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Diplomatic issue Sri Lanka orders medical test on Swiss embassy employee

Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa

The government of Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa (pictured) has banned police officers from leaving the country without permission. Is there a connection with the case of the Swiss embassy worker?

(Keystone)

The Sri Lankan judiciary has ordered an employee of the Swiss embassy in Colombo to undergo a medical examination as part of the investigation into her alleged abduction. 

The Sri Lankan national claims to have been held on the street for a couple of hours on November 25 and threatened by unidentified men who wanted her to disclose “embassy-related information”. This happened one day after a senior Sri Lankan police officer applied for asylum in Switzerland. 

Sri Lanka questioned the employee’s version of eventsexternal link, citing technical evidence, including Uber records, CCTV footage, telephone records and GPS data. In response, Swiss authorities summoned the Sri Lankan ambassador to Switzerland on December 2 and demanded an explanation of this evidence. 

On Monday, a judge in the capital Colombo ordered the woman be examined by a court-approved doctor. He also forced her to stay in Sri Lanka until Thursday for the purposes of the investigation. 

According to the Swiss embassy, the employee is not medically fit to talk about what happened to her. But on Sunday she testified at length before police officers to comply with a court decision. 

Rajapaksa government 

The Sri Lankan police officer who fled to Switzerland was investigating several cases involving the powerful Rajapaksa clan, which regained power last month with Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s election as president. His brother Mahinda, president from 2005 to 2015, was appointed prime minister. 

The bêtes noires of human rights activists, the Rajapaksas ruled Sri Lanka with an iron fist for a decade. The family is the subject of multiple charges of corruption and other crimes. 

The new government has ordered airport immigration authorities to block any police officers seeking to leave the country without permission.


Colombo case Sri Lankan court blocks Swiss embassy worker from leaving

The woman must first give a statement to police about allegations that she was abducted and threatened.

This content was published on December 3, 2019 3:49 PM


AFP/ts

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