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Father Chandra Schaffter speaks his heart out about Dinesh’s death and Dinesh, the person

6 February 2023 11:03 am - 15     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}


  • Says 'Dinesh was the heart and soul of our family, and we are lost without him'
  • Appeals to public not to indulge in speculative untruths

Senior and highly respected business leader Chandra Schaffter yesterday spoke his heart out about his youngest son Dinesh and his untimely death on 15 December. Here is the full text of Chandra’s statement first since the death of Dinesh, a young investor, entrepreneur and philanthropist, exclusively in the Daily FT.

I have been asked by several of my friends, acquaintances and even many people who do not know me, of the circumstances in which my youngest son, Dinesh, met his death and the reason for his brutal murder.  

On the day of his death, 15 December 2022, I visited Dinesh to say goodbye as he was packed and ready to leave at 4.00 p.m. for the UK with his family. He was going to the UK to admit his children in school there. 

This visit was not a holiday but a visit to process residence permits in the UK for his family, based on his residence permit.

On that day, he was in good spirits. Dinesh and his wife sat with me at his verandah for almost an hour laughing and joking as we usually do when we are together, until I left his home around noon. He had mentioned to me that he had to go out for a quick meeting, and sounded his normal casual self when he said it. I didn’t sense any sign of apprehension or nervousness.

Based on my interaction with him that day, I am certain that Dinesh was not anticipating any danger. So, what followed was a complete shock to all of us. I know he did not have an inkling of the dastardly plot that resulted in his death.

Dinesh, for those who do not know him, was a very gentle and kind human being. He was devoted to his family and friends and above all, valued relationships. For years, in quiet consideration, he took it upon himself to ensure that every member of our family was not only well but also happy. 

He had the rare ability to be able to detect when this was not the case, and would do anything in his power to help when he could. He always made time for others despite his commitments.

Dinesh was an exceptionally loving husband and father, whose life and schedule revolved entirely around his family. He was very expressive and showered his children, nieces and nephews with endless love and affection. He consciously ensured our family spent time together, and never failed to mark special occasions by single-handedly organising family gatherings. Dinesh was the heart and soul of our family, and we are lost without him.

He was very trusting as he was trustworthy. He was known for random acts of kindness even to strangers. He would carry umbrellas in his car to give out to strangers in the rain. During the Aragalaya, without hesitation he opened the gates of his Colombo 7 home to provide refuge to around 200 protestors desperate to escape the tear gas. 

One of his last text messages sent to his associate on the morning of his death read “the people who work at the Sri Lanka Tennis Association (SLTA) live in shabby property at one corner of it. I would like to look at what we can do to bring it up to a reasonable standard.”

He was a supporter of many worthy causes including a Legal Aid practice to provide services to those who could not afford to hire a lawyer to defend them in court. He was also known to pay the fines of prisoners who were locked up because they simply could not afford to pay the paltry fine. This was Dinesh. He was generous and kind to both family and strangers alike.

He lived a simple lifestyle ─ often seen in his light blue short-sleeved shirt and leather slippers. He disliked formality and formal clothes. He absolutely hated wearing a tie and wore shoes only when he had to for formal occasions.

Dinesh was also a very private person who actively worked on removing himself from the limelight. I know the publicity surrounding his death would make him “turn in his grave”.

I have lost my youngest son who was a kind and gentle soul, one who touched the lives of many as we are discovering from the tributes that keep flowing in.

What else can I say except that I am proud of the person that he was and the life that he lived. Although life was robbed from him too early, I know his impact will be remembered for years to come.

These are the facts of Dinesh’s death and Dinesh the person.

I would appeal to the media and the public, not to indulge in speculative untruths, aimed to tarnish the name of a good son and human being, who was the victim of a ruthless murder as it is the subject of an ongoing investigation. (Daily FT)

  Comments - 15

  • Marie Monday, 06 February 2023 11:13 AM

    Deepest Sympathies Mr. Shafter on your tragic loss. God Bless You and your family

    Asitha Pathirage Monday, 06 February 2023 11:38 AM

    My deepest condolences on the sad loss of your loving son and a great gentleman to the whole mankind. Asitha Pathirage

    kudson Monday, 06 February 2023 11:46 AM

    the million dollar question is why would anyone want to murder such a great person and why did such a smart guy go to meet somebody inside a cemetry the whole of srilanka feels the cops are covering up big time on some big wigs request

    European Monday, 06 February 2023 11:58 AM

    Does every familymember of a murdered person get the change to write an article in the DM? Also when that person is poor?

    Sri Lankan Monday, 06 February 2023 12:59 PM

    Have some respect for a father's grief. Hopefully the light shed on his son's murder will do the same on others, rich or poor.

    Sunil Monday, 06 February 2023 12:15 PM

    No one can hide the truth.This can happend only when great influanced of xxx country. All unsolved deaths / murders will reflect at the right time. Mr.Chandra no choices now

    Mohamed Monday, 06 February 2023 12:29 PM

    brother, Rest in Peace. very heart touching.

    Karalasingam Sivalingam Monday, 06 February 2023 12:46 PM

    Heart melting narration of a dear father, a gentleman son is lost his memories will live in our hearts for ever. May his soul rest in peace.

    LankanLover Monday, 06 February 2023 01:01 PM

    I could feel the pain of the father and family members Mr.Dinesh Schaffter seems to be a great human being! Hope they get justice for his beloved one, May his soul rest in peace

    Mike Revere Monday, 06 February 2023 02:18 PM

    There are people trying to make black money white to legally use it. This is the risk when doing business with money craving, greedy humans.

    An immigrant Monday, 06 February 2023 02:56 PM

    I cannot imagine the pain Mr.Schaffter and his family must be enduring. I knew Dinesh briefly in his youth. Rubber slippers, shorts and t-shirt and a pony tail. Extremely respectful and dignified. He was humble, mild mannered, cheerful, casual and just a very good hearted young man. Absolutely ahead of his age in maturity and knowledge. The grace and peace of Christ go out to the Schaffter family. "Good people pass away; the godly often die before their time. But no one seems to care or wonder why. No one seems to understand that God is protecting them from the evil to come."- Isaiah 57:1

    Sadly Sri Lankan Monday, 06 February 2023 03:34 PM

    No parent can bear the loss of a child, whether young or old, rich or poor. My heart goes out to all parents who have experienced the untimely death/murder of a son/daughter or a family member, especially when the causes of those murders have gone unsolved, murderers are going about scot free..some parents do not even know if their sons/daughters are among the the dead or the living! Such is the law in this "Pearl of the Indian Ocean"!!

    Anura Nanayakkara Monday, 06 February 2023 03:41 PM

    This incident is really a puzzle and most of us cannot make the head or the tail of this brutal ruthless murder. This clearly indicates that there are ruthless killers , contract killers etc in open society of today's Sri lankan society. CID and Srilanka police should catch the killers.

    Loss for words Monday, 06 February 2023 04:04 PM

    I knew and worked with Dinesh. He was such a simple soul and a gentleman. Please accept my deepest sympathies sir.

    Ceylonese Monday, 06 February 2023 05:54 PM

    Sri Lanka is fast becoming a dangerous place to live especially for rich businessmen who are known to have a lot of money in the country.

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