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Last updated: 07 April, 2012 - Published 14:03 GMT
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JVP dissident leaders Premakumar and Dimuthu disappeared

JVP dissident leader Premakumar Gunarathnam andDimuthu Attigala
JVP dissident leader Premakumar Gunarathnam and Dimuthu Attigala
A small leftist political faction in Sri Lanka says two of its leaders – a woman and a man – have disappeared and it fears they’ve been abducted.

Two activists from the same faction disappeared in December while campaining on human rights issues.

The police have denied knowledge of the incident, which adds to reports of rising numbers of unexplained disappearances.

Unexplained disappearances

A spokesman for the faction told the BBC he’d had no news of his two party comrades since Friday night.

The woman, Dimuthu Attygalle, had vanished while travelling home; the man, Premakumar Gunaratnam, disappeared from his house.

The faction was due to launch itself as a party next week, months after breaking away from a small leftist party, the JVP, which led two violent insurrections more than 20 years ago.

Political analysts here say Mr Gunaratnam was involved in one of those uprisings as a student and his associates say he’s led a very low-profile existence since then.

The party colleague said he thought he might have been targeted now because he is half-Tamil and has a Tamil name.

No police involvement

The spokesman for the police said the two had not been arrested and no branch of the police force had any involvement in their disappearance; the chief of police had launched an investigation, he added.

Last week a human rights campaign group said 56 unexplained disappearances or abductions have been reported since October, with 11 victims being released or escaping.

The leftist faction whose two leaders have now apparently disappeared says it wants to give a voice to ethnic minorities here.

Two of its members vanished in northern Sri Lanka four months ago when campaigning on behalf of the disappeared.

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