The controversy surrounding Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake‘s lined up SriLankan Airlines Sales Manager (UK) job for his brother in law Gihan Malalasekara has taken another twist according to another applicant who contacted Colombo Telegraph.
The applicant who requested to remain anonymous said that he had initially received an email from Anne Seneviratne the Talent Resourcing Manager of the island’s national carrier on the 23rd of October 2015, informing him to avail himself for an interview on the 30th October 2015.The email also went on to say that he would be informed on the 26th of October 2015 of the time and venue for his interview.
Much to his surprise he never received the promised intimation by the Talent Resourcing Manager of the airline on the 26th October 2015.
However what he did receive on the 27th October 2015 was an email instead stating that due to “unanticipated developments” the interviews had been stalled.
The controversy of the filling up of this post has been going on for the last ten months. Initially the airline which had advertised this post in February 2015 went on to re-advertised the same job in their Staff Vacancy Notice setting a closing date for applications as the 2nd of October 2015. The airline it is alleged went on to change the criteria to tailor make this post available for Minister Karunanayake’s brother in law Gihan Malalasekara.
A clause was inserted the second time around stating “This is a local appointment and the applicant should be free to live and work in the UK without a need for a work or any other permit”. This clause knocked off all other potential candidates who were more qualified than Gihan Malalasekara.
Rosie Malalasekara the wife of Gihan, earlier also used the social media platform to vouch as to why her hubby should be given the post. She posted her comments stating that her spouse was a good father who had raised his two children very well. She emphasized that one child went on to become a doctor and the other a lawyer. This was besides her highlighting his prowess as a sportsman during his school days.
The sister-in-law of the Minister of Finance also cried out that ever since Ravi Karunanayake came into politics her husband had been victimized.
However Colombo Telegraph unearthed information that it was the other way around as opposed to Rosie Malalasekara’s claims and the Finance Minister’s BIL has been a beneficiary more than a victim.
Contrary to the claims of Rosie Malalasekara that her husband Gihan has been professionally victimized over the years due their family’s relationship to Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake, Colombo Telegraph can confirm that there is conclusive evidence to refute her claims and go on to prove that due to nepotism he has been a benefactor as opposed to being a victim.
Rosie Malalasekara was correct when she claims that her husband has twenty years’ experience working for the national carrier. However what she failed to mention is that her husband has had the extraordinary luxury of resigning and rejoining the national carrier on three occasions.
This is a privilege extended merely to her husband by the airline with the third time being a posting during the UNP reign in the 2004 financial year of the airline with Minister Karunanayake in power.
Having joined initially as Cabin Crew in 1984 Gihan Malalasekara quit the airline in 1990.
He re-joined the airline in London in the mid 90’s and worked several years as a Cargo Executive.
Malalsekara’s Linkedin profile then highlights the fact that he resigned from the airline a second time around and joined his Finance Minister BIL Ravi Karunanayake’s company Global Transport Logistics in Sri Lanka for a period of three years (AUG 2001 – Aug 2004).
With experience in the cargo field gained in Sri Lanka thanks to his brother in law Minister Karunanayake, every attempt to secure Malalsekara a job as Sri Lankan Airlines as Cargo Manager UK in 2003 under the UNP regime proved futile. The senior managers of the airline who interviewed Malalasekara did not find him suitable for the post.
However his efforts to re-join the national carrier a third time proved a success under Karunanayake’s reign in the UNP government.
According to Rosie Malalasekara’s post her hubby Gihan re-joined Sri Lankan Airlines for a record third time as a Airport Duty Officer, moving on to doing Ticketing Sales Support and as a Sales Executive working currently with the national carrier’s frequent flyer programme Fly Smiles since 2011.
Instead of appointing a suitable candidate from the short listed names in February 2015, the airline decided to extend the existing Sales Manager Indunil Wijekoon’s stay in London prior to relocating him to Colombo subsequently.
Unconfirmed reports reaching Colombo Telegraph from within the airline reveals that Manoj Gunawardena the highest paid employee of the airline is going back to London and will look after the national carrier’s operation in the United Kingdom. The current Country Manager in UK, Jeremy Sourtsz is slotted to step down to fill the now controversial Sales Manager (UK) role. This decision which has been debated at length by the airline’s Board of Directors, has even gone on to create a rift and split between them, concluded our source.