President of the Pilots Guild Capt. Ruwan Vithanage writing in response to his loss making CEO Suren Ratwatte of SriLankan Airlines, sought clarification on the veracity of his ‘New Year’ message sent to all employees where he stated that the defining moments of the year gone by was the ‘Fake News’ spread in the media about the national carrier.
Challenging CEO Ratwatte to name the media institutions he labelled as ‘Fake News’ providers, the Pilot Guild President Capt. Vithanage wrote “As there has been wide publicity given to the Airline by main stream media in the recent past, we would appreciate if you could inform us of any such fake or erroneous news that you are aware of. We are sure you would appreciate the necessity and urgency in providing specific information of instances where “fake news” has been publicized so that we may in-turn, keep our Membership better informed of fact and fiction”.
Meanwhile on the 18th of February 2015, eight months prior to joining SriLankan Airlines, CEO Suren Ratwatte wrote to Colombo Telegraph and praised the Editor of the website.
“I am avid reader of the Colombo Telegraph and really appreciate the contribution you have made to the journalistic scene in Sri Lanka,” he wrote.
This is when he intimated that he too wished to be a columnist for Colombo Telegraph and in wanting to publish an article written by him.
We publish below the email sent by ALPGSL President Ruwan Vithanage to SriLankan Airlines CEO Suren Ratwatte.
From: Airline Pilots Guild of Sri Lanka <xxxxx>
Date: December 30, 2017 at 17:05:51 GMT+5:30
To: “Capt. Suren Ratwatte” <email@example.com>
Subject: Fake News Communique
Capt. Suren Ratwatte,
Chief Executive Officer,
Dear Capt. Ratwatte,
Members of the ALPGSL are in receipt of your communiqué titled “Fake news”, circulated to all employees of SriLankan Airlines.
On the assumption that your communiqué was released due to fake news already being circulated about the Airline, the ALPGSL Membership have raised numerous queries and concerns, requesting for clarification on the veracity of the contents in your letter. As there has been wide publicity given to the Airline by main stream media in the recent past, we would appreciate if you could inform us of any such fake or erroneous news that you are aware of. We are sure you would appreciate the necessity and urgency in providing specific information of instances where “fake news” has been publicized so that we may in-turn, keep our Membership better informed of fact and fiction.
In response to your request for support towards transforming our Airline into an “efficient and competitive business”, we assume you are aware that we; as one segment of the conscientious and dedicated employees of SriLankan, have made numerous contributions over the years; under your Management as well as your predecessors, to achieve this objective.
Our Membership, despite being rostered with the minimum number of off-days in each roster, are continuously called on to fly on these off-days and extend our duty times. We assume you are also aware that a cumulative of over 4000 days of annual leave are being carried forward for the year 2018, as a result of our entitled annual leave being denied on many occasions.
Therefore, please be kind enough to advise us on how best we may improve our productivity and further contribute towards the success of our Airline; within the safe and legitimate standards required by the State and ICAO.
Capt. Ruwan Vithanage
President – ALPGSL
(By Jacqueline Senanayake)