February 7, 2011

His Excellency the President Mahinda Rajapaksa
Presidential Secretariat
Colombo 1
Sri Lanka
Fax: +94 11 2446657

Mr. Mohan Peiris
Attorney General
Attorney General’s Department
Colombo 12
Sri Lanka
Fax: +94 11 2 436421

H. M. G.  S.  Palihakkara
Permanent Mission of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka to the United Nations
630 Third Avenue, 20th Floor
New York, NY 10017 
Fax: (212) 986-1838 

Your Excellencies,

On behalf of the 3,500 members of PEN American Center, an international organization of writers dedicated to protecting freedom of expression wherever it is threatened, we are writing to express our grave concern regarding that the continued disappearance of journalist Pregeeth Ekanaliyagoda.

According to our information, Pregeeth Ekanaliyagoda, political analyst, journalist, and visual designer for the Lanka eNews, was abducted on January 24, 2010, and has not been heard from since. No thorough and credible investigation into his case has been made and his wife has received no response to her repeated requests for information about her husband’s fate. There are fears that he has been targeted by pro-government forces for his open support of General Sarath Fonseka during Sri Lanka’s 2010 presidential elections, though government sources have denied the allegation. The Lanka eNews web site was reportedly blocked during the elections, and its offices were searched by unidentified individuals on January 28, 2010.

PEN American Center is seriously concerned that Pregeeth Ekanaliyagoda remains missing more than one year after his abduction, and fears that he has been disappeared in retaliation for his work as a journalist. We therefore urge the authorities to take immediate action to ensure that all crimes against journalists, including Pregeeth Ekanaliyagoda, are vigorously investigated and that those responsible be brought to justice in accordance with Article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which Sri Lanka is a state party.

Thank you for your consideration of this critical matter.

Hannah Pakula                                              
Chair, Freedom to Write Committee           
Larry Siems
Director, Freedom to Write and International Programs

CC: His Excellency Jaliya Wickramasuriya
Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Sri Lanka
to the United States of America
2148 Wyoming Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20008
Fax: (202) 232-7181

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