IFJ Welcomes Progress in Prageeth Eknaligoda Case in Sri Lanka

The International

Federation of Journalists (IFJ) welcomes reports that a habeas corpus petition

submitted by the family of missing Lanka-e-News cartoonist and columnist Prageeth Eknaligoda will be considered by a court of

appeal in Sri Lanka on May 26.


Eknaligoda’s wife Sandhya filed

the petition with a Colombo

court in August 2010, after six hearings into the case of Prageeth’s

disappearance on January 24, 2010 yielded no significant progress. Senior State

Counsel Sameendra Wickrama confirmed that objections to the petition had

already been filed and encouraged the petitioners’ counsel Krishmal

Warnakulasuriya to file counter-objections, according to local media reports.

The news of the petition’s

consideration comes after the Eknaligoda family’s calls for diplomatic pressure

and international solidarity actions by the IFJ and other organisations to help

expedite investigations into Prageeth’s disappearance. Sandhya Eknaligoda

requested the assistance of the United

Nations in a

letter to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon shortly after the first anniversary

of her husband’s disappearance in January. IFJ affiliates from around the world showed their

solidarity by contacting their local Sri Lankan

missions to express their concerns at the police and security agencies’ failure

to trace the missing journalist.


“While it is disappointing that

this petition is only being considered now, more than a year after Prageeth Eknaligoda

disappeared, any progress in investigating his whereabouts is most welcome,” IFJ Asia-Pacific Director Jacqueline Park said.


“The IFJ joins defenders of human

rights and press freedom worldwide in demanding authorities seize this

opportunity to conduct legitimate investigations into Prageeth’s



Eknaligoda vanished two days

before Sri Lanka’s

presidential election of January 26, 2010, amid a deepening safety crisis for

journalists and media workers in the country.


For further information contact IFJ

Asia-Pacific on +612 9333 0919


The IFJ represents more than 600,000 journalists in 125



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