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Missing journalist's wife in Geneva, confers with GTF chief

2014 Mar 21

by Shamindra Ferdinando

Sandhya Ekneligoda, wife of missing media personality, Prageeth is now in Geneva to back US-led resolution targeting Sri Lanka at the ongoing Geneva-based United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) session

On her arrival in Geneva, Mrs. Ekneligoda was met by Rev. Father, S. J. Emmanuel, head of the UK based Global Tamil Forum (GTF), one of the most influential Diaspora grouping wanting to haul Sri Lanka up before an international war crimes tribunal.

Tamil sources told The Island yesterday that Mrs. Ekneligoda, in an interview with a website operated by Srigugan, Switzerland-based brother of Illankai Tamil Arasu Kadchi (ITAK) MP, Sivagnanam Sritharan reiterated her accusations that the Sri Lankan government was responsible for the disappearance of her husband several years ago. Sources said that the Diaspora felt that Mrs. Ekneligoda’s representations were as important as those made by Northern Provincial Council member, Ananthi Sasitharan over the past few days.

Sources said that in spite of some differences among major Diaspora groups, they were working on a common agenda to secure the support of member states of the UNHRC for the US-UK led resolution. The 47-member UNHRC is divided into five regional groupings.

Sources said that Diaspora groups were also planning to bring Vathsala Devi, wife of one-time LTTE Batticaloa District leader, ‘Colonel’ T. Ramesh to Geneva. US-based Devi had been working closely with the Tamil Eelam Transnational Government (TGTE) headed by one-time LTTE legal advisor, attorney-at-law, V. Rudrakumaran, sources said.

Asked whether the GTF had facilitated Mrs. Ekneligoda’s visit to Geneva, GTF spokesperson, Suren Surendiran said that the group wasn’t involved. Speaking to The Island from Geneva, Surendiran said: "We feel the pain of Mrs. Sandhya Ekneligoda, her two young children as a family still searching for their disappeared husband and father. Therefore we meet her, talk to her, share her grief, introduce her to people who could help her find out the fate of her husband’s. We will continue to work with Sandhya and others who are in similar circumstances."

Surendiran further said: "However we are working in every international forum that we have access to exposing the current human rights situation and the need for accountability, justice and a negotiated political settlement that will address the Tamil National question comprehensively for sustained reconciliation between communities for all the peoples of the island to enjoy durable peace in the future."

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