"It’s One of the Worst Crimes in the World": Wife of 'Disappeared' Journalist

August 30, 2012

Sandya Eknaligoda
Sandya Eknaligoda wife of disappeared journalist Prageeth Eknaligoda with their two sons Sathyajith Sanjaya and Harith Danajaya.

On Jan. 24, 2010, Prageeth Eknaligoda, a Sri Lankan journalist and cartoonist, disappeared shortly after leaving work. A few days earlier, he had published an article critical of President Rajapaksa. Local residents told the Sri Lankan press that they had seen a white van without numbered plates close to his house around the time of his disappearance.

Prageeth had earlier been abducted in August, 2009 by a group who arrived in a white van; that time, he was released the following day, with his abductors saying that they had made a mistake. But since Jan. 24, 2010, no one has heard from him.

Over recent decades, Sri Lanka has experienced tens of thousands of enforced disappearances during civil conflict, with government forces or their agents detaining people and then denying all knowledge of their whereabouts. In virtually all cases, no one has been held accountable for these crimes.

I think it’s one of the worst crimes in the world, making people disappear.
Sandya Eknaligoda, Prageeth’s wife, has campaigned tirelessly for answers, in the face of significant obstacles. When she went to lodge a complaint with the police the day after his disappearance, instead of registering her complaint, they detained her for several hours! In the video below, she describes her efforts to find her husband and obtain justice. Sandya says, “I think it’s one of the worst crimes in the world, making people disappear. It is not just the one person who disappears…the whole family is psychologically killed.”

Today, on the International Day for the Victims of Enforced Disappearance, we ask the Sri Lankan government: “Where is Prageeth Eknaligoda?” Please stand with Sandya Eknaligoda and her search for justice. Send an online letter to the Sri Lankan government today.