Hand to Hand


After the demise of late U W Sumathipala in1978, his wife Dr (Mrs) Milina Sumathipala took over as Chairperson of the Group, which position she continues to hold to date. Her two effervescent sons Jagath and Thilanga Sumathipala were at the helm, driving the Group and business to greater heights of success.

Dr (Mrs) Milina Sumathipala is a well known and respected philanthropist who continues to participate in several social welfare activities. She was the first lady to be elected as President of the All Ceylon Buddhist Congress, President of the Sri Lanka Neurology Trust Fund and several important positions in different organizations involved in religious and social welfare activities. Her services as a member of the Hospital Committee of the National Hospital of Colombo are immense. Her unbridled commitment and participation in social welfare are too numerous to mention. In recognition of her invaluable contribution to society, she was awarded a Honorary Doctorate in 2008

Jagath Sumathipala the elder son of late U W Sumathipala and of Dr (Mrs) Milina Sumathipala, ,assumed duties as Managing Director of the Group in 1980, after obtaining a Diploma in Business Management in UK. He initiated several new lines of business and companies. Incorporating Great Wall Restraurants (Pvt) Ltd, Sumathi Information Technologies (Pvt) Ltd, LifeServ' (Pvt) Ltd, ISP Lanka (Pvt) Ltd and Retail Information Technologies (Pvt) Ltd are some of the developments Initiated by him

He is the incumbent President of All Ceylon Buddhist Congress and Managing Director and Treasurer of Dharma Chakkra Child Foundation since 1998. He is Vice President of U W Sumathipala Foundation, a renowned charity. He is a Committee Member of the Chamber of Young Lankan Entrepreneurs (COYLE), He also served as President of the Billiards and Snooker Association of Sri Lanka from 1988 to 1990, and was responsible for hosting the World Snooker Championship in 1988 and Asian Snooker Championship in 1990 in Sri Lanka

Thilanga Sumathipala the younger son of late U W Sumathipala and of Dr (Mrs) Milina Sumathipala completed his studies in Printing in UK, and on his return in 1985, he joined the business as and currently He incorporated Sumathi Book Printing (Pvt) Ltd and commenced commercial book printing for the international market. Thereafter, he established Sumathi Newspapers (Pvt) Ltd and launched a Sinhala National Newspaper branded 'Lakbima'. The daily Lakbima and Sunday Lakbima enjoy the second highest readership despite very strong competition from the pioneers.

He steered Sumathi Newspapers to launch its first English broadsheet, a Sunday newspaper branded LakbimaNews in July 2007. He also incorporated BPO Services (Pvt) Ltd to provide business process outsourcing services to global markets and also pioneered the training and production of medical transcription in Sri Lanka.

During his professional career he attended extensive professional development at Harvard University, John F Kennedy School of Government, and Harvard Business School, USA. He also attended CPD programmes at AOTS Japan and JASTECA, Japan, SLIM and NIBM Sri Lanka. From 2002 to 2004 he served as Chairman of Sri Lanka Telecom, one of the largest public quoted companies in Sri Lanka, and Mobitel, the 2nd largest mobile telecommunications company in Sri lanka. He is a Past President of both the Board of Control for Cricket in Sri lanka and Asian Cricket Council, and former Chairman of the Asian Cricket Committee and Director of the International Cricket Council.

He is a Founder Director of Ingrin Institute of Printing, a modern state of the art institution providing training to students in the art of printing and graphics. He was also the Founder Member of the Newspaper Society of Sri Lanka, a former President of the International Advertising Association, Sri Lanka Chapter and former Chairman of NAPCO (Pvt) Ltd, a company specializing in printing telephone directories.