Switzerland welcomes release of Embassy employee in Sri Lanka

Switzerland has welcomed the release of a Swiss Embassy employee in Sri Lanka on bail after she was arrested and remanded.

The Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA) said that it welcomes, with relief, the release on bail of the employee of the Swiss Embassy in Colombo.

The employee was arrested on 16 December on the grounds of falsifying evidence.

The local employee was produced before a Magistrate and remanded till yesterday. She was granted bail yesterday.

The Criminal Investigations Department (CID) had been instructed to name and arrest the Swiss embassy employee and produce her before courts for falsifying evidence.

She had claimed she was abducted and later released but investigators said that her statements to the CID seemed misleading.

Meanwhile, in a diplomatic note to the Sri Lankan Foreign Ministry, the Embassy of Switzerland in Colombo noted that Switzerland and Sri Lanka have maintained excellent relations for decades, and have engaged in substantial cooperation in a variety of fields, to the benefit of both countries and their populations. Both countries value these relations greatly.

The Embassy said that in the last few weeks, this relationship was marred by misunderstandings surrounding an incident involving a local staff member of the Embassy, who was subsequently taken into custody by the Sri Lankan authorities. In this context, uncorroborated facts made it into the public domain, putting an unnecessary strain on the otherwise cordial relationship between the two countries.

“At no point during this time did Switzerland have the intention of tarnishing the image of the government of Sri Lanka. The Embassy regrets that these developments have led to the Sri Lankan authorities’ commitment to due process being called into question and reaffirms that Switzerland, like Sri Lanka, is committed to upholding good governance and the rule of law,” the Embassy said.

The Embassy hopes for a swift return to an environment conducive to resuming the positive cooperation between Switzerland and Sri Lanka.

Recognizing that local staff is subject to local laws, the Embassy is convinced that both sides will remain attentive to the working conditions and the wellbeing of all staff of diplomatic missions. Switzerland recalls that it is the responsibility of any government to protect the diplomatic missions of other states on its territory. (Colombo Gazette)

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