“To tell the truth is crime in Sri Lanka” - wife of disappeared Sinhalese journalist
[TamilNet, Tuesday, 04 May 2010, 15:21 GMT]
Sandhya Ekneliyagoda, the wife of Sri Lankan Sinhalese journalist Prageeth Ekneliyagoda, who disappeared 24 January and still missing, distributed an appeal among parliamentarians on the very first day of the new Sri Lankan parliament demanding their intervention to find the fate of her husband which remains unknown even after a hundred days, Journalists for Democracy in Sri Lanka (JDSL) said in their report Tuesday. Sandhya who blames the Sri Lankan police for purposely dragging their feet says she is deeply sceptical about the way the investigations are being handled. Having failed to evoke any positive response for her appeals to Sri Lanka government and its parliamentary opposition Sandhya tells the International Community that, “Sri Lanka is a country where grave human rights violations are taking place”, in her exclusive interview Tuesday to JDSL.
“When any international government or an organization offers assistance to a country like Sri Lanka, it’s their responsibility to make sure that the government in power does not violate the fundamental rights of its own citizens,” Sandhya told JDSL.
One being asked about senior Tamil journalist Tissanayagam being pardoned by the President of Sri Lanka Sandhya said that the government, “use one issue for their own propaganda while sweeping the other issues under the carpet. By doing so, they can easily ignore one issue and exploit the other for their own interests.”
Sandhya added, “Why should Tissa need to be pardoned? He always remained as an innocent person. He never committed a crime to be pardoned by someone. All what he did was to tell the truth, which in fact has become a crime in this country.”
“I wouldn’t say that I am totally hopeful or optimistic. But still, if such a debate opens up an opportunity to know whatever information that is available, that would be quite helpful because there is no other way for me to know what the police already knows,” Sandhya said when asked whether she was hopeful that Prageeth’s issue will be taken up during the current debate in Sri Lanka parliament.
Sandhya who says she is already facing problems related to her safety in speaking openly and in continuing her struggle to find what happened to her husband adds that she has three primary responsibilities: that is to find what happened to Prageehth, to take care of her two children and to tell the truth.