It has been an exact decade since the disappearance of Journalist Prageeth Eknaligoda.
On the night of January 24, 2010, Eknaligoda was abducted by a group of assailants in Rajagiriya, and investigations revealed he was abducted by members of the army intelligence and kept in Girithale Army Intelligence Unit.
Following a lengthy investigation amid endless obstacles, indictments were filed against nine army intelligence officials on November 2019 on the allegations of plotting the abduction of Prageeth Ranjan Bandara Eknaligoda in Battaramulla, Adalachchena and Akkarapaththuwa by involving a group of people unfamiliar with the complaint in the time between January 24 and 27, 2010, thereby abducting and murdering him acting as members of an unlawful assembly.
These army intelligence officials were recognized as commanding officer of Girithale Army Camp Lieutenant Colonal Shammi Arjun Kumararatne, R.M.P.K Rajapaksa aka Nadan, Vinee Priyantha Dilanjan Upasena aka Suresh, S.M. Ravindra Rupasena aka Ranji, Y.M. Chaminda Kumara Abeyratne, S.M. Kanshka Gunaratne, Aiyasami Balasubramaniyam, D.G. Tharanga Prasad Gamage and T.E.R. Peiris.
Eknaligoda was abducted, subjected to torture, murdered, drowned the dead body in a swamp and later thrown the decapitated body to the sea, investigations revealed.
The crime, or the revenge, did not stop after the murder of Eknaligoda. There were early propagation that the slain journalist was not abducted and he instead fled the country and lives in France in good health. The propagation was maliciously backed by then ministers and the highest law enforcement officers. However, they were later forced to admit that all were lies.
Eknaligoda was later branded to have committed treason by spying for the LTTE. Fake voice recordings were produced to back the theory. However, the intelligence units had to admit that the slain journalist had no connections to any act of terrorism whatsoever. Even recently, a person associated with the present government carried out a mudslinging campaign that Eknaligoda resides in Dubai, only to be later proved a blatant lie.
People who were responsible for the murder of Eknaligoda intended to cover up the case by destroying his character in a more aggressive approach, but failed.
The shield that stood against endless harassment and the cover up of Ekneligoda's murder was his loving wife Sandya Eknaligoda, a warrior woman. Endlessly being harassed, insulted and threatened in all dimensions for being a woman in the battle, she stood fierce with her relentless energy on the mission for justice, turning down many powerful fists that attempted to cover up the crime. She should be honoured.
The Good Governance that came to power promising to serve justice to the case of Prageeth Eknaligoda acted numb in the face of judicial procedure. The case has been turned on the side of the rulers that allegedly committed the crime once again. It is regrettable to witness that the case is now being heard contoured by a government that came to power by promising to release prisoners who according to them are war heroes. Their definition of 'war heroes' showcases the abductors of Eknaligoda as well. The CID officials who involved in the case in particular have now either fled from the country or been removed and suspended from duties. May the Lady Justice shed light upon the vulnerable!
Media is defined as the fourth government in a democratic society. But Eknaligoda from the shadows of the vanquished shows us how the first, second and third governments, the Executive, the Legislature and the Judiciary treat the fourth, over and over again!
We, in the name of truth and humanity, standing beside the pools of blood sacrificed for justice, say, we have not forgotten anything, nor we ever will!