Families of missing cartoonist/journalist need help

If so moved, learn more at the Journalist Assistance Fund.

Sri Lankan cartoonist and political reporter Prageeth Eknelygoda disappeared almost one year ago today. He was last seen leaving the Colombo offices of the political Website Lanka eNews, where he worked, late on the evening of Sunday, January 24, 2010. No one has heard from Eknelygoda since.

To this day, Eknelygoda’s 2009 abduction has not been investigated. But even worse is the fact that no government body has been able to give Sandhya Eknelygoda a clue about where her husband might be. She said she has been to Sri Lanka’s Human Rights Commission and received no answer. She has filed a case at the court of appeals, but the case has not gone to trial. She has petitioned the president, and has written time and again to other high ranking officials, but has received no information about her husband’s whereabouts or about the investigation into his disappearance. The government has made promises, yes, but a year later, nothing has come to light. And yet Sandhya Eknelygoda continues to fight for answers.

She is also fighting to support her two teenage sons, Sanjay and Harith. Both boys, she says, are struggling with the psychological consequences of their father’s disappearance. Moreover, with Sandhya as the household’s sole breadwinner, the family is struggling daily to make ends meet. Food and education expenses are particular concerns.

Sri Lankan colleagues and international organizations, including CPJ, have donated funds to help support Eknelygoda’s family. However, on the eve of the anniversary of the journalist’s disappearance, it is more clear than ever that the family will need long-term financial support while they struggle to find answers.

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