Distinguished entrepreneur and philanthropist, Lalith Kotalawala, has passed away this morning (21) at this morning at the age of 84 while undergoing treatment at a private hospital in Colombo.
Lalith Kotalawala, also known as ‘Deshbandu Jeevaka’ Lalith Bhupendra Kothalawala, was a notable figure in the Sri Lankan business landscape.
He was the founder chairman of Ceylon Bank and former chairman of Ceylinco Consolidated. A Chartered Accountant, he studied in the United Kingdom and made significant contributions to various sectors of the economy.
Born into a family with a rich legacy, Lalith Kotalawala was the nephew of Sir John Kothalawala, the third Prime Minister of Sri Lanka. He pursued his education at the prestigious Royal College of Colombo and went on to establish himself as a successful entrepreneur.
Under his leadership, his business conglomerate diversified into banking, non-banking finance, investment banking, housing and property development, tourism and leisure, communication and information technology, education, and healthcare.
Lalith Kotalawala’s achievements were commendable, and he was recognized as one of the wealthiest individuals in Sri Lanka in 2007.
However, his legacy also bears the burden of business challenges. His extensive business empire faced a downturn due to political decisions and allegations related to a substantial investment of 26 billion rupees in the failed Golden Key Credit Company.
Lalith Kotalawala’s legacy will continue to be remembered in the annals of the country’s business history.