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Aug-26-2012 18:30printcommentsVideo

Shining Light on Sri Lanka's Dirty Secret: the Disappearance of Prageeth Eknaligoda

Land of 'white van' disappearances and murder keeps its lips sealed over fate of missing journalist.

Disappearance of Journalist Prageeth
Courtesy: jdsrilanka.blogspot.com

(SALEM) - Exactly one year ago today, we brought our readers the story, Everyone's asking 'Where's Prageeth?' Sadly over this last year, nothing has been learned to bring this important Sri Lankan media figure, Prageeth Eknaligoda, back to his family.

Courtesy: lankanewsweb.com

His story has remarkable ties to many other similar occurrences that left behind widows, fatherless children and unanswered questions.

His wife, Sandya Eknaligoda, is featured in a new video which is included below. She offers her thoughts on the disappearance of her husband and how the voice of the international community could make a difference if it were to be projected. I also asked Sri Lanka Journalist Sonali Samarasinghe, the widow of Lasantha Wickrematunge, a journalist in Sri Lanka who 'predicted his own death' according to Jonathan Steele with The Guardian, to share her thoughts about Sandya, ongoing solidarity, comfort and encouragement for people in her position.

Background on State Sponsored Media Murders & Disappearances

Prageeth Eknaligoda

In the article from May 2011, Sri Lanka Tamil Genocide: Killing the Messenger, I detail many of these disappearances and killings of journalists and media employees while explaining how all of those who suffered this fate had one thing in common: they were willing to tell the truth about the Sri Lanka government's campaign to ethnically cleanse the Tamil minority from the North where they had a breakaway state called Tamil Eelam and a formidable resistance, the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) or Tamil Tigers. With the Tamil Tigers in place, the ethnic extinction of Tamils was not possible. The LTTE scared the government troops, and in a fair fight the Tigers dominated.

So the government decided to exempt itself from the international laws that govern war and humanity and they waged a full-scale Genocide against all Tamils in the northern part of the country when a cease fire was in place It is Sri Lanka's president and military who broke that treaty.

In fact Sri Lanka committed 'Total War' against the Tamils and this is the very crime that the Geneva Accord was designed to protect human beings against in the first place; where there is no distinction between civilian non-combatants and and military personnel. Another practice that falls under 'Total War' involves murdering Prisoners of War (POW) and this is another subject I have indulged at length. The links to all of these stories are listed below.

While many media sources place the number of dead from this civil war conflict at 40,000, sources with solid information tell me the number of people who could not be accounted for when the smoke finally cleared in May 2009, was approximately 160,000.

Courtesy: yarl.com Image first published by nowpublic.com

Supporters of Sri Lanka and the government in particular, deny any and all involvement in this pogrom against Tamils yet it was all heavily documented with video, photos and first-hand accounts from the Tamils, who recorded their own demise; and then begins the video and photo evidence from the Sri Lankan soldiers who committed or were present for these heinous war crimes against the Tamil civilians and the Tamil Tigers. In particular, we have revealed how the Sri Lankan Army (SLA) staged a dead body to make it appear to be that of a combatant. The woman, a journalist with the LTTE, was photographed early on with her hands tied behind her back. It was clear that this young mother, whose name was Isaipriya, like so many other Tamil girls and women, was a victim of sexual violence before being murdered.

In the end, the government of Sri Lanka's (GoSL) decision to slaughter journalists did not work, and even here in the U.S. we are increasingly dialing into what happened. Every person who first discovers the bloody story from this island nation in a modern age seems horrified. Americans live with media that is ignorant as to what is taking place in the world and the small element that knows, fails to influence coverage. Even while 160k people are massacred. The saddest part is that we in the U.S. are isolated from this same threat of death journalists in Sri Lanka face.

The Channel 4 documentaries, Sri Lanka's Killing Fields by Jon Snow in London, put these images into perspective and shocked the western world with the harsh reality of what happened. As far as I know, neither edition of this two-part series have ever aired in the United States, however they are available on YouTube and anyone who needs a copy can write to me at the email below and I will see that you receive one. In Great Britain they were received with much acclaim.

The New Video

Sandya Eknaligoda conveys the painful suffering that she and her two sons have experienced with the sudden loss of their father. The truth of Sri Lanka is that many Tamils are kept in hidden camps in the jungle. There are as always, more questions than answers. It remains possible that Prageeth could be alive, it isn't likely but it is possible. This must only increase the agony for a family, yet it leaves a glimmer of hope that others, who know definitively that their loved ones were murdered, do not have. It certainly would be proper for this government to end these practices that create so much hardship and determination.

These are the translated words of the video in English. As she holds the picture up, Sandya Eknaligoda says:

    "This is.. this is the day we started to share our life together... our wedding...
    our ceremony.
    I am Sandya Eknaligoda. Prageeth Eknaligoda is my husband.
    In 2010 on January 24th he disappeared."

But what happened to Prageeth Eknaligoda?

    His wife explains, "Someone took him, made Prageeth disappear."

Who did it?

"My journey to find Prageeth is a big challenge! I have to face an irresponsible Government with no respect for the law. This is the kind of situation and the challenge I have to face in trying to find justice. No one takes it seriously!"

Yolanda Foster in the UK joins Sandya in the video, saying:

    "The Sri Lankan authorities have failed to punish perpetrators of serious human rights abuses. It's important that those responsible for Prageeth Eknaligoda's disappearance are held accountable."

Who is Prageeth?

From The Sunday Leader

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