Former foreign minister and the Spokesman for the UNP Mangala Samaraweera said he believed the government was behind the spate of
kidnappings, which he said were now being used to suppress any opposition or dissent, the Telegraph news agency reported.
Before the end of the civil war in May 2009, there was a series of ‘White Van’ kidnappings and assassinations of government critics and opponents linked to the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Elaam (LTTE), including the murder of newspaper editor Lasantha Wickramatunga, who was shot dead by motorcycle gunmen. But since October last year there have been 30 new ‘White Van’ disappearances, including several dissident figures within the government, said Mr Samaraweera.
"There has been an upsurge in White Van abductions since last October. Even the United States State Department has inquired of the government
the status of its inquiries into these abductions.
Before they were launched against LTTE suspects, but now they are using these tacticsagainst dissidents within the government," he said.