Is Janaki the mastermind? | Sunday Observer
Thilini Priyamali drama

Is Janaki the mastermind?

13 November, 2022

Complaints against the wealthy Thilini Priyamali now stand at 13. Even though investigations have revealed that over a hundred persons have fallen victim to her scam, the majority have opted to not come forward to complain against her, perhaps concerned they will have to reveal the source of their funds.

However her decision to defraud former Governor of the Western province Azath Salley and a friend of his has now led to her downfall with Salley providing investigators key information on Priyamali, her business acquaintances and dealings. He has even provided the authorities with audio clips found missing on her mobile device. On analysis of these clips it is now evident that Janaki Siriwardhana was one of the masterminds behind this scam.

Siriwardhana is the daughter-in-law of a famous family of artists in Sri Lanka. Beginning her career as a business marketing executive, over the years she has risen up the ranks becoming a powerful figure in Sri Lankan society due to her connections with other powerful persons in the country.


It is believed she was able to clinch the top post of an Indian mixed development project due to these connections. At the time of her arrest, Siriwardhana continued to be serving as a Managing Director of the organisation.

Rumour has it that Siriwardhana would even join in on diplomatic visits to other countries. On one occasion during a visit to Libya, Siriwardhana was provided with a private chartered plane by its former leader Muammar Gaddafi so that she could return to Sri Lanka in an emergency.

While many expressed their doubts on her possible arrest, the CID nevertheless arrested Siriwardhana after gathering relevant proof in order to prevent any obstruction of the investigations or attempts to influence witnesses to the case.

CID investigations have revealed that Siriwardhana convinced many businessmen and others to invest in Priyamali’s business. She had provided Priyamali a part of her own office to meet potential investors while she even allowed her to meet businessmen in her luxury apartment located in Colombo. However it remains unclear as to why Siriwardhana supported Priyamali and for what benefit.

The one-time friends have now turned into enemies resulting in authorities having to incarcerate Siriwardhane at the Negombo prison instead of the Welikada prison women’s section where Priyamali is being held due to the sudden rift between the two.

It is said things had soured between the two even prior to Priyamali’s arrest after Siriwardhane was unable to prevent the CID from hunting down Priyamali. It is said the latter had believed Siriwardhane had the power to protect her from the law.


CID revealed Priyamali was introduced to the higher echelons of society by Siriwardhane who portrayed her as multi billionaires. Through these connections Priyamali was able to forge connections with politicians and even top cops allowing her to carry out her activities without any hindrance.

The CID has found out through audio clips sent to Siriwardhane by Priyamali that Priyamali had spent lavishly on Siriwardhane using funds she gained through fraud.

One audio clip revealed that Rs. 37.5 million had been obtained by Siriwardhane to pay for a vehicle used by one Gnanasara Thera among many other such deals.

The CID is yet to reveal the exact Gnanasara Thera mentioned in the clip but confirms Borella Siri Sumana Thera was not the only member of clergy the duo maintained secret dealings with.

The audio clips have also proved that Priyamali had given Siriwardhane large sums of cash on various occasions. The amount mentioned in this one clip amounts to Rs. 119.5 million.

According to the clip, Priyamali had provided Siriwardhane with cash to organise a shamanic ritual for her child after Siri Sumana Thera had claimed the child’s life was under threat. The cost for this had been a whopping Rs. 80 million. The ritual had been carried out by Krishantha Pushpakumara, a former member of the Southern Provincial Council, the head of the Sri Vishnu Temple in Galle Bataduwa. However, he has since denied being paid by her claiming he still has a returned cheque amounting to Rs. 35 million with him.


Unconfirmed reports claim a bhikkhu connected to politics has also been defrauded by Priyamali who in turn had given him several gold rods which later turned out to be brass as surety. The bhikkhu, residing in a temple close to Colombo had managed to recover some of the funds only after raising the issue with Siriwardhane and threatening her.

However, unable to recover their funds, Salley directed his friend to the CID. He too later lodged a complaint against the duo. Leading businessman Kamal Hassan had also attempted to recover the funds given to her through various means but had failed only then opting to complain to the CID.

Priyamali is also being accused of laundering money for drug kingpins living abroad who it appears have sent money to her through the illegal Undiyal system.

The CID is also currently investigating this as well as claims of Priyamali and Siriwardhane taking the assistance of various practitioners of the occult to develop their business activities by paying the men millions for their services.

The information relating to these practices had been revealed by Priyamali’s one time partner, Isuru Bandara who is also currently incarcerated in connection to the incident.

It is said Bandara and Priyamali were aiming to enter politics with the aim of becoming MPs from a leading political party in the country.


It is to this end that they had planned various events and invited powerful figures to them in a bid to forge connections with these persons and to also build her persona before the entire society.

She is accused of spending lavishly on chosen Sri Lankan artists, including handing over Rs. 1.5 billion to two presenters so that they may purchase a home.

They are yet to be summoned to the CID. She is also accused of hoodwinking a number of leading artists in the country including Jeevan Kumaratunga, Sangeetha Weeraratne and Semini Iddamalgoda. Kumaratungas’ wife Sherine has also been questioned by the CID in connection to these incidents.

Jeevan Kumaratunga has told the CID he got to know Priyamali through Sunil T. Fernando and merely admitted Priyamali was the producer for his film ‘Jeeva’. He has denied any other connection to Priyamali.

The CID will be seeking instructions from the Attorney General over the film as it has been revealed she had spent funds earned fraudulently for its production.

Weeraratne in the meantime has said she met Priyamali through the film and also denied any other connection to the suspect. However the CID had confronted her with a video found on Priyamali’s phone in response leaving her speechless.

Despite her connections to veteran artists in the field, no complaints against her seem to be forthcoming from them.


CID it appears are finding it difficult to gather information through her PCs and mobile devices on those she had dealings with as she had used a code to make notes about them. She has refused to reveal what the code stands for.

Though over Rs. 3 billion was found to have been in her accounts at the beginning of the year, the CID has been unable to unravel the fate of this money. While investigators believe the money is still with either Priyamali, Siriwardhane or either a third party within the country, they have failed to recover a single rupee stolen by the suspects to date.