The Indian High Commission in Colombo and the Sri Lanka Red Cross Society (SLRCS) have launched a joint investigation into a complaint by a war-displaced widow against a Red Cross official for “soliciting sexual favours” in return for houses in the Indian government-funded housing project in the country’s northern province.
As the news about the allegation reached New Delhi last week, an angry South Block took the matter “extremely seriously”, with Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar immediately asking the Indian High Commission for a joint probe with the SLRCS, The Indian Express reports.
Indian High Commissioner Y K Sinha quickly approached the Sri Lankan foreign ministry to ensure that officials – who are being probed in Sri Lanka – do not leave the country till the probe is completed.
“We don’t want the accused officials to escape, so the Sri Lankan foreign ministry and their immigration authorities have been informed,” an Indian official said. Another Indian diplomat said that while there was “no time-frame”, the probe will be conducted “expeditiously and thoroughly”.
“India will not condone any such activity by any of the implementing partners of this project. The Government of India – through its High Commission in Colombo and the consulate in Jaffna – is conducting a joint probe along with the Sri Lankan Red Cross officials,” an Indian High Commission spokesperson told The Indian Express from Colombo.