By Shenali D. Waduge
Let us all agree that the reason for confusions and contradictions are as a result of everyone other than the alleged victim making a statement. Not only is there discrepancies in what the Swiss Foreign Ministry declared on November 27, 2019 and what the Swiss Embassy declared in its official statement issued on November 29, 2019, but scores of international media outlets have been adding what they presume had occurred. All this is neither helping the victim or authorities to come to the bottom of what exactly happened.
As a result of the victim not making an official complaint a whole lot of questions are now surfacing:
• Was there an actual ‘attack’ - Was she actually attacked ‘on the street’ on November 25, as the Swiss Foreign Ministry says or was she taken in a vehicle by unidentified men as the Swiss Embassy Colombo says or was she taken in a white van that international media claim?
• What time did this occur – was it in the morning, evening, while coming to work or leaving work, how does that fit in with her dropping her child to school, and the Uber details that the Sri Lanka Foreign Ministry verified which questions how she can be kidnapped in a vehicle if she came in a Uber vehicle!
• Is she actually inside the embassy compound or has she been smuggled out from the embassy – if so where is she and why all this secrecy or has she actually left Sri Lanka and was all these allegations connived after leaving the country to tarnish the image of Sri Lanka or to divert and hide attention from the fleeing of a Sri Lankan CID official without proper Government approvals?
• What is the Swiss Embassy response to several high profile Police investigators given secret asylum to Switzerland? It is now time for the Sri Lankan authorities to seek official explanation from the Swiss authorities regarding these asylum approvals.
Swiss Embassy and Swiss Government as well as the entire international community know the generally accepted process when it comes to an alleged crime. Wherever an alleged crime takes place the Police take over investigations after a complaint is filed by the victim. It is in the absence of such that so many confusions and contradictions are taking place and we are baffled why the Swiss Embassy is not allowing the alleged victim to make a statement. If the victim wishes to remain inside the Embassy compound, the police can arrive and take the statement, the Swiss Embassy can hire a Sri Lankan lawyer to represent her on request. There are so many avenues that can be considered to facilitate this process.
Compounding matters is the news that she is ill and her suffering ‘deteriorating health’ but if the abduction factor from the details given by the Swiss Embassy has been nullified by the Sri Lankan authorities, we are now wondering how she can suddenly become ill. We are also wondering how medical examination can take place via videoconferencing when it is easier to simply ask a specialist doctor to examine her and if required to immediately admit her to hospital for immediate medical attention after which a statement can be sought from her.
As a Sri Lankan National and in view of her being an Embassy employee, the GOSL will take her security issue as a paramount factor.
This Sri Lankan National we presume is inside the Swiss Embassy since November 25. The next question is how long is she to remain inside an office? She has family to be with. Where is the family? Why is no one in the family or relations coming forward seeking her whereabouts? Why has no one filed a ‘missing’ report with police? Where is her husband who is missing from work since her alleged ‘attack’?, why is he not reporting to work?, is he also inside the Embassy compound? what about her mother and children? where are they? Are they not going to school?
All these questions and much more can only be answered by the Swiss Embassy Colombo either releases her or allows the Sri Lankan investigators to enter Embassy compound and take a statement from her.
We are baffled as to what the Swiss Embassy is up to – it is perhaps time for the Sri Lankan Foreign Minister to summon the Swiss Ambassador to Colombo and seek explanation as not producing this alleged victim in Sri Lanka’s Court on December 9, will result in a contempt of court and lead to more legal issues for the Embassy to deal with.
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