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Sri Lanka dismisses Swiss staffer abduction and calls for victim to be examined

The Sri Lankan government has dismissed information given by Swiss authorities regarding the abduction and threatening of an embassy employee in Colombo last week, and instead called for the victim to be questioned by the Sri Lankan security forces.

Sri Lanka’s newly appointed defence secretary Kamal Gunaratne, who stands accused of overseeing war crimes, met with Switzerland’s ambassador to Sri Lanka and claimed that the information they were given by Swiss authorities “did not in any way correspond with the actual movements of the alleged victim”.

A statement from Sri Lanka’s Ministry of Foreign Relations went on to say,

“In light of the incontrovertible evidence presented by the law enforcement authorities to the Swiss Mission, it was underlined that further investigations would need to be continued to ascertain the actual facts surrounding this allegation, for which the alleged victim will have to be interviewed by the law enforcement authorities”.

The statement also called for the woman, who is repeatedly referred to as “the alleged victim”, to be “ presented for a medical examination by a Judicial Medical Officer in Sri Lanka”.

Sri Lanka’s statement comes after the Sunday Times quoted a diplomatic source who said the staffer was “molested, questioned and threatened” after she was abducted.

The New York Times reported the men "forced her to unlock her cellphone data, which contained information about Sri Lankans who have recently sought asylum in Switzerland, and the names of Sri Lankans who aided them as they fled the country because they feared for their safety after Gotabaya Rajapaksa won the presidency in elections this month". Before releasing her, they reportedly threatened to kill her if she told anyone of her ordeal.

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