Senior DIG Ravi Waidyalankara’s wife, Essala Pathirage Mary Basilica, assumed directorship of a company along with the wife of Mr. Edwards, whom the FCID is assigned to investigate for suspected money laundering.
Meanwhile, a company owned by the SDIG Waidyalankara’s son–Asela Jayampathy Rajasundara Waidyalankara–paid Rs 52mn to buy a flat in Monarch Residencies in Kollupitiya. This is the registered address of Soorya International (Pvt) Ltd whose directors are Purni Priyanji Menike Edwards and recently retired DIG Waidyalankara’s wife Mary Basilica.
This week, Asela Waidyalankara wrote through his lawyers to the National Elections Commission (NEC) claiming their appearance at the FCID would be targeted by interested parties in the print and electronic media to “gain an advantage to certain candidates contesting the election.” He said this would violate certain election laws and directives of the NEC.
Asela Waidyalankara requested the NEC to direct the FCID to postpone the inquiry till after November 20 and gave assurance that he and his mother would present themselves for the inquiry.
National Election Commission Chairman Mahinda Deshapriya yesterday confirmed that such a letter was received.
But he denied reports that his office directed the police to postpone summoning the two members of the Waidyalankara family.
“We have not said or sent anything to the police regarding this,” he told the Sunday Times.
The investigation into Rienzie Edwards’ assets began in 2016 and was not connected in any way to politics, Police Spokesman Ruwan Gunasekera said. However, after Mr Waidyalankara’s connections with the businessman were revealed to court by the FCID, some media groups politicised the issue, saying that he was targeted because he voiced support for Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) presidential candidate Gotabaya Rajapaksa.
“The FCID investigation is in no way connected to his public proclamations,” SSP Gunasekera said. Ms Waidyalankara was previously summoned twice to record her statement but she evaded inquiry.
“They were told to come again on November 4 and 5 and that is still valid,” he said, adding that the police received no instructions or requests from the NEC to postpone or consider postponing the inquiry.
Purni Edwards is the wife of Rienzie Mahesh Kumara Edwards, who in 2017 was indicted by the US Attorney’s Office along with five others for allegedly defrauding several people of more than US$ 50 million. The Sunday Times obtained a copy of the 22-page indictment filed in December 2016. It alleges that an unspecified percentage of the US$ 50 million the group is alleged to have swindled was sent to bank accounts in Sri Lanka.
FCID court submissions show a clear connection between details contained in the US indictment and information uncovered in Sri Lanka. Local investigations were started on a complaint filed with the FCID that a property belonging to Asiri Central Hospital was bought by Mr. Edwards for Rs 2.6bn at 37, Horton Place, Colombo 7.