The investigation into the disappearance of cartoonist/columnist Prageeth Eknaligoda continues to build steam in Sri Lanka, with 11 people — soldiers, former soldiers and military informers — now detained and being questioned, according to reports out of Colombo.
Prageeth Eknaligoda disappeared more than five years ago. At the time, he was working on a story about government-sanctioned deployment of cluster bombs against the secessionist Tamil Tigers, colleagues of the journalist told Reuters news.
Praegeeth’s wife Sandya Eknaligoda accused government agents of abducting her husband when he left his office on January 10, 2010, and has waged a long campaign for a full inquiry. The present government of President Mathripala Sirisena has promised to pursue the matter and to investigate other abuses of power allowed under previous president, Mahinda Rajapaksa.
The newsite that employed Prageeth Eknaligoda, LankaeNews, has meanwhile reported that there is a behind-the-scenes campaign funded by former defence secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa to undermine the investigation into Prageeth’s fate. Gotabhaya Rajapaksa has been implicated in the white-van abductions of government critics during his brother Mahinda’s presidency.