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Dissenting journalist missing triggers speculation

world Updated: Feb 04, 2010 20:39 IST
Sutirtho Patranobis
Sutirtho Patranobis
Hindustan Times
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A senior journalist missing for more than 10 days is yet to be traced, triggering speculation about his whereabouts and well-being.

Prageeth Eknaligoda, writer and cartoonist for website, Lanka e News went out on the morning of January 24 but never returned home.

On Thursday, his wife Sandhya told Daily Mirror online that that the police have said they were yet to finish investigating into the case.

The Free Media Movement secretary Sunil Jayasekara told the website that foreign embassies had been notified about the disappearance. "We have asked the international community to pressurise the government about this, but there has been no response", he told Daily Mirror online.

Ekalinogoda's office said he might have been targeted because he wrote comments supporting the opposition.

``The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has received information regarding the disappearance of journalist Prageeth Eknaligoda shortly after he wrote articles supporting the presidential opposition candidate. His office was ransacked shortly after, the website he writes for was blocked during the election, and there have been delays and flaws in the police investigation. The journalist was also a victim of an unresolved organised abduction last year,'' the Lanka e News website wrote, quoting the AHRC.

Meanwhile, President Mahinda Rajapaksa, in an opinion piece published in the Wall Street Journal on Thursday to coincide with Sri Lanka's 62nd Independence Day, called on the international community to support the government as it looks at building a peaceful and successful Sri Lanka.

"I know that there are some people and policy makers abroad who have criticised what we did to bring an end to violence and terrorism. They said our measures threatened the people and undermined democracy. This election has shown that the reality is very different. The people of Sri Lanka, democratically and very clearly, have shown that they are free of threats, fear and terrorism, and that they want to embrace the future that could only be achieved through the decisive measures taken last year," Rajapaksa said.