Harry flies high with SriLankan Airlines
Business tycoon Harry Jayawardene, Chairman of Aitken Spence & Company, the General Sales Agents for Singapore Airlines, has been appointed as the Chairman of SriLankan Airlines.

Finance Ministry Secretary P.B.Jayasundara confirmed to The Sunday Times that the appointment had been made. Former Senior Advisor to President Chandrika Kumaratunga on International Trade and Foreign Investments, Mr. Jayawardene is the founder director and current managing director of the Stassen Group of companies.

However, analysts warn of a conflict of interests as he is the Chairman of both SriLankan Airlines and Aset Airways (Pvt) Ltd, a subsidiary of Aitken Spence which is the General Sales Agents for Singapore Air Lines in Sri Lanka. He is also the Managing Director of the Distilleries Company of Sri Lanka Ltd., and Lanka Milk Foods (CWE) Ltd and the Chairman of the Sri Lanka Insurance Corporation, Lanka Bell and a Director of Hatton National Bank and is alleged to have controlling stakes in DFCC and Commercial Bank.

Mr. Jaywardena also served on the boards of the Colombo Stock Exchange and Task Force to Rebuild the Nation (TAFREN) . Mr. Jayawardene is now embroiled in a bitter feud with his old business associates at Stassen Group and in a legal wrangle for his efforts to oust the incumbent Commercial Bank Chairman.

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