Difference between revisions of "2019 Sri Lankan Swiss embassy controversy"

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On 25 November 2019, a Sri Lankan Swiss embassy staff member who works in [[Colombo]] was reportedly abducted by unidentified men and was detained in their custody for an investigation. She was released on the same day after two hours of inquiry. The Swiss government immediately requested the Sri Lankan authorities to conduct inquiry regarding the probe.<ref name=":0">{{Cite news|url=https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-50578481|title=Swiss condemn 'attack' on Sri Lanka embassy worker|date=2019-11-27|access-date=2019-12-05|language=en-GB}}</ref><ref>{{Cite web|url=https://www.usnews.com/news/world/articles/2019-11-28/swiss-decry-attack-on-local-embassy-employee-in-sri-lanka|title=Swiss decry attack on local embassy employee in Sri Lanka|last=|first=|date=|website=|url-status=live|archive-url=|archive-date=|access-date=2019-12-05}}</ref>  
 
On 25 November 2019, a Sri Lankan Swiss embassy staff member who works in [[Colombo]] was reportedly abducted by unidentified men and was detained in their custody for an investigation. She was released on the same day after two hours of inquiry. The Swiss government immediately requested the Sri Lankan authorities to conduct inquiry regarding the probe.<ref name=":0">{{Cite news|url=https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-50578481|title=Swiss condemn 'attack' on Sri Lanka embassy worker|date=2019-11-27|access-date=2019-12-05|language=en-GB}}</ref><ref>{{Cite web|url=https://www.usnews.com/news/world/articles/2019-11-28/swiss-decry-attack-on-local-embassy-employee-in-sri-lanka|title=Swiss decry attack on local embassy employee in Sri Lanka|last=|first=|date=|website=|url-status=live|archive-url=|archive-date=|access-date=2019-12-05}}</ref>  
  
Sri Lankan officials launched investigations regarding the alleged kidnapping and mentioned that the attack was possibly in relation to a former top police officer Nishantha de Silva who pledged asylum from Switzerland.<ref>{{Cite web|url=https://www.swissinfo.ch/eng/politics/diplomatic-incident-_swiss-embassy-worker-kidnapped-and-threatened-in-colombo-/45397440|title=Sri Lanka launches probe into kidnapping of Swiss embassy worker|last=swissinfo.ch|first=S. W. I.|last2=Corporation|first2=a branch of the Swiss Broadcasting|website=SWI swissinfo.ch|language=en|access-date=2019-12-05}}</ref> The issue has become a significant diplomatic standoff between the two countries with Sri Lanka accusing Switzerland of throwing mud.<ref>{{Cite news|url=https://www.tamilguardian.com/content/sri-lanka-accuses-switzerland-%E2%80%98throwing-mud%E2%80%99|title=Sri Lanka accuses Switzerland of ‘throwing mud’ {{!}} Tamil Guardian|work=Tamil Guardian|access-date=2019-12-05}}</ref> Switzerland government further stated that it will take the issue seriously and called the attack on the employee as unacceptable which would affect the diplomatic ties between the nations.<ref>{{Cite web|url=http://www.ddnews.gov.in/international/sri-lankan-court-bars-swiss-embassy-employee-travelling-overseas|title=Sri Lankan Court bars Swiss Embassy employee from travelling overseas &#124; DD News|website=www.ddnews.gov.in}}</ref><ref>{{Cite news|url=https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2019/11/swiss-raise-alarm-attack-sri-lanka-embassy-employee-191128061621424.html|title=Swiss raise alarm over 'attack' on Sri Lanka embassy employee|work=Aljazeera|access-date=2019-12-05}}</ref>
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Sri Lankan officials launched investigations regarding the alleged kidnapping and mentioned that the attack was possibly in relation to a former top police officer Nishantha de Silva who pledged asylum from Switzerland.<ref>{{Cite web|url=https://www.swissinfo.ch/eng/politics/diplomatic-incident-_swiss-embassy-worker-kidnapped-and-threatened-in-colombo-/45397440|title=Sri Lanka launches probe into kidnapping of Swiss embassy worker|last=swissinfo.ch|first=S. W. I.|last2=Corporation|first2=a branch of the Swiss Broadcasting|website=SWI swissinfo.ch|language=en|access-date=2019-12-05}}</ref> The issue has become a significant diplomatic standoff between the two countries with Sri Lanka accusing Switzerland of throwing mud.<ref>{{Cite news|url=https://www.tamilguardian.com/content/sri-lanka-accuses-switzerland-%E2%80%98throwing-mud%E2%80%99|title=Sri Lanka accuses Switzerland of ‘throwing mud’ {{!}} Tamil Guardian|work=Tamil Guardian|access-date=2019-12-05}}</ref> Sri Lanka Foreign minister further stated that 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.<ref>{{Cite news|url=https://colombogazette.com/2019/12/04/sri-lanka-refuses-to-allow-swiss-embassy-employee-to-leave/|title=Sri Lanka refuses to allow Swiss Embassy employee to leave|work=colombogazette.com|access-date=2019-12-07}}</ref> Switzerland government further stated that it will take the issue seriously and called the attack on the employee as unacceptable which would affect the diplomatic ties between the nations.<ref>{{Cite web|url=http://www.ddnews.gov.in/international/sri-lankan-court-bars-swiss-embassy-employee-travelling-overseas|title=Sri Lankan Court bars Swiss Embassy employee from travelling overseas &#124; DD News|website=www.ddnews.gov.in}}</ref><ref>{{Cite news|url=https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2019/11/swiss-raise-alarm-attack-sri-lanka-embassy-employee-191128061621424.html|title=Swiss raise alarm over 'attack' on Sri Lanka embassy employee|work=Aljazeera|access-date=2019-12-05}}</ref>
  
 
== Development ==
 
== Development ==
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On 25 November 2019, the local embassy employee was dragged into a car by a gang of unknown men to obtain information related to the Swiss embassy and information about Silva.<ref>{{Cite news|url=https://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2019/11/28/world/europe/ap-eu-switzerland-sri-lanka.html|title=Swiss Decry ‘Attack’ on Local Embassy Employee in Sri Lanka|last=Press|first=The Associated|date=2019-11-28|work=The New York Times|access-date=2019-12-05|language=en-US|issn=0362-4331}}</ref> The kidnapped woman was forced to disclose the mobile phone data of Sri Lankan citizens who applied for asylum in Switzerland. On the same day she returned to the embassy with minor injuries from her abduction.<ref>{{Cite web|url=https://www.mfa.gov.lk/updte-swiss_eng/|title=You are being redirected...|website=www.mfa.gov.lk|access-date=2019-12-05}}</ref> Newly appointed Major General [[Kamal Gunaratne]] met with the ambassador for Switzerland in Sri Lanka and explained the results of the investigation.<ref>{{Cite web|url=https://www.admin.ch/gov/en/start/documentation/media-releases.msg-id-77350.html|title=Incident at the Swiss embassy in Sri Lanka: State Secretary Pascale Baeriswyl summons Sri Lankan ambassador to the FDFA|website=www.admin.ch|access-date=2019-12-05}}</ref> The Government of Sri Lanka rejected the request from Swiss authorities to send one of its staff members to Switzerland for medical treatment.<ref>{{Cite news|url=https://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2019/12/04/world/asia/ap-as-sri-lanka-switzerland.html|title=Sri Lanka Rejects Swiss Request to Fly Staffer for Treatment|last=Press|first=The Associated|date=2019-12-04|work=The New York Times|access-date=2019-12-05|language=en-US|issn=0362-4331}}</ref>
 
On 25 November 2019, the local embassy employee was dragged into a car by a gang of unknown men to obtain information related to the Swiss embassy and information about Silva.<ref>{{Cite news|url=https://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2019/11/28/world/europe/ap-eu-switzerland-sri-lanka.html|title=Swiss Decry ‘Attack’ on Local Embassy Employee in Sri Lanka|last=Press|first=The Associated|date=2019-11-28|work=The New York Times|access-date=2019-12-05|language=en-US|issn=0362-4331}}</ref> The kidnapped woman was forced to disclose the mobile phone data of Sri Lankan citizens who applied for asylum in Switzerland. On the same day she returned to the embassy with minor injuries from her abduction.<ref>{{Cite web|url=https://www.mfa.gov.lk/updte-swiss_eng/|title=You are being redirected...|website=www.mfa.gov.lk|access-date=2019-12-05}}</ref> Newly appointed Major General [[Kamal Gunaratne]] met with the ambassador for Switzerland in Sri Lanka and explained the results of the investigation.<ref>{{Cite web|url=https://www.admin.ch/gov/en/start/documentation/media-releases.msg-id-77350.html|title=Incident at the Swiss embassy in Sri Lanka: State Secretary Pascale Baeriswyl summons Sri Lankan ambassador to the FDFA|website=www.admin.ch|access-date=2019-12-05}}</ref> The Government of Sri Lanka rejected the request from Swiss authorities to send one of its staff members to Switzerland for medical treatment.<ref>{{Cite news|url=https://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2019/12/04/world/asia/ap-as-sri-lanka-switzerland.html|title=Sri Lanka Rejects Swiss Request to Fly Staffer for Treatment|last=Press|first=The Associated|date=2019-12-04|work=The New York Times|access-date=2019-12-05|language=en-US|issn=0362-4331}}</ref>
  
In December 2019, the Sri Lankan magistrate court ordered the embassy staff worker to remain in Sri Lanka for inquiries and blocked the staff member from leaving the country until 9 December 2019.<ref>{{Cite web|url=https://www.swissinfo.ch/eng/politics/colombo-case_state-secretary-gets-involved-in-sri-lanka-embassy-incident/45408144|title=Sri Lankan court blocks Swiss embassy worker from leaving|last=swissinfo.ch|first=S. W. I.|last2=Corporation|first2=a branch of the Swiss Broadcasting|website=SWI swissinfo.ch|language=en|access-date=2019-12-05}}</ref><ref>{{Cite news|url=https://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2019/12/02/world/asia/ap-as-sri-lanka-switzerland.html|title=Sri Lanka Wants to Query Swiss Embassy Worker Over Threat|last=Press|first=The Associated|date=2019-12-02|work=The New York Times|access-date=2019-12-05|language=en-US|issn=0362-4331}}</ref><ref>{{Cite web|url=http://www.adaderana.lk/news/59421/temporary-travel-ban-imposed-on-swiss-embassy-staffer|website=www.adaderana.lk|access-date=2019-12-05}}</ref><ref>{{Cite web|url=https://economynext.com/swiss-summon-sri-lankan-envoy-over-workers-abduction-34554/|title=Swiss summon Sri Lankan envoy over worker's abduction|date=2019-12-05|website=EconomyNext|access-date=2019-12-05}}</ref> However, the Swiss government stated that the health of the woman deteriorated and further stated that the inquiry would be unfair.<ref>{{Cite web|url=https://www.swissinfo.ch/eng/politics/investigation_kidnapped-swiss-embassy-worker-in-sri-lanka-still-unfit-for-questioning/45403750|title=Kidnapped Swiss embassy worker in Sri Lanka still unfit for questioning|last=swissinfo.ch|first=S. W. I.|last2=Corporation|first2=a branch of the Swiss Broadcasting|website=SWI swissinfo.ch|language=en|access-date=2019-12-05}}</ref>
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In December 2019, the Sri Lankan magistrate court ordered the embassy staff worker to remain in Sri Lanka for inquiries and blocked the staff member from leaving the country until 9 December 2019 without making a police statement.<ref>{{Cite web|url=https://www.swissinfo.ch/eng/politics/colombo-case_state-secretary-gets-involved-in-sri-lanka-embassy-incident/45408144|title=Sri Lankan court blocks Swiss embassy worker from leaving|last=swissinfo.ch|first=S. W. I.|last2=Corporation|first2=a branch of the Swiss Broadcasting|website=SWI swissinfo.ch|language=en|access-date=2019-12-05}}</ref><ref>{{Cite news|url=https://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2019/12/02/world/asia/ap-as-sri-lanka-switzerland.html|title=Sri Lanka Wants to Query Swiss Embassy Worker Over Threat|last=Press|first=The Associated|date=2019-12-02|work=The New York Times|access-date=2019-12-05|language=en-US|issn=0362-4331}}</ref><ref>{{Cite web|url=http://www.adaderana.lk/news/59421/temporary-travel-ban-imposed-on-swiss-embassy-staffer|website=www.adaderana.lk|access-date=2019-12-05}}</ref><ref>{{Cite web|url=https://economynext.com/swiss-summon-sri-lankan-envoy-over-workers-abduction-34554/|title=Swiss summon Sri Lankan envoy over worker's abduction|date=2019-12-05|website=EconomyNext|access-date=2019-12-05}}</ref> However, the Swiss government stated that the health of the woman deteriorated and further stated that the inquiry would be unfair.<ref>{{Cite web|url=https://www.swissinfo.ch/eng/politics/investigation_kidnapped-swiss-embassy-worker-in-sri-lanka-still-unfit-for-questioning/45403750|title=Kidnapped Swiss embassy worker in Sri Lanka still unfit for questioning|last=swissinfo.ch|first=S. W. I.|last2=Corporation|first2=a branch of the Swiss Broadcasting|website=SWI swissinfo.ch|language=en|access-date=2019-12-05}}</ref>
  
 
== See also ==
 
== See also ==

Revision as of 06:49, 8 December 2019

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On 25 November 2019, a Sri Lankan Swiss embassy staff member who works in Colombo was reportedly abducted by unidentified men and was detained in their custody for an investigation. She was released on the same day after two hours of inquiry. The Swiss government immediately requested the Sri Lankan authorities to conduct inquiry regarding the probe.[1][2]

Sri Lankan officials launched investigations regarding the alleged kidnapping and mentioned that the attack was possibly in relation to a former top police officer Nishantha de Silva who pledged asylum from Switzerland.[3] The issue has become a significant diplomatic standoff between the two countries with Sri Lanka accusing Switzerland of throwing mud.[4] Sri Lanka Foreign minister further stated that 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.[5] Switzerland government further stated that it will take the issue seriously and called the attack on the employee as unacceptable which would affect the diplomatic ties between the nations.[6][7]

Development

The issue became a prime focus after Nishantha de Silva, a top police officer who was known for inquiring high profile cases since 2015 had reportedly fled to Switzerland with his family in order to seek asylum following the conclusion of the 2019 Sri Lankan presidential election where Gotabaya Rajapaksa emerged victorious.[1][8] Silva is believed to have received death threats and left the country without proper permission.[9]

On 25 November 2019, the local embassy employee was dragged into a car by a gang of unknown men to obtain information related to the Swiss embassy and information about Silva.[10] The kidnapped woman was forced to disclose the mobile phone data of Sri Lankan citizens who applied for asylum in Switzerland. On the same day she returned to the embassy with minor injuries from her abduction.[11] Newly appointed Major General Kamal Gunaratne met with the ambassador for Switzerland in Sri Lanka and explained the results of the investigation.[12] The Government of Sri Lanka rejected the request from Swiss authorities to send one of its staff members to Switzerland for medical treatment.[13]

In December 2019, the Sri Lankan magistrate court ordered the embassy staff worker to remain in Sri Lanka for inquiries and blocked the staff member from leaving the country until 9 December 2019 without making a police statement.[14][15][16][17] However, the Swiss government stated that the health of the woman deteriorated and further stated that the inquiry would be unfair.[18]

See also

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 "Swiss condemn 'attack' on Sri Lanka embassy worker" (in en-GB). 2019-11-27. https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-50578481. 
  2. "Swiss decry attack on local embassy employee in Sri Lanka". https://www.usnews.com/news/world/articles/2019-11-28/swiss-decry-attack-on-local-embassy-employee-in-sri-lanka. 
  3. swissinfo.ch, S. W. I.; Corporation, a branch of the Swiss Broadcasting. "Sri Lanka launches probe into kidnapping of Swiss embassy worker" (in en). https://www.swissinfo.ch/eng/politics/diplomatic-incident-_swiss-embassy-worker-kidnapped-and-threatened-in-colombo-/45397440. 
  4. "Sri Lanka accuses Switzerland of ‘throwing mud’ | Tamil Guardian". Tamil Guardian. https://www.tamilguardian.com/content/sri-lanka-accuses-switzerland-%E2%80%98throwing-mud%E2%80%99. 
  5. "Sri Lanka refuses to allow Swiss Embassy employee to leave". colombogazette.com. https://colombogazette.com/2019/12/04/sri-lanka-refuses-to-allow-swiss-embassy-employee-to-leave/. 
  6. "Sri Lankan Court bars Swiss Embassy employee from travelling overseas | DD News". http://www.ddnews.gov.in/international/sri-lankan-court-bars-swiss-embassy-employee-travelling-overseas. 
  7. "Swiss raise alarm over 'attack' on Sri Lanka embassy employee". Aljazeera. https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2019/11/swiss-raise-alarm-attack-sri-lanka-embassy-employee-191128061621424.html. 
  8. "Top detective who investigated high-profile cases flees Sri Lanka". Aljazeera. https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2019/11/top-detective-investigated-high-profile-cases-flees-sri-lanka-191126115850448.html. 
  9. "Sri Lanka airports on alert as top cop flees after death threat" (in en). Gulf News. https://gulfnews.com/world/asia/sri-lanka-airports-on-alert-as-top-cop-flees-after-death-threat-1.1574761132365. 
  10. Press, The Associated (2019-11-28). "Swiss Decry ‘Attack’ on Local Embassy Employee in Sri Lanka" (in en-US). The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. https://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2019/11/28/world/europe/ap-eu-switzerland-sri-lanka.html. 
  11. "You are being redirected...". https://www.mfa.gov.lk/updte-swiss_eng/. 
  12. "Incident at the Swiss embassy in Sri Lanka: State Secretary Pascale Baeriswyl summons Sri Lankan ambassador to the FDFA". https://www.admin.ch/gov/en/start/documentation/media-releases.msg-id-77350.html. 
  13. Press, The Associated (2019-12-04). "Sri Lanka Rejects Swiss Request to Fly Staffer for Treatment" (in en-US). The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. https://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2019/12/04/world/asia/ap-as-sri-lanka-switzerland.html. 
  14. swissinfo.ch, S. W. I.; Corporation, a branch of the Swiss Broadcasting. "Sri Lankan court blocks Swiss embassy worker from leaving" (in en). https://www.swissinfo.ch/eng/politics/colombo-case_state-secretary-gets-involved-in-sri-lanka-embassy-incident/45408144. 
  15. Press, The Associated (2019-12-02). "Sri Lanka Wants to Query Swiss Embassy Worker Over Threat" (in en-US). The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. https://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2019/12/02/world/asia/ap-as-sri-lanka-switzerland.html. 
  16. "Template:Citation error". http://www.adaderana.lk/news/59421/temporary-travel-ban-imposed-on-swiss-embassy-staffer. 
  17. "Swiss summon Sri Lankan envoy over worker's abduction". 2019-12-05. https://economynext.com/swiss-summon-sri-lankan-envoy-over-workers-abduction-34554/. 
  18. swissinfo.ch, S. W. I.; Corporation, a branch of the Swiss Broadcasting. "Kidnapped Swiss embassy worker in Sri Lanka still unfit for questioning" (in en). https://www.swissinfo.ch/eng/politics/investigation_kidnapped-swiss-embassy-worker-in-sri-lanka-still-unfit-for-questioning/45403750. 

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