Asia

Hopes fade for justice for dead, lost Sri Lankan journalists

  • In this Monday, Jan. 23, 2017 photo, Sandya Ekneligoda, wife of disappeared journalist Prageeth Ekneligoda, turns pages of their wedding album while speaking to the Associated Press at her residence in Homagama, on the outskirts of Colombo, Sri Lanka. Hope is fading fast for the families of journalists who were killed or disappeared during the country's brutal, decades-long civil war with little action so far from a new government voted into power two years ago, activists and relatives said Tuesday. Sandya, who has fought for seven years to know the whereabouts of her abducted husband, says even though the Sirisena government brought hope for justice, its recent steps have dented her confidence. (AP Photo/Eranga Jayawardena)

    In this Monday, Jan. 23, 2017 photo, Sandya Ekneligoda, wife of disappeared journalist Prageeth Ekneligoda, turns pages of their wedding album while speaking to the Associated Press at her residence in Homagama, on the outskirts of Colombo, Sri Lanka. Hope is fading fast for the families of journalists who were killed or disappeared during the country's brutal, decades-long civil war with little action so far from a new government voted into power two years ago, activists and relatives said Tuesday. Sandya, who has fought for seven years to know the whereabouts of her abducted husband, says even though the Sirisena government brought hope for justice, its recent steps have dented her confidence. (AP Photo/Eranga Jayawardena)  (The Associated Press)

  • A Sri Lankan media rights activist signs a postcard addressed to president Maithripala Sirisena during a petition signing demanding that Sirisena appoint a presidential commission to investigate all abductions during the country's brutal, decades-long civil war, in Colombo, Sri Lanka, Tuesday, Jan. 24, 2017. One of Sirisena's campaign promises was to end the culture of impunity that allowed those excesses to continue unchecked but two years later there is little sign that the suspects, mostly government military soldiers would face punishment. (AP Photo/Eranga Jayawardena)

    A Sri Lankan media rights activist signs a postcard addressed to president Maithripala Sirisena during a petition signing demanding that Sirisena appoint a presidential commission to investigate all abductions during the country's brutal, decades-long civil war, in Colombo, Sri Lanka, Tuesday, Jan. 24, 2017. One of Sirisena's campaign promises was to end the culture of impunity that allowed those excesses to continue unchecked but two years later there is little sign that the suspects, mostly government military soldiers would face punishment. (AP Photo/Eranga Jayawardena)  (The Associated Press)

  • A poster showing a portrait of slain ethnic Tamil journalist S. Sugirtharajan is pasted on a wall as people await to place their signatures during a petition signing demanding that Sirisena appoint a presidential commission to investigate all abductions during the country's brutal, decades-long civil war, in Colombo, Sri Lanka, Tuesday, Jan. 24, 2017. One of Sirisena's campaign promises was to end the culture of impunity that allowed those excesses to continue unchecked but two years later there is little sign that the suspects, mostly government military soldiers would face punishment. Activists and relatives say hope is fading fast for the new Sri Lankan government to act against the perpetrators in the killings and disappearances of journalists during the long civil war or the country's previous administration.(AP Photo/Eranga Jayawardena)

    A poster showing a portrait of slain ethnic Tamil journalist S. Sugirtharajan is pasted on a wall as people await to place their signatures during a petition signing demanding that Sirisena appoint a presidential commission to investigate all abductions during the country's brutal, decades-long civil war, in Colombo, Sri Lanka, Tuesday, Jan. 24, 2017. One of Sirisena's campaign promises was to end the culture of impunity that allowed those excesses to continue unchecked but two years later there is little sign that the suspects, mostly government military soldiers would face punishment. Activists and relatives say hope is fading fast for the new Sri Lankan government to act against the perpetrators in the killings and disappearances of journalists during the long civil war or the country's previous administration.(AP Photo/Eranga Jayawardena)  (The Associated Press)

Activists and relatives say hope is fading fast for the new Sri Lankan government to act against the perpetrators in the killings and disappearances of journalists during the long civil war or the country's previous administration.

President Maithripala Siriena campaigned on a promise of ending a culture of impunity before he defeated the incumbent Mahinda Rajapaksa in the January 2015 election.

Rajapaksa's nine-year tenure saw dozens of journalists killed, abducted and tortured, forced to disappear or flee the country fearing for their lives. Scores more were killed or disappeared in the civil war that ended in 2009 with the defeat of the Tamil Tiger rebels.

Two years into Sirisena's presidency, there is little sign that the suspects, mostly military soldiers, will be punished.