Unwarranted Publicity Costs Angela Seneviratne Her Career
By Faraz Shauketaly
Angela Seneviratne, the former Miss Sri Lanka and actress has called on the media to be more responsible when reporting – however sensational the storyline may appear at the time the news breaks.
Seneviratne has been cleared by the Police of any involvement in the drug smuggling case and has been provided with a ‘Police Clearance’. In the meantime she has ‘lost’ her job at The Saudi Arabian embassy where she had served for the past 11 years. Our sources indicate that Seneviratne has made an appeal which is being considered by the Embassy officials.
Meanwhile the couple who have rented out the house in Hudson Road, Colombo 3, Ryan and Christine Holsinger, have returned to Sri Lanka from Switzerland where they were holidaying and taken stock of the situation and predicament they are faced with. The Holsingers who occupy the house have apparently given one of their lodgers Udesh Hettiarachchi his marching orders – the other two ‘house guests’ – both British nationals – needed no such orders as both are being held by the Police after having been arrested. Brutton Saul who was arrested at the Central Mail Exchange (CME) premises, has roots to Sri Lanka with his mother being a Sri Lankan. The other Briton who fled the CME, J. W. Fegan was arrested at the Bandaranaike International Airport.
The Hudson Road house which is at the centre of the Drug smuggling operation is owned by a Sri Lankan, Amitha De Silva who lives in Sydney, Australia. The house was rented out over ten years ago to the Lanka Oberoi Hotel where Angela’s husband worked as Executive Assistant Manager. Angela and her children lived in this house during that period. Although she moved out nearly a decade ago and notified banks, utility companies and others of her new address, some of her fans continued to write to her old address. As a former beauty queen and actress including her roles both on screen and off with the late Gamini Fonseka, Seneviratne continues to have an adoring base of fans – and it is entirely possible that Saul and Fegan came across old mail addressed to the actress at Hudson Road. It is also questionable as to why she was not notified of incoming mail despite both Ryan and Christine Holsinger knowing who Angela is and where she could be contacted.
The nexus of friendship between Ryan and Christine Holsinger, Brutton Saul, Fegan and Udesh Hettiarachchi has ended up in the present conundrum. For the Holsingers, the attendant publicity is anything but good news: Christine is Secretary to the Ambassador of Switzerland in Colombo, Thomas Litscher. Angela Seneviratne too was a Secretary with 11 years service at the Saudi Arabian embassy, Ryan Holsinger flippantly describes himself as being a graduate from the ‘Hikkaduwa School of Economics’ and states that his employment is a ‘Distant memory’. In fact he is a Senior Copywriter with Masters DBB advertising agency. Udesh Hettiarachchi a resident of Maharagama, named to the Police as being the architect of forging Miss Seneviratne’s signature for the benefit of the Central Mail Exchange is a Graphic Designer and Art Director, Physical Instructor and Rowing Coach who attended a prestigious school that prides itself in its traditions.
This brings to light that he was clearly aware who Angela Seneviratne is in the world of Theatre and Cinema. Indeed all those involved in this unsavoury episode appear to be those that have had the benefit of a sound education and have been exposed to all the best opportunities that life can offer. Says Seneviratne, “it almost beggars belief that these youth have thrown their upbringing through the window and sunk to such depths”.
Following on the Police statement that Angela Seneviratne was cleared of any wrongdoing in this case, Seneviratne has been approached by parties connected to Udesh Hettiarachchi asking for her assistance in clearing Hettiarachchi from his part in the attempt to clear the parcel of drugs. Seneviratne told The Sunday Leader that, “I have no wish to attempt to pervert the course of justice such as it is in Sri Lanka. The attempt was made privately but nevertheless the interested parties have failed to understand the ramifications: it is the Sri Lanka Police who will prosecute and I have no involvement whatsoever”.
Miss Seneviratne added that the persons were clearly insensitive to her predicament. “They asked me to consider Udesh Hettiarachchi’s position saying he was unfortunate to be at the wrong place at the wrong time. However what about my predicament? I had nothing whatever to do with this unsavoury episode. I have now lost my job, my future and indeed my present, in addition to casting aspersions on my past which I worked with dedication and honesty to achieve. Thanks to these irresponsible people who have shown absolute disregard for our laws. Would they have done any of this in the United Kingdom? Do they do this because they think it is ‘alright’ to do so in an emerging country?”