Abducted journalist found unconscious

[TamilNet, Sunday, 14 March 1999, 19:57 GMT]
Srilal Priyantha, the Lakbima journalist who was abducted in the early hours of the morning today, was found unconscious and tied to a tree on Anderson Road in Kalubowila, in the southwestern outskirts of Colombo said Police sources. He was admitted to the Kalubowila general hospital for treatment.

He told the Police and state media that he was abducted from his room by armed men who had assaulted him senselessly, warning him not to write in the paper and forcing him to reveal the location of a cassette in his possession.

The Sri Lankan President ordered Police investigators to find the culprits as soon as possible.

The journalist had reported fraud and malpractice within the Sri Lankan Army.

In this today's edition of the paper Srilal Priyantha had exposed the story of a high ranking Sri Lankan Army officer, Brigadier Ranasingha, who operates as a loan shark using Sri Lankan Army funds.

The Brigadier had apparently lent a businessman in Borella Rs. 700, 000 with interest at 120 % per annum and so was able to demand Rs. 70,000 per month in interest payments (1 US $ is approximately 69 Rs.).

The Lakbima reported that when the business man had been unable to pay this amount the Brigadier and his men had visited his home on March 8 and severly assaulted both the business man and his wife.

The businessman was then forcibly taken from his home to Boosa, 100 km south-west of Colombo where he was so severly assaulted that four of his front teeth had been completely knocked out.

The man was released two days later.


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