Capt. Druvi Perera the questionable holder of the Chief Operations Officer (COO) title of Sri Lankan Airlines and who also oversees the flight operational functions of the country’s low cost budget carrier Mihin Lanka, has ordered the Director Flight Operations (DFO) Capt. Pujitha Jayakody to initiate a probe and ‘catch the culprit’ who leaked vital letters to ‘Colombo Telegraph’.
The COO Capt. Perera appears to be following the idiom ‘set a thief to catch a thief’ almost literally to the word, as the former Sri Lankan Airline’s Manager Flight Operations Captain Pujitha Jayakody (DFO) of the budget carrier now, was made infamous for his apprehension by the Singaporean Police on the 2nd of May 1990, when he was embarrassingly caught ‘shop lifting’ in the ‘Lion City”.
In all his travels since then, a visit to that lovely city is been avoided due to a pending court case and his possible arrest on arrival.
“Is not this then the reason why Capt. Jayakody was always sent to other countries and cities such as Frankfurt, whilst his colleagues were sent to Singapore for their bi-annual ‘Simulator Checks’ incurring a considerable amount of money to the company over the last 26 years?” asked one of his colleagues.
This makes one now realize that these were the unnecessary and insurmountable costs accumulating over the years that eventually caused the airline to be milked dry over a period of time.
His arrest by the police on that day caused great embarrassment to his colleagues, the airline which then had an image to protect, the country and further it inconvenienced many passengers. There was no captain to pilot the aircraft back home from Singapore leaving all ‘Colombo Bound’ passengers and crew stranded at the Changi International Airport. The entire flight schedule of the airline was affected thereafter due to the knock on affect due to this delay. The entire saga costs the airline and more over the eventual ‘tax payer’ an enormous amount of money.
For Capt. Jayakody’s amazing fortune and absolute good luck, a flower exporter with the identical family name ‘Jayakody’, happened to be married to the country’s former President Ranasinghe Premadasa’s daughter Dulanjali. Rumour has it that it was this other ‘Jayakody’ who intervened on the ‘shop lifter’s behalf and helped to save his job.
Thereafter what left many aviation enthusiasts bemused was as to how Capt. Jayakody managed to ‘fly under the radar’ for many decades, hoodwinking many a President of the caliber of D.B.Wijetunga, Chandrika Kumaratunga and Mahinda Rajapaksa. This was in spite of a colossal amount of other commonly known unethical practices he had continued to commit over this period.
Here is a copy of the telex sent by the Air Lanka Ground Staff in Singapore to its Head Office in Colombo on the 2nd of May 1990, nearly 25 years ago, seeking advice due to the unwarranted situation Capt. Jayakody had made everyone face due to his arrest that day.
The direct translation of that relevant telex is as follows:
“Attention Duty Officer UL 303 having a slight difficulty due no captain available at the moment having been informed by hotel manager that captain was apprehended by local police for shop lifting. Captain is now under custody of local police. Please advise further action to be taken as soon as possible. Will advise you of outcome Captain Jayakody as soon as we receive news from local police station where captain is refereed to at the moment. Ops Regards MMM”.
Colombo Telegraph is in possession of many other documents pertaining to Capt. Jayakody’s sketchy character. Colombo Telegraph has been unable to reach Druvi Perera and Pujitha Jayakody for comment.