MP Fernando says he was introduced to Ekneligoda in France by journalist Wediwardena
Posted on June 7th, 2013

By Saman Indrajith Courtesy Island

Puttalam District UPFA MP Arundika Fernando yesterday told Parliament that writer and journalist Manjula Wediwardena, living in self exile, had introduced journalist Prageeth Ekneligoda to him in France.

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Raising a privilege issue in Parliament, MP Fernando said that Ekneligoda had shaven his head and was disguised, but others had recognised him. Ekneligoda also participated in an anti-Lankan protest in Geneva with Sunanda Deshapriya, the MP said.

Fernando said: In my address to this August assembly on 05.06.2013, during the debate on regulations under the Sri Lanka Press Council Act, I stated that I had met a person suspected to be journalist Prageeth Ekneligoda, said to have gone missing. Following this statement, print, electronic and online media, including several websites, have criticized me, levelled accusations, allegations against me and the Government.

One such statement made by Sandya Eknaligoda, the wife of Prageeth, says the government had got her husband to disappear and if the latter was alive, the government should bring him back to the country.

I really feel sorry about the statement and had she been a woman that really loved her husband and respected the values of Asian women, she should have met me following my revelation and asked further details of her husband, instead of becoming a tool in the hands of persons with various vested interests.

The statements she made after my statement and what she made previously to that, indicate that she was aware of the fact that her husband is alive and of his whereabouts. She has made use of this issue to work against this country.

For example, she had once told the BBC that her husband had been abducted by the government over some information Prageeth had provided to the diplomatic missions in Colombo on some military operations, where chemical weapons were used against the people in the North. She had also written letters to some foreign writers, who had arrived in Galle to attend a literary festival, not to visit Sri Lanka where she said that the murders and abductions are prevalent.

Following are the statements she made:

1. “In 2008, Prageeth wrote and informed the diplomats about Sri Lankan government’s use of chemical weapons against the people in the north,” she told the BBC.

2. “I welcome you, to a country, where thousands of women and children weep silent tears for a nation of innocent civilians who have been killed or disappeared on account of their ethnicity. Welcome to Sri Lanka” “”…” Sandhya Eknaligoda’s letter to international writers.

I have no trust in the words of a woman that works and issues statements against the motherland.

Today, the technology has improved that there is no need to have direct telephone connections to maintain contacts. There are various alternatives such as Chat, Skype, Facebook and satellite phones and the possibility of using various assumed names and accounts. I would like to mention to this House the fact that such accounts can never be monitored successfully.

She also says that her husband does not have a passport. It is not a secret to our countrymen that there are various methods used by a large number of people to leave the country without a valid passport. There are many who had fled this country violating the immigration rules and procedures.

I made my exposure on the basis of facts I received from one of my classmates Manjula Wediwardena, now living in France, when I visited him recently. Manjula Wediwardena introduced me to a short person with a shaven head and said he was Prageeth Eknaligoda. This person then evaded me and left the place without speaking to me. A large number of persons who were there had identified him as Prageeth Eknaligoda.

On another occasion, people had identified Sunanda Deshapriya wearing a turban and participating in an anti-Sri Lankan demonstration opposite the United Nations office in Geneva recently. Along with Deshapriya, there had been another person who had shaven off his hair and people had identified the latter as Prageeth Eknaligoda.

It is my opinion that those who campaign against their motherland in exile and those who aid and abet them should be told that they could come back to this country the way they left it. If they are forcibly held or detained by some persons or organizations against their will, our government would bring them home acting within the existing laws and regulations. It is my feeling that our security forces and intelligence units are working to achieve this target.

I would like to mention that it was not I who create mental confusions among the children of Prageeth Ekneligoda but those who keep his existence and whereabouts a secret.

Honourable Speaker, the propaganda and media mudsling against me, making use of what I had said in the Assembly, amounts to the breach of my privileges and I request that your attention be paid to this.

Presiding Member Janaka Bandara Tennekoon referred the matter to the Privilege Committee

One Response to “MP Fernando says he was introduced to Ekneligoda in France by journalist Wediwardena”

  1. S de Silva Says:

    This is an urgent mattter that the GoSL should instruct our French embassy to follow up

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