The fate of “Lanka e-News” editor Prageeth Eknalagoda remains unknown, 23 days after he failed to return home from work.
The last time Mr. Eknalagoda’s family had contact with him was when they heard him talking on his mobile phone, apparently telling persons present with him that they were “going in the wrong direction”, his family said.
The authorities have promised to trace the missing journalist, but nothing so far is known of his whereabouts.
On a previous occasion, three months ago, Mr. Eknalagoda was abducted by unidentified persons when returning from work. He was released the next day after being held overnight at a location close to Kottawa. His abductors on that occasion remain at large.
Meanwhile, Chandana Sirimalwatte, editor of the Sinhala language weekly “Lanka”, has been detained for the past 18 days without trial. It is understood that Mr. Sirimalwatte is being detained by the CID in connection with certain articles that appeared in his left-leaning paper.
This is the third time Mr. Sirimalwatte has been brought before the CID in a space of three months, all in connection with his work for “Lanka”, which is known for its sharp criticism of the establishment and its exposés of corruption in government and state organisations.
Following Mr. Sirimalwatte’s arrest, certain parties have threatened the private company that handles the printing work for “Lanka”.