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An appeal to goddess Kali

Journalist and political cartoonist Prageeth Ekneligoda was abducted and possibly disappeared on 24th January in 2010. His disappearances marked 9 years to on the 24th January. Sandya Ekneligoda, his wife still searches for answers to know what happened to him. She is still seeking justice even after 9 years of his disappearance.  But the mechanisms and legal investigations are inapt and slow and, moreover the process is hampered by the political interference. In the absence of secular mechanisms to establish justice, On 24thJanuary Sandya Ekneligoda appealed to Goddess Kali for truth and Justice. The ritualistic event took place right in front of the President secretariat building at Galle face Colombo.  Names of the people whom were suspected for the crime were accused by writing their names on eggs. The numbers of coconuts were placed with red flowers along with oil lamps. Joysticks were lit. The bottle of turmeric water was placed by the side. Prayers were written on papers and were clipped at the bottom of the image …  desired punishments were written on set of banana leaves in red and white and were hanging them at the bottom of the line of the image.  Kali was holding a photo of Prageeth . Sandya started the chanting …. by the end, the pandam, kspuru and katakumanjal  were lit . Sandya said. “this flame is not just what you see it’s the flame that burning inside my heart” …  coconuts were splashed. Ashes mixed to the blowing wind … The eggs were broken … no one knows how … only Kali knows!

The prayer event was started when I reached to Gall face green. The temporary shrine was set up at the see side of the pavement right in front of the president secretariat building.  the image of Kali and a banner were hang on the fence. Sun was setting, the sea breeze was dry.

Sandya moved to the other side of the road. The participants followed her. She wanted to continue the rest of here prayers from this end.

All of a sudden, a man with a camouflage bottom and white sleeveless top and boots came on green color trial motorbike . He interrupted to Sandya’s peaceful event by insulting, scolding with filth words and imitating vulgar actions. not only that, he threats to Sandya and   the rest of the participants, journalist and myself too. Then he raced the motor bike twice and ride towards the Galle while the Police officers were watching from a few meters of a distance at the roadside.  but didn’t take any action against him. instead the police interrupted Sandya and asked her to leave the premises saying it’s a high security zone therefor no permission will be granted for any such prayer activities. They asked her to move to the idols along with the ritual items. They told her that If she didn’t leave the place they will ask the Women Police Constable to move here away.

The discussion about media freedom in Sri Lanka take place in such context. Journalist and political cartoonist Prageeth Eknaligda was disappeared in 2010. Lasantha Wickremathunge; senior journalist and editor of Sunday Leader was shot in dead in the middle of a road in January 2009.  The two court cases are still going on but the process is becoming extremely slow due to the political interferences. Senior Tamil journalist and political analysist Darmarathnam Sivaram was abducted and murdered in April in 2005. His body was found at the high security zone of Sri Lanka nearby parliament which is very problematic and the case was unveiled.  Not only that but also and many other journalists were abducted and disappeared during last 10, 15 years. justice was not reached. instead all these victims became a most popular topic during the election campaigns including the previous presidential election which current president was appointed. instead all these victims became a most popular topic during the election campaigns including the previous presidential election which current president was appointed. They were double victimized became a victim in this system of hypocrisy.  They were double victimized became a victim in this system of hypocrisy. Therefor media freedom or freedom of expression is a difficult task which has to be achieved through hard works. Then what about the democracy in Sri Lanka !!!

the temporary Kali shrine , Sandya Ekneligoda and two other participant

Prageeth Eknaligod’s photo was placed in the center of Kalis Image 
desired punishments were written on set of  papers and banana leaves in red and white 
Ninoile lamps ,  Nine Coconets , Nine pots were placed  along with  red flowers at the bottom of the Kalis image. 

Nine eggs were placed in a tray  at the center  Names of the people whom were suspected for the crime were accused by writing their names on eggs.banana leaves  with the disired punishments at the bottom of the Kali’s Image  katakumanjal were burnet in  the nine pots , while Sandyas prayers continue …  Sandya moved to the other side of the road.  The participants followed her.Sandya keep continue her prayes  An stranger on a back  who intrepted to Sandys peaceful  eventNot only Sandya he insulted to the other participant as well 

Mean time the police were watching from a few meters away 

The police interrupted  to Sandya and asked her to leave the premisesThe police officers ask her to remove the banner and image of Kali  paerticipants were  trying  to explain while a policeman is removing the banner

A policeman removing the banner

paerticipant were  trying to expain yet the police want Sandya  to leave the venue Sandya keep continue her prayers while police interuption . After a sevaral explanations   ….  Yet they want to stop the event but participant  demand to keep continue the peaceful ritualistic event
Maen time Kali ; the Goddess   and Sandyas offering  Sandya keep continue the ritual  prticipants are still explaining to the police  Sandya lited the  Pandam and Kapuru  .  kapuru were placeed on nine coconuts  

Sandya and participant  chant the appeal 

Eges were broken  ….Nine  coconuts were splashed 

“this flame is not just what you see it’s the flame that burning inside my heart”

Waruni Anuruddhika  / 24th January 2019 / Image captured with Canon 5D Mark III  24-70