A British woman who was left stranded in Sri Lanka after spending all her money on her young husband has returned to the UK after he was killed by gangsters.
60-year-old Diane De Zoysa spent her entire life savings, totalling £90,000, on her 26-year-old Sri Lankan husband Priyanjana De Zoysa after selling her home in Musselburgh, East Lothian.
Diane sold her home two years ago and used the money to build a house in Ahungalla, south of the Sri Lankan capital Colombo, for her and her husband, as well as buying him a minibus.
After her husband’s death, Diane was left stranded in the country, apparently kept ‘under house arrest’ by his family as they refused to let her sell their house, and demanded more money from her pension.
However, a year after Priyanjana was killed, Diane now admits that the man ‘obviously didn’t love her’, and has returned to the UK.
Speaking to the Daily Record, Diane said:
I just couldn’t stay there any longer. I kind of feel stupid now that I didn’t listen to my family and my friends because they said it was just about the money.
I thought he did really love me but obviously he didn’t.
The 60-year-old met hotel worker Priyanjana while she was on holiday in Sri Lanka six years ago. They married seven months later.
Moving to the country in 2016, Diane says she spent £57,000 to build a house close to her husband’s family, and £31,000 on a minibus for him to drive as employment.
On May 30 last year, however, Priyanjana was shot by blackmailers who learned about the money he had recently come into.
Since his death, Diane has been trying to find a lawyer to help her sell the house, which was put in the name of her husband’s family. However, his family have refused to help.
Diane also suspects Priyanjana had a second wife after finding paperwork among his personal belongings, as well as believing he was murdered by blackmailers ‘because he was rich. They were jealous because he had a nice a house, a minibus and a tuk-tuk.’
She has since run up thousands of pounds worth of debt supporting Priyanjana’s family and living on her own in the country.
After a string of medical conditions made her fear she might never leave the country, Diane managed to flee her husband’s family and stay with friends, before boarding a flight back to Scotland.
Planning to stay with friends as she gets back on her feet, Diane said:
My husband’s family virtually had me under house arrest for two years. I couldn’t go anywhere – not even to the beach.
They weren’t happy I was leaving and put a complaint in to the local police because I was leaving with all my property but I managed to get away to stay with friends.
They weren’t happy because they wouldn’t get any more money from me.
Diane added she had put ‘everything’ into moving to Sri Lanka to be with her husband, and is hoping to find a lawyer to help her claim back some of her assets.
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Charlie Cocksedge is a journalist at UNILAD. He graduated from the University of Manchester with an MA in Creative Writing, where he learnt how to write in the third person, before getting his NCTJ. His work has also appeared in such places as The Guardian, PN Review and the bin.