Nalaka Godahewa exits Colombo Land as Krrish probe continuesView(s):
Nalaka Godahewa, the top official whose name transpired in the secret pay-off pertaining to the Krrish development project in Colombo, last week stepped down from the Colombo Land and Development Co (CLND) which he chaired.
An official statement from the company said Prof. Krishan Deheragoda has taken over as the new chairman with effect from July 19.
The company said Dr. Godahewa stepped down to make way for a full-time chairman. When asked, one of the Singapore shareholders of the CLND, told the Business Times, “It is a personal decision by him. He felt he needed to step down.”
Other sources however said the official who is the chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission and a director in some other private companies had exited the CLND due to pressure related to the 400-million rupee payoff in which some other powerful personalities have also been implicated.
Dr. Godahewa, when contacted by the Business Times by telephone this week after several failed efforts earlier, declined to comment on any of the developments. The Business Times also learns that he has not been re-appointed to the Urban Development Board (UDA) of Management. Of the other three government-appointed directors, Jayantha Wickremasinghe and Rohan Seneviratne were re-appointed when their term ended some weeks back while UDA chairman Nimal Perera continues as his term has not ended as yet. All three sans Dr. Godahewa were present at the last UDA meeting on July 10 while the next meeting is scheduled for August 7.
The Business Times learns that the Rs. 400 million had gone into the account of a state agency and then surreptitiously drawn by ‘interested’ parties and this is the focus of the Finance Ministry probe.
It is also learnt that part of the money taken as a ‘commission’ has been returned due to pressure from the political hierarchy a few days before the Business Times exclusively reported the story.
Meanwhile Dr. Godahewa’s Executive Secretary at the SEC, Janssi Kuhanesan, is also a consultant at Krrish, according to her profile on Linkin, the social networking website. She joined SEC in September 2012 – the same time Dr. Godahewa was appointed at the SEC, after being board secretary at Sri Lanka Tourism which was chaired by him at the time.
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