Journalist abducted in Sri Lanka freed after appeals

Aug 30, 2006 (AFP) – An abducted Sri Lankan radio journalist held overnight was freed Wednesday by unidentified men after appeals for his safe return. Nadaraja Guruparan, a member of the minority Tamil community, said he was forced out of his car Tuesday as he drove to his radio station, Surayan FM, but treated well by his captors.

“They had a few questions and thereafter they released me this morning,” Guruparan said to the radio station’s listeners on Wednesday.

Police Inspector-General Chandra Fernando said they needed the journalist’s cooperation to track down the abductors.

Dozens of colleagues demonstrated outside the main railway station in Colombo Tuesday demanding his release.

No group has yet claimed responsibility for the kidnapping, which came amid escalating violence in Sri Lanka’s three-decade-old ethnic conflict.

Some 1,500 people have been killed since December following an upsurge in fighting, while more than 60,000 have been killed since the conflict began.

There has also been a spate of attacks against journalists, newspapers and even newspaper delivery boys.

A large number of journalists, some Tamils an