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Sri Lankan court extends travel ban on Swiss embassy employee


COLOMBO: A Sri Lankan court on Monday extended until December 12 the foreign travel ban on a local female Swiss Embassy staffer who was allegedly abducted and threatened by a group to disclose embassy information.

The magistrate's courts' order comes a day after the Sri Lankan staffer recorded a statement at the CID office.

The embassy staff member, who has not been identified, has claimed that she was abducted and detained on November 25 by a group which forced her to hand over sensitive information - reportedly including the names of Sri Lankans who had sought asylum in Switzerland.

Switzerland had lodged a strong protest with the Sri Lankan government and called for a full scale investigation into the staffer's abduction.

The Swiss Embassy also lodged a police complaint following the accusation. The staffer had failed to present herself before the police for questioning, claiming that she was unwell.

The court issued an order directing the police to ensure she does not leave the country until December 9. The order has now been extended until December 12, court officials said.

Sri Lankan government says her narrative of the alleged abduction is contrary to the evidence gathered by the police.

The police also denies that its CID wing was involved in the alleged abduction. According to the reports, the abductors had sought information from the staffer on a CID officer who had fled the country after the presidential election held on November 16.

The Swiss authorities reportedly granted him and his family political asylum, media reports said.

The officer under scanner is the one who had carried out investigations against top officials of the government prior to 2015 headed by the former President Mahinda Rajapaksa including his family members.