Sri Lanka: Pastor and three others missing

General March 6, 2007


Report - 6th march 2007


Pastor Victor Emmanuel Yogarajan (51) his two sons Daniel Yogarajan (22), David Yogarajan (20) and another young man Joseph Sugandakumar (20) have been reported missing since the 2nd of March 2007.

Reports from the Pastor's family and the Vavuniya Clergy Fellowship say that Pastor Yogarajan from the Gospel Missionary Church in Vavuniya was in Colombo with his two sons and another young man to make some travel arrangements for them through a travel agent. According to reports, they were last seen leaving the house in which they stayed overnight in Negombo on the morning of 2nd March 2007 to go to the bus stop, presumably to travel to Colombo.

Since then, their whereabouts are unknown. A complaint has been made by the family with the Vavuniya Police.
The Negombo Police, when contacted, was not able to shed any light on the whereabouts of the four men.

This incident is one of an alarming number of disappearances. In statement issued on the 2nd of March 2007, the Asian Human Rights Commission said that a disappearance occurs in Sri Lanka every five hours. The The Civil Monitoring Committee on Extra Judicial Killings and Disappearances said (on the 4th of March 2007), that they have received nearly 100 complaints of disappearances from Colombo and other areas.

The country was shocked by news of five bodies which were recovered from a marsh in Muthurajawela, Kandana (Gampaha District) on the 2nd of March 2007. It is believed that the unidentified victims were shot and killed elsewhere and their bodies dumped in the marsh. This incident prompted the main opposition UNP warned that the country was plunging towards an era of terror and anarchy.

Given this general status quo, the family members are extremely distressed and fear for the safety of Pastor Yogarajan and the others.
06/03/2007 NCEASL