Controversial Nalaka Godahewa heads Sri Lanka Insurance Co.

by Staff Writer 21-11-2018 | 7:09 PM
Colombo (News 1s) - Nalaka Godahewa, a controversial figure involved with various alleged malfeasance has been appointed as the chairman of Sri Lanka Insurance Corporation. Nalaka Godahewa was the former chairman at the SEC Sri Lanka. His appointment to the SEC at the time was considered controversial and heavily criticized then because of his association with companies whose stock prices made sudden and steep gains. He was notoriously associated with the Krishh transaction where allegations were leveled that large amounts of monies were purportedly requested by members of the ruling Rajapaksa regime. Godahewa has worked two stints at SLIC previously, once when SLIC was controlled by the Distilleries Group headed by businessman Harry Jayawardhena at the end of which period, his contract was not renewed. He emerged again as the Managing Director at SLIC under the Rajapaksa regime and resigned a few months before the Supreme Court of Sri Lanka returned the ownership of SLIC to the treasury, holding that the privatization was flawed. Godahewa was later appointed to head the SEC at the height of the controversial Pump and Dump scandal. He is also associated with the sale of 29% of shares at Lanka Hospitals PLC by the Distilleries Group after SLIC was returned to the full ownership of the treasury. After the fall of the Rajapaksa administration in 2015, Investigations revealed that Godahewa was involved in the misuse of SEC funds, where it transpired that funds approved by the SEC board for the purpose of promoting share ownership amongst youth was diverted to an event promoted by MP Namal Rajapaksa. This resulted in Godahewa facing charges, being remanded and he is currently out on bail, pending litigation. Godahewa's appointment bears striking similarities to the appointment of Kapila Chandrasena to SriLankan Airlines which was brought to the attention of the appointing authorities who promptly withdrew the appointment in the face of public dismay.