Sri Lanka has 'no idea' about missing 'anti-government' website reporter's whereabouts
Colombo, June 6 (ANI): A senior Sri Lankan official has said that he has no clue about the whereabouts of a missing journalist.
Former Attorney-General Mohan Peiris has for seven months said he believed the man was alive and living abroad, the BBC reports.
Peiris was summoned before a magistrates' court that is looking into the disappearance of journalist and cartoonist Prageeth Ekneligoda two years ago.
Ekneligoda worked for an anti-government website, Lankaenews.com, and vanished two days before the 2010 presidential election which saw incumbent President Mahinda Rajapaksa defeat former army chief Sarath Fonseka.
In court, Peiris, now a legal adviser to the cabinet, gave a confused account of what he had actually said in Geneva, saying that he had heard it from 'intelligence' and from 'hearsay'.
Peiris said: "We do not know the truth or falsity" of the matter and he wished he could shed more light on it.
Under cross-examination, he said he could not recall which government department gave him the information that Ekneligoda was alive.
The court wanted to hear more on his assertion, made before a UN committee in November, that he believed Ekneligoda was alive and living in a foreign country.
After the hearing, human rights campaigner Nimalka Fernando accused the government of behaving irresponsibly.
"If you look at the manner in which these responsible people - who are also supposed to be advisers to the cabinet - behave, it shows the utter insensitivity that they have to the crime of disappearances," she said. (ANI)
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