Govt says Swiss authorities must respect Sri Lanka’s sovereignty

18 December 2019 12:01 am - 0     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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  • The government has stayed away from this investigation and is allowing the law to take its course

 

By JAMILA HUSAIN   

The government yesterday urged Swiss authorities to respect the Sri Lankan law and the sovereignty of the nation and assured that investigations into allegations of the Swiss Embassy employee were ongoing without political interference.   

Cabinet Spokesperson, Ramesh Pathirana told Daily Mirror that despite the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA) releasing a statement, raising concerns over the investigations, Sri Lankan law enforcement officers had followed the due process.   


“The government has stayed away from this investigation and is allowing the law to take its course. The embassy employee herself has issued contradictory statements to the CID, so we will allow the probe to continue. All nations must respect Sri Lanka as a sovereign nation,” Pathirana said.   


Further the minister said President Gotabaya Rajapaksa had, in a discussion, informed the Swiss Ambassador in Colombo that the alleged abduction of the Swiss embassy employee had been fabricated just to tarnish the image of the government. He further assured that the bilateral relations between Switzerland and Sri Lanka would not be harmed in any manner despite these false allegations.   


Hours after the Swiss Embassy employee was arrested by the CID on Monday on charges fabricating false statement, the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs criticised the lack of due process in the case saying the FDFA expects the Sri Lankan law enforcement authorities to comply with national law and international judicial standards and to ensure that the employee’s rights are now better protected.   


“The FDFA has repeatedly called for due process to be followed. In particular, the FDFA has criticised the 30-hour interrogation to which the employee was subjected over three days despite being in poor health and the public statements by senior Sri Lankan officials questioning her account before the investigations had been completed.”   


As an employer, the FDFA calls on the Sri Lankan authorities to meet their obligations under applicable law and give due consideration to the employee’s poor state of health. Switzerland wishes to emphasize that in this high-profile case Sri Lanka’s reputation as a country that upholds the rule of law is at stake. The FDFA and the Swiss Embassy in Colombo will continue to support their employee as far as possible, the FDFA said.      

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