13 Dec 2011

Fears held for missing pair

1:03 pm on 13 December 2011

Fears have been expressed in Sri Lanka for the lives of two human rights workers who disappeared in the northern city of Jaffna late on Friday. They are the latest in a series of disappearance in recent weeks.

Police in Jaffna say they have no information about the whereabouts of the two men and are investigating.

The Asian Human Rights Commission issued a statement on Monday calling on the government to ensure that cases of "forced disappearances" are thoroughly and effectively investigated.

The BBC reports Lalith Kumar Weeraraj and Kugan Muruganathan were part of a group that had been organising protests in Colombo for several months, bringing relatives of missing people to the capital to highlight their desperation.

A rally was planned by the two men for Jaffna on Saturday, but they went missing before it could happen - apparently abducted while travelling by motor bike.

There are reports of at least nine other men being abducted within the past couple of months, all of them in or near the capital.

The Sunday Times newspaper there quoted eyewitnesses as saying they were bundled away in white vans.