embassy has not allowed the police to question the alleged victim saying the female officer is not fit for questioning as her health is deteriorating due to the attack.

Sri Lanka’s Foreign Affairs Ministry issuing a statement on Sunday (December 01) questioned Swiss Embassy’s version of the incident.

The Statement said “the sequence of events and timeline of the alleged incident, as formally presented by the Swiss Mission on behalf of the alleged victim to the CID, did not in any way correspond with the actual movements of the alleged victim on that date, as borne out by witness interviews and technical evidence, including Uber records, CCTV footage, telephone records and the GPS data.”

At the meeting Ms Baeriswyl has emphasized to the Sri Lankan ambassador that the FDFA (Federal Department of Foreign Affairs) would support all measures to investigate and resolve this matter by due process of law.

She confirmed that the employee concerned still cannot be questioned on health grounds, stressing that the individual’s health must take priority.

She also indicated that while Switzerland had no interest in delaying investigations by the Sri Lankan authorities, the FDFA takes its responsibilities to its staff very seriously.

The State Secretary has affirmed to Ambassador Hettiarachchi that Switzerland remained ready to take the necessary steps to restore confidence between Switzerland and Sri Lanka.

Sri Lanka’s court today imposed a foreign travel ban on the employee until the police CID can record a statement from her.

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