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Last updated: 17 November, 2011 - Published 18:32 GMT
 
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Govt. challenged to provide information on Prageeth
 
Wife of disappeared journalist Prageeth Eknaligoda challenged the government to provide information about her husband’s whereabouts before January 2012.

Prageeth Ekneligoda

More than six hundred days have passed since a web journalist and cartoonist, Prageeth Ekneligoda, disappeared after apparently being abducted.

Addressing the media in Colombo on Thursday, Sandya Eknaligoda said “ Mohan Peiris represented Sri Lanka at the UN Committee Against Torture (CAT) and he gave evidence on behalf of the Sri Lankan government”.

“I am calling upon the government to tell me which country Prageeth is in and to produce him before a court” she added.

 I am calling upon the government to tell me which country Prageeth is in and to produce him before a court
 
Sandya Eknaligoda

No information on his fate has emerged until former Attorney General Mohan Peiris who is also the legal advisor to the cabinet of ministers giving evidence at CAT in Geneva stated that Prageeth is believed to be living in exile.

Speaking at the press conference, leader of the NSSP Vikramabahu Karunaratne alleging that Mr. Peiris made the comment to please the house said “150 000 Tamils were disappeared and the government might claim that they too are living abroad”.

International Movement Against All Forms of Discrimination and Racism (IMADR) Asian Committee Chairperson Nimalka Fernando said that when questioned about the Prageeth by the UN Committee Against Torture, “former attorney general has made a reckless comment”.

“When authorities claim they are still searching Prageeth’s whereabouts at the courts by saying he is in abroad, former attorney general had impeached the court” she added.

Government "accept responsibility"

At a separate press briefing held in Colombo, the government accepted responsibility for the statement made by the former Attorney General regarding Prageeth's whereabouts.

 Former attorney general has made a reckless comment
 
Nimalka Fernando

Media Minister Keheliya Rambukwella said that Mohan Peiris attended CAT as a member of the government delegation.

“He has taken responsibility for the statement he made,” the media minister added.

Prageeth, who had written articles and drawn cartoons critical of the government, was apparently abducted on his way home from the office and has not been seen since 24 January 2010.

Media rights groups claim that Sri Lanka is one of the most dangerous places for journalists to work.

They accuse the authorities of intimidating and harassing journalists critical of the government's policies. The government denies the allegations that it is behind the attacks on the press.

Sandya Ekanaligoda and family
 
 
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