President Gotabaya Rajapaksa yesterday said the Swiss Ambassador in Colombo had been informed that his embassy employee had fabricated the entire abduction story and the Ambassador himself had taken into point the evidence of fabrication provided.
Speaking to Colombo based foreign correspondents at the Presidential Secretariat, President Rajapaksa said that there was clear evidence to prove beyond doubt that the Swiss embassy employee had lied of the incident and suggested the Ambassador himself should distance himself from the local employee.
The President said that despite her fabrication, she continued to receive special privileges only on the request of the Swiss Ambassador but vowed that investigations would continue to find out her motive.
"When I was taken into the CID many times during the previous government. and even when former President Mahinda Rajapaksa was questioned by the CID, as a normal procedure the CID did not allow anyone to come with us. In this case, however, the employee's lawyer had been allowed to sit close to the person. It is a special privilege given to her on the Ambassador's request. So she has been given all those facilities," President Rajapaksa said.
Still unsure behind the motive of this false fabrication, President Rajapaksa said this was done clearly to tarnish the image of him and his government as the employee had clearly said she was abducted in a white van.
"So in this case, the victim is me. Because immediately after my election, this story came up. Even before it was reported to my government, it came up in the New York Times and in many other websites. Local politicians came out in media and started criticizing us. So it is a planned incident to discredit me and the government. I have informed the Swiss Ambassador that," President Rajapaksa said.
The President further said that he would ensure this would not affect the bilateral relations shared between Switzerland and Sri Lanka as this was not a 'government to government' issue. The President said while it is an individual case concerning a local citizen, it was only fair that the Ambassador himself should distance himself from the employee.
According to details unearthed so far, the employee had initially said she had visited a school for a parents/teacher meeting after which she was abducted but later changed her story saying she had visited an apartment closeby.
CCTV footage shows that following her visit to the apartment, she exited the building peacefully and no one had entered the apartment while she was inside.
According to the statement obtained from the apartment owner, the embassy employee had visited the apartment to discuss a visa to leave the country. (JAMILA HUSAIN)