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Missing Swede turns up in Sri Lanka

Peter Vinthagen Simpson · 21 Mar 2011, 15:35

Published: 21 Mar 2011 15:35 GMT+01:00

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"She came to the police station this morning and identified herself. She is now with her boyfriend and according to her statement she plans to return to Sweden as soon as possible," national police spokesperson Prishantha Jayakody told The Local on Monday.

Marie Jonsson Sillén from Vårgårda in Västergötland in western Sweden was reported missing in early March while on a holiday to the island of Sri Lanka.

Nothing had been heard from the 28-year-old since she posted a Facebook message on March 5th to say that she had been robbed and beaten, followed by an email sent to a friend two days later.

Interpol issued a missing persons on March 16th and the Swedish police, foreign ministry and Sweden's embassy in New Delhi are all involved in the search for the missing Swede.

"We can confirm that the embassy in New Delhi spoke to her today and that she plans to use her return ticket and return to Sweden as soon as possible," Teo Zetterman at the foreign ministry told The Local.

The reasons behind Jonsson Sillén's apparent disappearance remain shrouded in mystery however with the Sri Lanka police denying reports that she has been kidnapped or beaten.

"No that is not true. She is alive and well," Prishantha Jayakody said.

Story continues below…

A woman who had met Jonsson Sillén on the plane to Sri Lanka and spent the first few days of their holiday together with her, previously confirmed that she met her again in the Mirissa Beach area and was told of how the Swede was robbed and beaten.

Jonsson Sillén was reported to be in the company of a western man and a Sri Lankan woman and the woman took this to mean that she was being given help.

Peter Vinthagen Simpson (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

17:06 March 21, 2011 by anuranga
Just another confuced Swede :o) Wonder what was she smoking !!
17:34 March 21, 2011 by eZee.se

Don't be so quick to judge, it could be a cover up by the local cops - we'll know the full story once she is safely back.
18:23 March 21, 2011 by Ranjit T Edward
Exactly, this story is very irresponsible reporting. Without a doubt, she is alive and safe. That is the only truth.

As eZee.se said, it is a whole big cover up...But I am sure there are enough people on this case in SL, and the truth will come out. As for Marie..Welcome home!
18:54 March 21, 2011 by mikewhite
It goes to show that if you have posted a message indicating you could be in danger, it pays to follow it up with a reassurance once you are OK, so that people who care and would be worried, are not left in doubt.

This also applies if you have said you will call in regularly, and then don't, for some reason.
21:59 March 21, 2011 by martiancat
robbed but posting on fb? I wonder why they didn't take her phone?
22:06 March 21, 2011 by eZee.se

I'm guessing internet cafe...
23:09 March 21, 2011 by sam97
The Swedish woman had informed the police that she was not kidnapped or did not face any problem, but was just travelling in Sri Lanka with a Sri Lankan companion, more precisely, a Sri Lankan boy who works in a hotel. Do not blame to Sri Lanka or the police. It looks a personal issue.
00:44 March 22, 2011 by muscle
Now I don't care about this story, glad that she is ok . One thing I realized and liked, is that its good that the government of Sweden, cares about its nationals. Otherwise there are some countries where the governments don't really care about what is happening to its citizens around the globe.
05:45 March 22, 2011 by knowalick
Looks like she went for a romp with her Sri Lankan "companion" and didn't want the world to know about it. Don't be too quick to judge the "kidnapped" story. Wouldn't be the first time a Swedish girl had jungle fever.
11:00 March 22, 2011 by Rizwan Rahim
Mirissa area in deep down south is famous 4 wat @anuranga is telling abt but not sure if she had something. similarly,where was her BF at tat time..."is it Anni diwani's shadow case again".also its needed 2 mentioned tat all tourists are advised local surroundings before hand....so y u so exposed for valuable things while in move and then again im not supporting tat,no one should take their belongings but....."local knowledge needed to be practiced especially in outside ur native place"

its sad if she was robbed or beaten,but need to see if she made any possible means of robbery or beat in her statement.....if so then its the authorities will proceed from then....but im happy she's safe and coming home.

y she waited till today to come forward to police ? lucky she was not abducted or is their anything fishy ?....or perhaps @sam97 may be correct....
21:12 March 22, 2011 by J Jack
2 words, Drama Queen.
02:06 March 23, 2011 by theepan
Why would someone visit Sri Lanka?

Police and gov't are corrupt.

I was born in Sri Lanka and live in Canada.

I am scared to visit that country. There is no Law & Order.
13:29 March 23, 2011 by sadia
You escaped from the country. It's not the solution. you should shoulder taking care of your birthland.
22:41 March 26, 2011 by jackx123
yup. take the american cnn journalist who got raped in egypt.......

why is everyone surprised? you travel to places where it's a very good chance of a criminal act and then it comes as a big surprise when it happens? either a screw lose or just plain gullible.
08:28 March 27, 2011 by dan_downtoearth
Whole incident like a drama, some try to condem srilanka but THAT GIRL HAS FOUND WITH HER LOCAL BOYFRIEND IN DOWNSOUTH AREA. that's it nothing happend as they said.

It's a nice country i've been there for severel times there was nothing happened like this, friendly people great hospitality, beautiful beaches.

03:06 March 30, 2011 by dan_sparrow
28 year old travelling alone in asia?
09:20 March 30, 2011 by jackx123
The Muslim religion is just so screwed up that it has no human value to it. To prove the point read below article, where the LAW protects the rapist.

Drugged, raped, jailed in UAE

Lisa Martin | 29th March 2011

A BRISBANE woman is suing a five-star luxury United Arab Emirates hotel, after she was drugged and raped by co-workers and jailed for eight months.

In a landmark case, Alicia Gali, 29, is seeking compensation from her former employer, Le Meridien Al Aqah Beach Resort, for breaching its workplace duty of care.

In June 2008, Ms Gali had her drink spiked and was raped by three to four co-workers, while working as a beauty salon manager at the international resort.

When she reported the assault to authorities she was jailed on an adultery charge and spent eight months in prison because it is illegal in the UAE to have sex outside marriage.

Australian embassy staff advised her and her family not to go to the media, during her time in custody, where she was locked in a cell with 30 other women.

She was pardoned and released in March 2009.

Ms Gali alleges the hotel failed to protect staff against assault and its legal consequences.

The resort encourages workers to drink illegally at its staff bar despite strict laws and the requirement of drinking permits, she said.

"I thought I would be safe and protected in an international hotel group," she said in a statement.

"They didn't give me the correct advice and didn't help me when I was charged and imprisoned."

Ms Gali said the harrowing ordeal should be a warning to others.

"I still feel angry and upset, it's distressing because I was a victim in all this and I was punished," she said.

"The UAE is being promoted hugely here as a tourism destination - they sponsor things here.

"They are not complying with human rights, women's rights and migrant workers' rights."

Her lawyer, Melissa Payne from Maurice Blackburn, told reporters in Brisbane on Monday that Ms Gali suffers severe post traumatic stress disorder, nightmares, flash backs, depression and claustrophobia.

Ms Payne said the incident could have been avoided.

The hotel should have had segregated secure quarters for female employees and provide adequate induction training on the local laws and customs, she said.

"The resort promotes itself as paradise on earth... it wasn't paradise for Alicia."

She said the law firm was still preparing its case and would consult UAE legal experts, human rights and labour law experts.

"There was never a prosecution against anyone for sexual assault or rape," she said.

Ms Payne said her client delayed the lawsuit until she had recovered psychologically.

"She now feels brave enough to speak out," she said.

"Alicia is very concerned that there are other women who might find themselves in similar situations," she said.

Comment has been sought from Le Meridien Al Aqah Beach Resort.
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