Feb 04, 2014 (LBO) – Mel was regarded by colleagues as a hard-nosed financial journalist even after she switched to a more lucrative job with an international ratings agency, but few would have known of her other passion – motor sports and classic cars. Our last conversation a few days earlier was all about the financial health of the nation. Mel could not suppress the journalistic cynic in her which jelled well with fellow hacks.

AFP is used to covering death and destruction on a daily basis, but colleagues across the agency were shocked by Mel’s tragic death. “Huge shock now being followed by waves of aftershocks — difficult to comprehend it all — you will be HUGELY missed Mel — RIP sweet friend,” wrote her former desk chief, Byran Pearson.

The AFP report on the senseless killing was soon picked up by international broadcasters, many of whom knew Mel as a friend in Sri Lanka.

As I struggle to string these words and sound coherent, I see a Sri Lankan colleague speak for all of Mel’s friends on Facebook: “How can you go away so soon?”

— Amal Jayasinghe, friend and colleague When I had the first call asking me if I knew that Mel had been involved in some tragic event, the worst I could think of was her bending a fender in her new

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