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Asian Games: Two Sri Lankan athletes go missing in South Korea

Colombo: Two Sri Lankan sportsmen were missing from their Asian Games village and believed to have run away looking for jobs in the host nation South Korea, official sources said yesterday.

A hockey player and a member of the beach volleyball team were unaccounted for at the time Sri Lanka's 80-strong contingent prepared to leave on Saturday.

Official sources identified the missing hockey player as Prasanna Dissanayake, a Sri Lankan soldier, and speculated that he may have run away to look for a job in South Korea.

The missing beach volleyball player was not immediately identified, but was also thought to be a member of the armed forces.

Sri Lanka secured a gold and a bronze, both for cricket, at the games. In 2004, a Sri Lankan handball team vanished during a tournament in Germany.

Later it was discovered that the 23-member team had no authority to represent the island and had tricked the German organisers from the start.

Over a million Sri Lankans are employed abroad and sent back nearly $4.0 billion in the first half of this year. There have been instances of Sri Lankans leaving the island illegally to see more lucrative employment abroad.

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