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* Sri Lanka rejects Swiss request to fly out the allegedly abducted staffer for medical treatment
Wed, Dec 4, 2019, 10:07 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Dec 04, Colombo: Sri Lanka's Foreign Minister said the government has rejected a request from the Swiss Embassy to allow the local female staffer, who was allegedly abducted by unidentified men and assaulted threatening her to disclose embassy information, to be flown out of the country for medical treatment.

Addressing a media briefing Wednesday, Foreign Affairs Minister Dinesh Gunawardena said the alleged victim has not yet made a complaint to the police.

"While the investigations are being conducted into the alleged incident, the police had requested a statement from the local female Swiss Embassy officer. No statement has been given to date. In the meantime the embassy claiming that her health is deteriorating tried to persuade the government to allow the employee and her family to be flown out in a special ambulance aircraft to a hospital in Switzerland."

The Minister pointed out that under the Immigration and Emigration Act, a Sri Lankan national cannot travel abroad without providing a name, a passport or even proof of citizenship.

"Without any statement, name or national identity of this person, and not knowing who this person is, she cannot be allowed to leave the country as requested by the Embassy," he said. "We have informed the Swiss Embassy," he added.

Sri Lanka's court yesterday imposed a travel ban on the employee until she provides a statement to the CID on the alleged attack.

The Minister said the police carried out an investigation based on limited information provided by the Swiss ambassador and found there was "very little truth" to the allegation.

Swiss State Secretary Pascale Baeriswyl on Monday Sri Lanka's ambassador to Switzerland Karunasena Hettiarachchi, who is based in Berlin, to Bern and asked him to explain the purported evidence that contradicts Switzerland's version of events affirming that the employee concerned still cannot be questioned on health grounds.

Gunawardena said he summoned all the foreign envoys today to explain the government's steps in the investigation adding that the country's law should be followed to complete the investigation.


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