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Asian Tribune is published by E-LANKA MEDIA(PVT)Ltd. Vol. 20 No. 101

Daily Mirror journalist narrowly escapes "white van" abduction attempt in Colombo streets

Colombo, 19 April, ( S.S. Selvanayagam, a senior reporter attached to Daily Mirror newspaper (Colombo) narrowly escaped the now infamous "white van" abduction attempt on his life on the evening of April 17. The "white van" abductions are now a commonplace "enforced" disappearance occurrences in Sri Lanka where paramilitary teams arrive in a white coloured van without a number plate and grab designated persons, sometimes resulting in victim's permanent disappearance.

On April 16, the Asian Human Rights Commission announced that in 2007 alone 300 "white van" cases have been cited in Sri Lanka.

Mr. S.S. Selvanayagam, a senior courts correspondent for Daily Mirror, was returning from his office late evening on 17th around 7:00 pm to his home in Wellawatte (Colombo 6). He was busily walking on the main thoroughfare called the "Galle Road" when a white van suddenly surfaced.

"They came from nowhere" he said, speaking to the Asiantribune. "They threatened me shouting 'We know who you are. We know what you are upto. Now let's go.." Therafter, Mr. Selvanayagam managed to escape by quickly hanging on to an omni-bus that was passing by.

Asked of the possible reason for the attempt, Mr. Selvanayagam said his news report on the Sinhalese Tigers titled "Suspects tortured and made to confess: Counsel" on April 9 in the Daily Mirror "could be the cause". In this case ,known as the case of the 'Sinhala Koti' (Sinhala Tigers), the Terrorist Investigation Division (TID) arrested and produced several Sinhalese individuals suspected of terrorist activities.

Mr. Selvanayagam also reported continuously on the recent arrest and detention of 'Mawbima' journalist Ms. Munusami Parameswari who was released recently.

- Asian Tribune -

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