Two senior Army officers will be questioned within the next few days in connection with the disappearance of journalist Prageeth Eknaligoda, top defence sources told the Daily News yesterday.
They would be questioned based on information revealed by two intelligence unit members who remain in custody over the journalist’s disappearance. The two members were previously affiliated with former Minister Vinayagamoorthi Muralitharan alias Karuna Amman who was the head of the LTTE military wing.
They had joined the Army following Karuna Amman’s defection from the LTTE. Preliminary investigations revealed that Eknaligoda was abducted in Rajagiriya on January 24, 2010, two days before the Presidential election.
“We have received information that he had been handed over to an Army camp in the North Central Province following the abduction,” Defence sources told the Daily News on Thursday night. The officers – who will be questioned in connection with the incident – were attached to the Army camp in the North Central Province during the time of the abduction.
The teams conducting investigations have already examined telephone records of Eknaligoda. He had left his office on January 24 after informing his colleagues that he was going to meet an “old friend.” Eknaligoda’s family members and civil society organisations had stated that former President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s government was directly responsible for Eknaligoda’s disappearance. At a meeting of United Nations Convention Against Torture in Geneva, Sri Lanka’s then Attorney General (later Chief Justice) Mohan Peiris dismissed the charges against government and said that Eknaligoda had sought asylum abroad.
But when questioned in the court later, he told that he does not remember who the source of his information was and that “only God knows” the whereabouts of Eknaligoda. In March, this year, Police launched a fresh probe into Eknaligoda’s disappearance after the new government’s ascension to power.