Facebook icon
Twitter icon
e-mail icon

Cartoonist abduction investigation suspended due to 'military pressure'

Sri Lanka's prime minister Ranil Wickremesinghe suspended the probe investigating the abduction of cartoonist Prageeth Eknaligoda due to warnings from the military that the inquiry could cause a stir within the military, a local paper reported.

Mr Wickremesinghe was informed by high-ranking military officials that several senior officers were involved in a unit set up for abductions and further inquiries could reveal the entire operation, and as such decided to suspend the probe until after the election.

The army officials said around 650 officers were attached in this unit, which was formed by then-army commander Sarath Fonseka during the armed conflict. After 2009 the unit is said to have continued under Gotabhaya Rajapaksa and included current chief of staff of the army Jagath Jayasuriya.

A sergeant major, currently in custody, earlier this month admitted to questioning the cartoonist, after years of denial of knowledge of his whereabouts by the military.

Military official admits questioning Eknaligoda (11 August 2015)

Accused war criminal Jagath Dias made Chief of Staff of Sri Lanka’s Army
(14 May 2015)

We need your support

Sri Lanka is one of the most dangerous places in the world to be a journalist. Tamil journalists are particularly at threat, with at least 41 media workers known to have been killed by the Sri Lankan state or its paramilitaries during and after the armed conflict.

Despite the risks, our team on the ground remain committed to providing detailed and accurate reporting of developments in the Tamil homeland, across the island and around the world, as well as providing expert analysis and insight from the Tamil point of view

We need your support in keeping our journalism going. Support our work today.