At least three prominent members of Sri Lanka’s apex investment promotion agency, Board of Investment, have resigned from their positions with immediate effect, Mirror Business learns.
According to unconfirmed sources, Dr. Harsha Cabraal, Dr.Sanjaya Kulatunga and Dr.Harsh Subasinghe were among those stepped down.
A vague statement issued by the BOI confirmed the resignation of “prominent members” from its board, but fell short of giving specifics.
Currently, the BoI is headed by Chairman Sanjaya Mohottala and Director General Pasan Wanigasekara.
The full BOI statement is produced below.
Prominent members of the Board of Directors of the Board of Investment have stepped down from their positions.
The Chairman, members of the Board of Directors and Director General assumed office with the singular intent of supporting His Excellency the President’s vision to double Sri Lanka’s GDP in this decade. In line with this, the Board of Investment’s role in transforming the country into a preferred investment destination by creating a compelling investment climate arose through the conceptualisation and execution of strategic and proactive investment promotions.
To achieve this strategic agenda, the cabinet and the leadership team of the Board of Investment recognised that many transformations were required internally to enable the Board of Investment to compete against over 1,000 international promotion agencies active globally. They also recognised that this task could not be achieved in silos, and that collaborative efforts through a public-private partnership model was essential. This included the infusion of specialist skills through the acquisition of new talent for selected positions and also the obtaining of specialist professional services to attract and create new investment portfolios to stimulate the country’s trajectory towards a knowledge driven economy.
Unfortunately, the efforts of the leadership to achieve this urgently required transformation, was strongly and continuously resisted by isolated factions both within and outside the organization, who have put their self-interest over the public. Such factions either failed or refused to comprehend the competitive realities of the international promotion landscape, in which Sri Lanka needs to compete much more effectively, if it is to attract FDI at the scale the country needs.
It is also a matter of regret that the progressive agenda of the leadership has come into question in public fora, also implying mismanagement based on events that occurred during 2017 and 2019, a period prior to the time of the current leadership. The many distortions and misconceptions publicised about the Board of Investment as a result of this confusion, has affected the reputation of the Board of Investment internationally, as well as the reputations of its key personnel.
Despite these unfortunate developments, the leadership of the Board of Investment remain confident about the significant potential their programme of reforms can provide to support Sri Lanka’s economic progress in future, if it is continued to its natural culmination. They are hopeful that all stakeholders will collectively work in that manner necessary for the greater good of Sri Lanka and all its citizens.