Back to Previous Page

Board of Directors

Krishan Balendra was appointed as the Chairman and CEO of John Keells Holdings PLC (JKH) on January 1st 2019. He was appointed as Deputy Chairman of JKH on January 1st 2018 and as an Executive Director of JKH in November 2016. He was also the former Chairman of Nations Trust Bank PLC and was previously the President of the Leisure and Retail Sectors at JKH. Mr. Balendra joined JKH in 2002 as Head of Corporate Finance after stints at UBS Warburg, Hong Kong in Investment Banking and Aitken Spence Sri Lanka in Corporate Finance. Mr. Balendra, a former Chairman of the Colombo Stock Exchange, holds a law degree (LLB) from the University of London and an MBA from INSEAD. He is also the Honorary Consul General of the Republic of Poland in Sri Lanka in addition to being a Member of the Main Committee of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce.

Gihan Cooray was appointed Deputy Chairman of John Keells Holdings PLC (JKH) on January 1st 2019 and was appointed as Group Finance Director of JKH on January 1st 2018. He is the Chairman of Nations Trust Bank PLC and is an Executive Director of JKH since November 2016. Mr. Cooray holds an MBA from the Jesse H. Jones Graduate School of Management at Rice University, Houston, Texas. He is an Associate Member of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants, UK, a Certified Management Accountant of the Institute of Certified Management Accountants, Australia and has a Diploma in Marketing from the Chartered Institute of Marketing, UK. He serves as a Member of the Sub-Committee on Economic, Fiscal and Policy Planning of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce.

Amal Cabraal is a former Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Unilever Sri Lanka. He has over 3 decades of business experience in general management, marketing and sales in Sri Lanka, the United Kingdom, India and Bangladesh. He is presently the NonExecutive Chairman of CIC Feeds (Private) Limited and an Independent Non-Executive Director of Hatton National Bank PLC, Sunshine Holdings PLC, Ceylon Beverage Holdings PLC, Lion Brewery (Ceylon) PLC, Silvermill Investment Holdings (Pvt) Ltd and a member of the Supervisory Board of Associated Motorways (Private) Ltd. He is a member of the Monetary Policy Consultative Committee of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka and is a committee member of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce. He also serves on the Management Committee of the Mercantile Services Provident Society. A Chartered Marketer by profession and a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Marketing - UK, he holds an MBA from the University of Colombo and is an executive education alumnus of INSEAD- France.

Nihal Fonseka is a career banker and served as the Chief Executive Officer/Ex-Officio Director of DFCC Bank from 2000 until his retirement in 2013. He is currently a Member of the Monetary Board of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka, Non-Executive Director of Phoenix Ventures Pvt Ltd, Chairman of the Group Audit Committee of Brandix Lanka Limited and President of the Sri Lanka National Advisory Council of the Chartered Institute of Securities and Investments, UK.

Prior to joining the DFCC Bank, he was the Deputy Chief Executive of HSBC Sri Lanka. He is a past Chairman of the Colombo Stock Exchange and the Association of Development Financing Institutions in Asia and the Pacific (ADFIAP). He has also served as a Director of the Employees’ Trust Fund Board and as a member of the Presidential Commission on Taxation (2009), National Procurement Commission and Strategic Enterprise Management Agency (SEMA). He holds a BSc from the University of Ceylon, Colombo, is a Fellow of the Institute of Financial Studies, (FIB) UK and a member of the Chartered Institute of Securities and Investments, (MCSI) UK.

Premila Perera was appointed to the Board of the Company with effect from 1 July 2014 as an Independent Non-Executive Director. Premila Perera, formerly a Partner, KPMG in Sri Lanka, also served as the Global Firms Regional Tax Director for ASPAC in 2000/01, as a member of the Global Task Force commissioned in 1998, to advise the International Board of KPMG on future directions in determining long term strategic plans, and faculty of the KPMG International Tax Business School.

She also served a period of secondment with the US Firm’s National Tax Office in Washington DC, and was a participant at the KPMG-INSEAD International Banking School programme. She is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Sri Lanka, She served as an independent Director and Chairperson of the Audit and Related Party Transaction Committee of Ceylon Tobacco Company PLC until October 2017 and served as a Non-Executive Director of Holcim (Lanka) Limited until August 2016.

Ashroff Omar is the Chief Executive Officer of the Brandix Group. He also serves as a Director on numerous corporate Boards including subsidiaries under the umbrella of Phoenix Ventures, and the national body of the Sri Lanka Institute of Nanotechnology (SLINTEC). He also serves as a Member of the Board of Directors of the United States-Sri Lanka Fulbright Commission.

He is the Founder Chair of the Joint Apparel Association Forum (JAAF), the apex body of the Sri Lankan apparel industry, in addition to chairing the Advisory Committee on Garments of the Sri Lanka Export Development Board and being a frequent spokesperson for the apparel industry both in Sri Lanka and abroad. He is also credited with pioneering environmentally- friendly apparel manufacture in the world and establishing the world’s first LEED platinum manufacturing facility for eco-friendly manufacture. He has also spearheaded the Sri Lanka Apparel Exporters Association as its Chair.

In his capacity as the Regional CEO for South Asia, Dr. Hans Wijayasuriya heads the South Asian Operations of the Axiata Group Bhd., spanning Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Pakistan and India. Axiata is Asia’s second largest Telecommunications Group.

Up to and including the year 2016, he additionally functioned as the Group Chief Executive of Dialog Axiata PLC. He is a past Chairman of GSM Asia Pacific - the regional interest group of the GSM Association, and also serves on the Board of the TM Forum (TMF), and was also honoured by the GSM Association as the first recipient of the “Outstanding Contribution to the Asian Mobile Industry” Award in 2016.

Dr. Wijayasuriya graduated from the University of Cambridge, UK in 1989. He subsequently obtained his PhD in Digital Mobile Communications from the University of Bristol UK in 1994. A Chartered Engineer and Fellow of the Institute of Engineering Technology UK, Dr. Wijayasuriya also holds an MBA from the University of Warwick, UK.

Dr. Wijayasuriya has published widely on the subject of digital mobile communications, including research papers in publications of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE) USA, Royal Society and the Institute of Engineering Technology (IET) UK.

Radhika Coomaraswamy received her BA from Yale University, LLM from Harvard University and the Doctorate in Jurisprudence from Columbia University.

She served as UN Under Secretary General and as Special Representative of the Secretary General on Children and Armed Conflict from 2006 until her retirement in 2012.

Earlier, from 1994 to 2003, she was the UN Special Rapporteur on Violence against Women, an independent expert, attached to the UN Human Rights Commission in Geneva.

In 2014, the UN Secretary General tasked her to lead the Global Study to review the fifteen year implementation of Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security. The Global Study was submitted to the Secretary General in October 2015.

In Sri Lanka, Dr. Coomaraswamy was the Chairperson of Human Rights Commission from 2003 to 2006 and was a Director of the International Centre for Ethnic Studies from 1984 to 2006. In this capacity she helped direct its research programme on constitutional law, human rights, ethnicity and cultural studies as well as women’s rights. She was, until September 2018, a civil society member of the Constitutional Council, a body appointed by Parliament and the President, to primarily make appointments of members to serve on the independent commissions and the higher judiciary, in terms of the Constitution of the Republic of Sri Lanka.

Dr. Coomaraswamy is a Global Professor of Law at the New York University School of Law where she has taught courses on Women’s International Human Rights and Children and Armed Conflict. She taught at New College, Oxford University in its Summer Programmes on International Human Rights during the 1990s and the early 2000s. She has also been a visiting lecturer at the Faculty of Law in Colombo of the University of Colombo.

Dr. Coomaraswamy has received Honorary Doctorates from Amherst College, University of Edinburg, University of Ulster, City University of New York and Rutgers University among others. During her career she has also received international Human Rights Awards, the International Law Award of the American Bar Association, the Bruno Kreisky Award, the Human Rights Award of the University of Oslo, among many others. She was also privileged to be asked to deliver the Grotius Lecture of the American Association of International Law in 2013.

Dr. Coomaraswamy has written books on constitutional law and many articles on women, ethnicity, pluralism, human rights and children, cultural studies and armed conflict.

In 1995, in recognition of her services to the country, President of the Republic of Sri Lanka conferred on her the National honour of Deshamanya – “jewel of the nation”.