Deshmanya Jeewaka Lalith Bhupendra Kotelawala is a Sri Lankan businessman, who was the chairman of Ceylinco Consolidated. He was listed in 2007 Sri Lanka Richest List. He was remanded for the misappropriation of 26 billion rupees of investments from the failed Golden Key Credit Company.
Early life and education
Born to Senator Justin Kotalawela a Ceylonese politician and businessman, he was educated at prestigious Royal College, Colombo and studied chartered accountancy in the UK. He is the nephew of Sir John Kotelawala, the third Prime Minister of Ceylon.
Taking over Ceylinco Consolidated from his father in the 1960s, Kotelawala expanded the group into new fields including banking, non-banking finance, investment banking, housing and property development, travel and leisure, communication & information technology, education and healthcare and, more recently, microfinance. He also founded a peace initiative in Sri Lanka, three years after being wounded in an LTTE attack in 1996.
Golden Key Scandal
Following the collapse of the Golden Key Creditcard Company, which was affiliated with Ceylinco Consolidated, Kotalawala who was the Chairman of the company was accused of misappropriation and Financial mismanagement. He was remanded on February 26, 2009 by the Mount Lavinia Magistrate and an ultimatum was issued to settle the Rs. 26 billion deposits of Golden Key Creditcard Company customers in 10 days. Weeks earlier the CEO Khavan Perera, the CFO, and several other directors were remanded by the same Magistrate. In March the Magistrate refused to consider the application for bail on the grounds that the matter was under consideration in an ongoing high court case. Korelawala was moved to the prison hospital.
In a hearing for bail at the Mount Lavinia Chief Magistrate's court on March 27, 2009 Kotelawala was accused by Deputy Solicitor General Sarath Jayamanna of running a Ponzi scheme. Lawyers representing the investors said that he was not, but, rather had misappropriated depositors’ monies, violating sections of the Companies Act, Act No. 7 of 2007. He stated a willingness to sell off assets worth Rs. 14.5 billion and settle the deposits.
- Kotelawala was awarded an Honorary Degree as Doctor of Philosophy by the University of Sri Jayewardenepura
- He had been awarded the title Deshmanya by the Government of Sri Lanka.
- Fellow of the Chartered Management Institute
- Honorary Fellow of the Institute of Bankers
- Lalith Kotelawela to celebrate 69th birthday tomorrow
- The saga of the Kotelawala family
- Business with philanthropy - Dr Lalith Kotelawala Sri Lankan Times - November 13, 2006
- Colombo man courts death for partnership with peace Indian Express - August 15, 1999
- Kotelawala ready to repay Rs. 14.5 billion