Green Fair 2013 & Campaign for Prageeth Eknaligoda | Exeter | 19 Aug 2013 | Amnesty International UK

Green Fair 2013 & Campaign for Prageeth Eknaligoda

We will be at the Green Fair on the Cathedral Green in Exeter on 7 September. We have decided to break with tradition this year and not have any fundraising on the stall, which keeps the focus on our campaign action for Prageeth Eknaligoda.

Prageeth Eknaligoda is a Sri Lankan journalist, cartoonist and political analyst who has been missing since he left work on the evening of 24 January 2010, just days before  the last presidential election in Sri Lanka.

Shortly before his ‘disappearance’, Prageeth Eknaligoda had completed a comparative analysis of the two main presidential candidates, coming out in favour of the opposition. In the days leading up to his ‘disappearance’, he told a close friend that he believed he was being followed. Local residents reported seeing a white van without number plates close to his house around the time he went missing.

White vans have been used in many abductions and enforced ‘disappearances’ in Sri Lanka, particularly since 2006, when state agents and paramilitary groups allied to the government stepped up attacks on government critics. On 25 January, his wife, Sandya Eknaligoda, went to lodge a complaint with the Homagama police about his presumed abduction. Instead of promptly responding to her complaint, the police detained her for several hours at the police station before releasing her. She believes her husband was abducted on orders of the government because of his criticism of the Sri Lankan government. She also suggests he may have been targeted because he had investigated allegations that the Sri Lankan army used chemical weapons in northern Sri Lanka in 2008.

Since Prageeth Eknaligoda ‘disappeared’ three years ago, two government officials have claimed they had information that he had fled overseas. Neither have been able to provide any credible evidence for these claims.

Since 2006, fifteen journalists have been killed and a further 25 forced to flee Sri Lanka in fear of their lives.

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