Sri Lankan human rights activists called for the release Tuesday of two colleagues they say were abducted nine months ago by the Sri Lankan military. The military has repeatedly denied involvement in the disappearance of Lalith Kumar Weeraraju, 29, and Kugan Muruganandan, 34. The two members of the Movement for People’s Struggle disappeared in December while organizing a news conference in the former war zone of Jaffna marking international human rights day. Colleague and opposition lawmaker Ajith Kumara said he and other activists have information that the two are being detained by the military and are being interrogated and tortured. Kumara and other activists, opposition politicians, teachers and union members signed a petition Tuesday demanding their release. He said the two were abducted because they were attempting to safeguard the rights of people in the area, a focus of fighting in the country’s 26-year civil war. Since the war’s end, the government has maintained a heavy military presence in the north despite international calls for a reduction of troops there. Scores of ethnic Tamils suspected of having links with the rebels have disappeared.]]>

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