Prageeth Eknelygoda

Beats Covered:
Local or Foreign:

Eknelygoda, a cartoonist and columnist for the online news outlet, was last seen by his wife and two teenage sons as he left his house for work two days before the presidential elections that gave the incumbent President Mahindra Rajapaksa a sweeping victory.

Though the case was transferred from local police to the Colombo Crimes Division, no progress was reported. The journalist’s wife, Sandhya, told CPJ she was unable to persuade police or other officials to actively investigate the case; a complaint she brought before the Human Rights Court also proved fruitless.

The staff of Lanka eNews, which had opposed Rajapaksa’s government, faced harsh intimidation over all; its editor, Sandaruwan Senadheera, went into exile in March 2010. In the ensuing months, Eknelygoda’s unexplained disappearance sent a chill through the entire Sri Lankan press corps, which had faced other severe instances of violence and intimidation.