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Last updated: 05 March, 2010 - Published 15:08 GMT
 
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'Govt. responsible' for Prageeth abduction
 
Sandhya Ekneligoda (c) with her two sons holding a family photo
Sandhya Eknaligoda says her attempts to contact the president and Mrs. Rajapaksa have so far been met with lukewarm response

The Sri Lanka government is directly responsible for the disappearance of journalist Prageeth Ekneligoda, his wife has claimed.

Sandhya Ekneligoda told BBC's Outlook programme that she could not think of anybody else, "especially because what happened before and after his disappearance".

Mr. Eknaligoda, a journalist, cartoonist and a film maker, who last worked for Lankaenews website is missing since 24 th January.

Both Lankaenews and Mr. Ekneligoda supported Gen Sarath Fonseka at the 26 January presidential election.

Either the government is directly behind the abduction, Sandhya Ekneligoda said, or a group with government's blessing is responsible.

Meeting the president

"I have written to the president seeking his help to find my husband but I am yet to get a response," she said.

The mother of two sons says her attempts to meet Shiranthi Rajapaksa, President Mahinda Rajapaksa's wife, has been unsuccessful as her telephone calls were not directed to Mrs. Rajapaksa despite repeated attempts.

Prageeth Eknaligoda
The govt. and the police have claimed that Eknaligoda has been hiding to seek fame

"I also tried to secure an appointment to meet President Rajapaksa through a person who works in the president's office," she told the BBC.

"Initially that person said he didn't know who Prageeth was but after my repeated persuasion, he has said that there is no point for the president to meet me as Prageeth has written so much against the president."

These reactions and the behaviour of media minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardene only confirms her suspicions that the government is behind the disappearance, according to Sandhya Ekneligoda.

Malwatta Mahanayake thero

She said the minister made a public announcement after Malwatta Mahanayake thero strongly criticised the conduct of the politicians.

"Mahanayake thero said he wondered whether to allow politicians to come and meet him as a result of their public behaviour," she said.

 Mahanayake thero said he wondered whether to allow politicians to come and meet him as a result of their public behaviour
 
Sandhya Eknaligoda

Minister Yapa, according to Sandhya Eknaligoda, has said that Prageeth was hiding to seek publicity and would come home within a week.

"It has been more than three weeks since he made that statement and I'm still waiting for Prageeth," she said.

The government has previously rejected accusations that it is behind the disappearance of the journalist.

BBC Sandeshaya could not get the response from the minister despite repeated attempts.

 
 
LOCAL LINKS
'Order police' to release Prageeth
19 February, 2010 | Sandeshaya
Journalists warn of 'further oppression'
08 February, 2010 | Sandeshaya
Journalist 'missing' for a week
31 January, 2010 | Sandeshaya
Sri Lanka news websites 'blocked'
27 January, 2010 | Sandeshaya
Concern over missing journalist
25 January, 2010 | Sandeshaya
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