Staffer at the Swiss Embassy was detained on the street

The Sri Lankan staffer at the Swiss Embassy in Colombo was accosted on the street, “detained against her will and threatened at length by unidentified men in order to force her to disclose embassy-related information,” a statement issued by the country’s Foreign Ministry says.

The release contradicts earlier reports that she was abducted.

Pierre-Alain Eltschinger, the Ministry spokesman wrote that “Switzerland regards this incident as a very serious and unacceptable attack on one of its diplomatic representations and its employees.”

“Switzerland promptly reported the incident to the Sri Lankan authorities and is demanding an immediate and complete investigation into the circumstances surrounding the incident. It also calls for the perpetrators to be brought to justice and for the guarantee of the security of the Swiss representation in Colombo and its employees to be fully restored,” he added.

In Colombo, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that an investigation into the incident has begun.

“In order to enable the relevant authorities to conduct the investigation smoothly and according to the established procedure, the fullest cooperation of the Embassy of Switzerland has been requested,” it added.

The Swiss statement also said that it had summoned Sri Lanka’s Ambassador accredited to the country. Colombo said that “Sri Lanka’s Ambassador to Germany who is concurrently accredited to Switzerland, Eng. Karunasena Hettiarachchi will be meeting with the Swiss authorities.”

 “The Government of Sri Lanka takes this opportunity to reaffirm unequivocally its commitment to give effect to the obligations undertaken as a State Party to the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations (1961), to facilitate the smooth functioning of diplomatic missions in Sri Lanka,” the Colombo statement said.

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