The Sunday Leader

Lakshman Hulugalle — Convicted, But On The Board Of Com Bank

Lakshman Hulugalle

The appointment of a convicted criminal to the Board of Commercial Bank by the government has raised eye brows among senior bankers in the country.
Lakshman Hulugalle, the Director General, Media Centre for National Security has been appointed to the Board of Commercial Bank by the government. In 1989 Hulugalle was given a two year prison sentence suspended for 10 years and has no previous banking experience or professional qualification.
When Central Bank Governor Nivard Cabraal was asked whether a person who had a conviction behind his name, and on the basis of the Central Bank’s fit and proper test, could such a person be appointed to the Board of a Bank, Cabraal said that it was up to the Commercial Bank Board to carry out their own investigations.
Veteran banker and former Hatton National Bank (HNB) Chairman Rienzie T. Wijetilleke said that ipso facto as per the “fit and proper” test for bank directors, no one with a conviction could serve on a bank’s directorate. He said that the usual procedure is that when a person is nominated to a bank board, the clearance of the Monetary Board has to be obtained whether such a person could serve on the Board. In 1989, Lakshman Hulugalle was found guilty by the Colombo High Court for stealing Rs. 90,000 worth of timber.  He pleaded guilty the following year and was sentenced to two years imprisonment suspended for 10 years and fined Rs. 20,000.
Hulugalle however maintains that he was politically “framed” by the late President R. Premadasa.

64 Comments for “Lakshman Hulugalle — Convicted, But On The Board Of Com Bank”

  1. Goodone

    Hello……!!!

    If Mevin, Ananda Aluthgamage, Punchinilame, specially KARUNA can work as minister in this country….. why not Hulugalle be Board of Commercial Bank ?

    One more clue….
    If explore deeper the cabinet and parliament, 90% belong to Welikade and Boosa:
    Then why not Hulugalle be Board of Commercial Bank ?

    • SL Horadeniya

      Rajapakse has placed Lakshman Horagalle on the board of Comm bank and will then manupulate to do another million cdollar deal..Nothing for Nothing eh??They have no limits for their crookish and immoral ways…And all this from the leaders who are expected to lead by example with high moral values…My foot,,

  2. JUSTICE

    Today this country is run by criminals and most of them should be prepared to face the music when the tide turns. Today innocent people are sentenced and thugs and criminals are set free…Sad to see such criminals on a board of the best bank of sri lanka.

    • vintage voter

      YOU HAVE SPOKEN THE TRUTH. AFTER ALL OUR COUNTRY IS GOVERNED BY CRIMINALS.SO WHAT CAN YOU EXPECT?

    • geraldine

      true, I’ve lost all the respect i had for the bank, will never bank with them ever again!

  3. what

    with a supermarket manager as defence secretary, a clown as fomer media minister and a kleptocrat marxist as housing minister, are you surprised? Neah … you just voted the biggest circus in for an indefinite period!

    • that

      And what about education? Already gone to the dogs with an ex-convicted, betel-chewing Minister of the most important portfolio in the cabinet.

      • love me maha apaya

        …. And dont forget the PM of the country- an ex-cultivator from Gampola who is hell-bent on strengthening partisan traditions in a supposedly muti-cultural society.

    • OBSERVER

      Not a Manager, just a cashier….probably gave incorrect change to customers back then as well.

    • RohanF

      one clarification about the supermarket,it is not a supermarket chain,its operated only on gas stations,so don’t compare keels or cargills

    • HUD

      I agree with you later two except the supermarket manager. The supermarket manager is doing much more better than so-called “elite professionals”.

  4. Amarapala

    Rulers shaming the name of the country.

    • geraldine

      yeah, and then they cry fowl to all the western nations about racism….. who would respect these bunch of jokers… but do they care? not at all….

  5. Hora Bossah

    How about the Big Boss himself.
    Wasn’t there a more serious situation with the Big Boss a few years ago .
    Can someone please clarify?

  6. Independent Observer

    The talk of political”‘framing” is nonsense as he has pleaded guilty !

  7. A lawyer

    So Hulugalle maintains he was politically framed?
    So he doesn’t agree with court conviction?
    The bloke should be dealt with for contempt of court.

  8. Leonard S

    Anything is possible in Sri Lanka. If that conviction is a problem let Attorney General go and withdraw the indictment and clear his name. If he needs a doctorate get the institute that gave the doctorate to Mervin Silva to confer a doctorate to him.

  9. Kush

    I have my personal account at the Commercial Bank. After hearing that the Chairman of the Bank was forced to resign because of his political views and a crimal now is in the board from this robber regime I fear of my money. At least I kept my little savings away from the government banks, thinking that my money is safe in this professionally run private bank. Now crooks are forcing themselves in to all the sectors. Shareholders of the Bank must take this to the courts to protect their customers.

  10. Kiri Gamarala

    People of this country are forced to run naked with thieves.

  11. tony silva

    Rogues and more rogues in this thrice blessed country. Looks like the commercial bank has become the rogues bank. I would advise the depositers at this bank to pull out their deposits and place them in another bank.

  12. roshan

    This is Srilanka, anything happen when prople know whom to please how to pelase and whwn to please. This is not a surprise when the murderers, rapists notiriuous drug dealers are sitting in the parliment.

  13. May God bless to COMB

  14. Lord

    Our country has a houseful of these kind of individuals, who we short sighted masses choose as leaders. The color Blue, Green or Red does not matter as these individuals jump from one to another to evade the wrong doings and their leaders give a blind eye just to keep their own seats intact. Our leaders are still to understand the meanings democracy, tax payers money, good governance, equal rights, one law for all, patriotic, independent etc. etc. etc.

    • Justitia omnibus

      Lord:
      If you live in Sri Lanka you should be deported or, at least, have one of the Royal Family shout, “That is a treason, that is a treason. We will hang him!” at you! All of this “Rule of Law” “Honesty in Government” etc etc. is part of a plot of the “International Community” to take away the founding principles of the Mahinda Chinthanaya and should be dispensed with without further ado. We should make Hulugalle the MD and Chairman of the Com. Bank and offer him similar positions on ALL the other banks as well. That would be a true reflection of our current morality!

  15. SL

    this guy could not pass his SSC (O/L) when he was in Maliyadewa college kurunegala , see where is he now ? what a country !

  16. In Srilanka, the first qualification to hold a top job is the applicant should be a blue eyed boy of the President and or his family. The second qulification is he or she should be a criminal. What a country.

  17. P.L.J.B.palipana

    I also worked for the Mahaweli project for some time. The subcontractors used jungle timber for the constructions. Following the UNP victory in 19th, December 1988 Premadasa(sr) treated great people Gamini Dissanayake & Lalith Athulathmudaly very unfairly and as a result the party was divided creating an other party called Rajalia.
    Mr.Hulugalla was very attached to the Ethkanda Viharaya, Kurunegala and any way Premadasa(sr) was suffering from an inferiority complex following the victory from the presidential elections and tried to hate the officers who worked with Gamini.

    • lapati kolla

      Mr Palipain, how can you call Gamini a great man. Forgot the orchads in Australia bought with Mahaveli money. And the river is still spewing riches for his family for generations to come. As for Lalith , he simply didnt have a chance to do his duty by himself and his generations to come. I think I know who is suffering from a complex, a superiority complex at that.

      • Yehiya-Doha

        Because of Mahaweli , we can get rice for 75/=today. Mr. Gamini never boasting his work, He is the man really done the work to agriculture & power project. Mahaweli, Randenigala, victoriya , Samanalawewa good examples. His gentleman ship is good Arjuna selection for first test. His political revival Thondaman & Anura never collide out of Parliament.Mr. Anura’s speech in parliament is good example. We lost good heros. Majority always forget, minority we always pray for this man.

    • Gamaya

      This Palipana is the biggest fool and a boot licker, if ever there was one. He seem to hate Premadasas so much that he would even endorse a rogue to take appointment in important institutions. Bufoons like this who vote these rogus to power.

    • rod rogers

      Gamini a great man? hahahaha………this is the same racist who burnt the Jaffna library

  18. ANIMUS

    THIS IS NOT SOMETHING UNUSUAL WHEN ONE CONSIDERS THE BACKGROUND OF SOME PERSONS HOLDING EVEN HIGHER OFFICE IN THE COUNTRY.

  19. Yakolis

    If he was framed by R. Premadasa why did the guy plead guilty? What are his real qualifications other than stooging Politikkas? Will customers now lose faith in COMBANK?

  20. Chandima

    Lankans should not be surprised at all.

    One of the main qualifications for a top govt post today is being a crook, no education, being found guilty of crimes, law breakers, underworld connections, etc etc.

    This is why OUR PRESIDENT gave the appointment of the minister of PUBLIC RELATIONS to a person who has tied a human to a tree ( this would have been a crime against humans at the begining of civilisation !), who talks in filth, who have gangs of thugs attacking citizens, who has said that he wants to dring milk from an actress, says he knows the killer of a journalist, who has said he will be the first person to pull out a gun etc.

    This is the caliber of our decision making by the highest in the land which in my opinion may not be made by even a ‘brain dead’ human!!!

  21. Hora Pakse

    Only such blatant rogues have a place and recognition in the Pakse Govt.
    Rogues for causes eh!!

  22. Justitia omnibus

    Is this, honestly, a matter for surprise: the fact that Ali Baba and the 1000 have placed one of “theirs” in a decision-making position in a bank?

    Come on folks, stop being surprised and just accept the fact that a nation of unmentionables has ACCEPTED every kind of corruption as the “Sri Lankan Realpolitik.”

  23. Logan

    This man is also a war criminal and and going to be prosecuted in the international criminal court for the killings of civilians and surrendered Ltte cadres during the last stage of the war with Ltte in May 2009

    • pathum

      What about Sri Lankan soldiers captured and killed by the LTTE then? Our boys gave the same treatment for them!

      • Daya

        Dear Pathum,

        How many times have you to be told that the LTTE were a group of outlawed terrorists led by a (perhaps brilliant) madman? No decency could be expected from them.

        A government is different. It often has to fight with one hand tied behind its back because governments must accept civilised norms. Our victory over the LTTE was all the more creditable because of that. Given the context, it would be an absolute miracle if some soldiers did not indulge in excesses. American soldiers who did such things in Afghanistan were TRIED and imprisoned.

        Our armed forces must have had many highly disciplined people who did not allow the LTTE to provoke them in to acting dirty. You insult them by using that well-known euphemism used by some Tamils who compromised their principles by saying “OUR BOYS”.

        Yours is unlikely to be the way forward. Please do a re-think!

  24. vintage voter

    THIS IS NOT THE FIRST AND THE LAST OF CRIMINALS HOLDING HIGH POSITIONS.IN THIS COUNTRY. WHO IS TO BLAME ?THE PEOPLE OF THIS COUNTRY.
    HULUGALLE CLAIMS HE WAS FRAMED BY PREMADASA.!!!!****
    THE SAD THING IS THAT PREMADASA DID NOT DISTRIBUTE “A FRAME OF
    HULUGALLE” TO EVERY SRI LANKAN.THEN WE WOULD HAVE KNOWN HE WAS FRAMED.
    ALL CRIMINALS SAY THEY WERE FRAMED.
    WHAT DO YOU SAY ABOUT “THE FRAMING OF SARATH FONSEKA” BY
    HULUGALLE’S BOSSES.HULUGALLE IS DISGRACING THAT NAME!!!!!

  25. Yehiya-Doha

    Very shame. For whom the law & order.Centrel Bank monitory board will approval no need.

    • maavil aru

      Very shame indeed. Even the Central Bank governor is a half-educated crook whose only qualification is being a yes-man ,organising ponzi schemes and talking economics through his other side.

  26. pathum

    Nothing is impossible in Rajapaksa regime. Nurder suspects get freed convits get freed and in some cases gets director posts in Banks! Afterall this is the “Miracle of Asia”

  27. pathum

    By looking at him he looks a grand thief much like people run this country. this is what happens. Good people sidelined, corrupts and theives get the top posts!

  28. ක්‍රිෂ්ණා

    Let`s open the doors to robber barons.

  29. n.c.wijeratne

    May be to introduce new banking facilities that suit some people!

  30. Sunil Mendis

    Number 1 rogue and thug. Only good to MR

  31. Sunil Mendis

    Hullugalle has destroyed our forests by cutting down trees for timber. how can he do this as he did not plant them. Trees belong to the country not to Hulugalle. Premadasa did the right thing by punihsing this Criminal. in 1960s , 70s, Nawaloka Mudalali destroyed the virgin forests of Sri Lanka by cutting down trees (Kela Paluwa). He built Nawaloka Hospital from those monies

  32. geraldine

    I’m sure he’s stolen far more than 90,000! anything is possible in SL.

  33. Sanj

    Then how could Upali Gunarathna (A former Chairman of NSB) because a Chairman? He was just running a liquor shop and engaged with bakery business.

  34. Ravana

    God knows what his real name is, he certainly has no claim to be an authentic Hulugalle !

  35. Ranapriya Abeyasinghe

    Is there any more convictions before 1989 and after (till 2011)? stealing 90k worth of timber by someone like u & me just once in lifetime is slightly strange. i am not trying to defend him but, just thought. was he habitually stealing (timber & like) though he was caught only once? anyway, agree with you all, corruption & favorism are eating heavily into our economy.

  36. Hulugalle is qualified as a hotel waiter from the hotel school. He has no other qualifications.There is a wealth of talent in sri lanka many of whom are fit to sit on the board of any bank.
    Misfits who are on the boards of corporations, banks and other public enterprises are ruining most of them, which are running at a loss.
    Sri Lanka maybe the only country which selects beaurocrats, managers & executives on political affiliations and not on fitness for the posts.
    We even have a head of the public service who was convicted and punished by the supreme court for massive fraud.

  37. OBSERVER

    come come people…..after all SL is a banana repbulic…..why is anyone shocked??? Sunday Leader…please keep these reports coming..at a minimum they provide comic relief to a starving nation.

  38. vintage voter

    NO OPTIONS.
    THERE HAS BEEN A SEVERE “BRAIN DRAIN”
    IN THEIR PLACE WE HAVE A LOT OF “GREEN CARD HOLDERS”
    MAKING HAY IN SRI LANKA WHILE THE SUN SHINES IN CALIFORNIA.
    BY THE WAY, CALIFORNIA WENT BANKRUPT. WONDER WHETHER
    OUR GREEN CARD HOLDERS WERE RESPONSIBLE!!!!!!!!!!!
    OUR GREEN CARD HOLDERS MAY BAIL OUT CALIFORNIA!!!!!!!!!!!!

  39. Kolitha

    A total misfit good only for MR and his goons. Next Mervin might be sitting in the HNB board and Aluthgamage – might become a director at JKH. Stop touching private sector you rogues.

  40. HUD

    Let me tell me something. Appointment of a convicted criminal to such a high post is wrong. However, if we search for a Sri Lankan high-rank officer who did not steal more than Rs. 90000, you will find only a very few.

  41. HUD

    Can MR appoint a person to the board of a big bank like Com Bank?

  42. P.L.J.B.palipana

    Mahaweli project used lot of subcontractors. Those people were from very far away even I rember some from Thangalle. They were living in small huts(Wadis) and always suffering from Malaria. Jungle clearing was an item in the BOQ(Bill of Quantities). The jungles were cleared using Heavy Machinery(using general contractors). I don’t see any defect that those poor Subcontractors used that Timber for construction purposes. They must earn some money for their Labour. As I know Mr.Hulugalle never engaged in a Timber buisiness in the Mahaweli project. I think that there were some construction works undergoing in the EthKanda Viharaya.

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