Federation of Journalists (IFJ) welcomes the display of strength and unity by
colleagues of missing Sri Lankan
columnist and cartoonist Prageeth Eknaligoda at a protest and public meeting in
A coalition of Sri Lankan press freedom groups – including IFJ
affiliates the Free Media Movement (FMM),
the Sri Lanka Working Journalists’
Association (SLWJA) and the Federation of Media Employees’ Trade Union (FMETU)
– staged a satyagraha, or silent
protest, to mark 200 days since Eknaligoda mysteriously disappeared.
Protest organisers the Alliance of
Media Organisations commended the estimated 350 people who attended the rally
to call for a full and open investigation into Eknaligoda’s whereabouts, in an
environment where displays of public protest are often stifled for fear of
Organisers said rallies of this
nature generally draw crowds of about 50 people.
The satyagraha was followed by a march and public meeting chaired by FMM Secretary Seetha Ranjanee, and featured speeches
from several prominent human rights and press freedom activists.
“The IFJ commends Eknaligoda’s
colleagues and Sri Lankan human
rights activists for taking a brave public stand to demand action in relation
to his disappearance,” IFJ General Secretary Aidan
is encouraging to see the local journalists’ community in Sri Lanka
will not let intimidation stand in the way of their struggle for justice in one
of the most dangerous places for media workers in the world.”
who is known for his outspoken political views, went missing on January 24, two
days before Sri Lanka’s presidential
The IFJ has forwarded a letter
of concern signed by members of the International
Freedom of Expression Exchange (IFEX) to the Government of Sri Lanka.
IFJ and other international press freedom organisations are demanding the
Government ensure all efforts are made to locate Eknaligoda, and bring those
responsible for his disappearance to justice.
information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific
on +612 9333 0919
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