Media consortium demands return of disappeared journalist Ekneligoda

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 11 August 2010, 00:12 GMT]
A consortium of foreign media organizations led by Reporters Without Borders has demanded the Sri Lankan government to return Sri Lankan journalist Prageeth Ekneligoda who disappeared two hundred days earlier. The consortium includes, Cartoonists Rights Network International, Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), International Media Support, Journalists for Democracy in Sri Lanka, Media Legal Defence Initiative, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) and The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ).

In an appeal released today, the media groups said, two hundred days have passed since Sri Lankan journalist Prageeth Ekneligoda disappeared. Prageeth, who regularly contributed to LankaeNews web site, went missing 24th January 2010. Prageeth is a political analyst and a cartoonist known for his outspoken views critical of the government of Sri Lanka.

“Since Prageeth’s disappearance his wife, along with media rights and human rights groups, has continuously urged the government of Sri Lanka to reveal his whereabouts. The Cartoonists Rights Network International acknowledged her relentless campaign by bestowing a Special Recognition award for her spirited challenge to the Sri Lankan government to account for her disappeared husband,” the appeal said.

“While the police and other authorities have failed in providing any information that leads to finding Prageeth, they haven’t taken any steps to counter or investigate freely circulated disinformation that he is in hiding. Whatever took place on the night of 24th January 2010, it is the duty of Sri Lanka’s government, led by President Mahinda Rajapaksa, to find where Prageeth is and inform his wife Sandya and the world. The inability to do so inevitably affirms Sandya’s repeated assertion that she holds the government of Sri Lanka responsible for the disappearance of her husband.

“Therefore, on the 12th of August 2010, the International Day of Solidarity for Prageeth, standing beside Sandya, we call upon the government of Sri Lanka to fulfill our reasonable demand. Find journalist Prageeth Ekneligoda and give him back to us,” the appeal concluded.

 

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