4:10 PM

I’m not a thief,’’ says Edwin Ariyadasa,-- Who Believe You

The police investigating a massive financial fraud committed by a person who called himself Deshamanya Sakvithi Ranasinghe Sir are in a dilemma over the action to be taken against Edwin Ariyadasa, a prominent media personality who had functioned as the joint director of S. R. Property Sharing Investment (Private) Limited, set up by the suspected conman.

With the help of Ariyadasa, one of Sakvithi’s employees had visited `Temple Trees’ where he had the opportunity being photographed with the President, the sources said.

Ariyadasa has received a monthly payment of Rs. 100,000 for promoting the business interests of the suspect. The sources said that under an agreement the suspect had with Rupavahini, he conducted English classes on the national channel (Sunday afternoon at 3.30 p.m.). The agreement with Rupavahini followed his agreement with TNL to air English classes, the sources said

Ariyadasa told The News-Lanka that he too was deceived by Sakvithi Sir. Responding to our queries, he said that he received a monthly payment of Rs. 100,000 inclusive of a range of allowances.

"But I was never part his financial dealings," he said, acknowledging that his name had been exploited to entice depositors.

Ariyadasa had joined Sakvithi in April last year on the invitation of Lanka Jayawardene who had been with the Agriculture Department for a long period. "We met on April 18, 2007," Ariyadasa said, adding that he had received appointment as the Programme Director of IT Management Solution which was primarily responsible for promoting Sakvithi’s English training package.

"Believe me, I am not thief," the respected media personality said when The News-Lanka asked him whether he was fully aware of the exploitation of his name to dupe thousands of people.

According to him, Sakvithi through his contacts in the Army and the Health Ministry had the opportunity to market his English training course at training facilities for nurses and army bases at Weli Oya, Maduru Oya, Galkulama, Galkiriyagama, Nelunkulama, Minneriya and Polonnaruwa and many other areas.

"Both officers and men brought course material priced at Rs. 3,000," Ariyadasa said, adding that Sakvithi had at least 100 employees based at his head office. "It was a big operation and people I am sure were tempted by unprecedented interests offered," he said.

Asked about his visit to Temple Trees with K. B. Kesara, an executive with Sakvithi’s group, Ariyadasa said that the President had invited him on December 3 last year to felicitate him on his birthday.

"Kesara offered to take me to Temple Trees and he accompanied me to the meeting with the President." Ariyadasa failed to explain how the Sakvithi executive who offered to drop him at Temple Trees had managed to gain entry without being invited.

Ariyadasa said that Sakvithi was a monster who deceived him and destroyed his image.

Police headquarters yesterday said that over 800 complaints had been received by Saturday. Police said they weren’t in a position to estimate the total amount of money collected by the fraudster as complaints were being received even now.

The total number of depositors could be over 4,100, police said on the basis of the documents recovered from Sakvithi’s office. But now every one know who is Ariyadasa


Anonymous said...

sri lanka police has not sought interpol help to arrest sakvithi ranasinghe.I browsed the interpol site but there was no referencr to him.