Swiss envoy has no right to detain SL worker: Udaya Gammanpila

The Swiss Ambassador in Sri Lanka has no right to keep a Sri Lankan employee inside the Embassy on the basis that local employees do not enjoy diplomatic privileges, the Pivithuru Hela Urumaya (PHU) said today.

Its leader, MP Udaya Gammanpila said under Clause 38 (2) of the Vienna Convention, locals employed at embassies do not enjoy diplomatic privileges.

“The decision on whether the employee should give a statement to the police or not should be decided by the Sri Lankan Government and not the Swiss Ambassador. There have been instances where statements have been recorded from those who have been shot and on the brink of death. The decision is up to the judicial medical officer to decide whether this employee should be questioned,” the MP told a news briefing.

He said it was not certain whether she was being detained at the Embassy against her wishes or was staying there voluntarily.

“It seems that the Swiss Ambassador is visualising a white van culture and not the Sri Lankan Government. The latest episode of the white van drama comes to light after being directed by the Swiss Ambassador. He says one of the Embassy employees has been abducted by a white van, she has taken ill now and the matter should be probed. However, the Embassy does not even reveal the name of the employee or allow a statement to be obtained from her but calls for action and an investigation on the matter,” the MP said. (Lahiru Pothmulla)