FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION SRI LANKA

For press freedom by Sunanda Deshapriya

Appeal Court orders Homagama Magistrate: Give priority to Ekneligoda disappearance complaint

Chitra Weerarathne
 The Court of Appeal yesterday directed the Homagama Magistrate to give priority and inquire into the complaint regarding the alleged disappearance of ‘Lanka-e-News’ journalist Prageeth Ekneligoda, as speedily as possible and to report to the Court of Appeal, at the completion of such inquiry, with all the attached documentation.

The Court of Appeal made the aforesaid order when the Habeas Corpus application, filed in respect of the alleged disappearance, was called before the Court yesterday.

The Court of Appeal, in the aforesaid order, directed both the petitioner and the respondents, to supply the Magistrate, all the known information and data, pertaining to the case.

The Habeas Corpus application was filed by the wife of Prageeth Ranjan Bandara Ekneligoda, Mrs. K. M. S. B. Ekneligoda and their two children, Sathyajith and H. D. Sooriya Bandara Ekneligoda.

The petition said that Ekneligoda left home on January 24, 2010 at 10.30 a.m. to reach his office ‘Lanka e-News’, at Rajagiriya. The residence was at Pannipitiya.

The petition added that Prageeth Ekneligoda supported General Sarath Fonseka. He had told the family that a suspicious ‘white van’ was seen near his house. Its number plate was covered, and it carried UPFA posters. Several unknown persons had been following him on those days. On January 24, 2010, he was to attend a pooja at Kelaniya Raja Maha Viharaya to bless Sarath Fonseka.

The petition requested the Court to direct the CID and the police to produce Prageeth Ekneligoda before the Court of Appeal.

The first respondent is Nandana Munasinghe DIG – CID. The second is OIC of the Homagama Police station. The third respondent is the IGP, the fourth is the Attorney General. Attorney-at-Law Krishmal Warnasuriya appeared for the petitioner. State Counsel Shavindra Wickrama appeared for the Attorney General.

The Bench comprised Justice W. L. Ranjith Silva and Justice D. S. L. Lekamwasam.

The Habeas Corpus application will be next called before the Court of Appeal on January 12, 2012.
IS

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