France said yesterday there was “no evidence at all” to suggest that journalist Prageeth Ekneligoda, who disappeared in Sri Lanka three years ago, was living in that country. “We have no official confirmation whatsoever,” a spokesperson for the French Embassy in Colombo said.
The UPFA’s Puttalam District Parliamentarian Arundika Fernando told Parliament on Wednesday that Ekneligoda was living in France under disguise. In a clarifying statement on Friday, he claimed he had met Mr. Ekneligoda together with a onetime Sri Lankan journalist Manjula Wediwardena. He claimed that the cartoonist had shaved his head and was in disguise.
A private TV channel on Friday night featured Mr. Fernando in a programme where he repeated the same claims. He said he was a good friend of Mr. Wediwardena. In the MP’s presence, the TV channel telephoned Mr. Wediwardena in France. “I do not know Mr. Fernando at all. I have never met him,” Mr. Wediwardena replied.