Lanka eNews Editor Sandurwan Senadeera told news organizations that Eknelygoda was last seen leaving the office on Sunday evening. He told news outlets that he fears the reporter may have been abducted. In its own account, Lanka eNews described Eknelygoda as a political analyst who has supported opposition presidential candidate Sarath Fonseka, a retired general, in Tuesday’s election. The presidential election has already been marred by widespread violence and accusations of cheating by both sides.
Lanka eNews has long been targeted for harassment by the government of Mahinda Rajapaksa, the incumbent who is seeking re-election in Tuesday’s vote. In 2008, CPJ urged Rajapaksa to halt the Defense Ministry’s practice of denouncing Lanka eNews and other news outlets on its official Web site.
“We are deeply concerned by the disappearance of Prageeth
The Canadian Press quoted Media Minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena as saying that the government had no involvement in Eknelygoda’s disappearance. “The Web site has been publishing defamatory articles but all we did was to reply to them. We will not resort to these kinds of actions,” Abeywardena told the Canadian Press.