21 January, 2018

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Name The Media: Pilots Guild Tells CEO Ratwatte

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.

CEO Suren Ratwatte

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” <xxxx@srilankan.com>
Cc: allianceofunionssl@xxxxx
Subject: Fake News Communique

Capt. Suren Ratwatte,
Chief Executive Officer,

SriLankan Airlines.

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.

Kind regards,

Capt. Ruwan Vithanage

President – ALPGSL

(By Jacqueline Senanayake)

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Latest comments

  • 23
    2

    Actually, any response to a CEO like Ratwatte is a waste of time. You cannot expect any usefull and productive input from him. Whatever he proclaims is nothing but hot air which has no substance and relevance at all. It is amazing how a man can show his own narrow-mindedness and helpnessness in the public like that. His empty, broad-brush phrases may impress children but they are an abuse to every intelligent mind.

  • 18
    13

    The slide down the ‘competiveness’ slope of SriLankan Airlines started quite a while back. What has the Pilots Guild done to arrest this?
    Taking off without headsets/insufficient food are NOT.
    Neither is delaying a flight for hours because a pilot had ‘hang over’.
    Did you complain when passengers were downloaded to make way for the entourage of a VIP?

    • 3
      5

      No they didn’t utter a word during the total mismanagement when the Chairman was the useless brother in law of the President with mistresses and CEO was a crony too. The Pilots are too arrogant thinking they are irreplaceable when there is a glut of qualified able pilots in the world market. They are upset their $10,000 salaries are being affected and their high-rolling lifestyles maybe cramped. They are arrogant and not humble. Sinhala foolishness and envy at a much accomplished man.

    • 3
      5

      Ratwatte bashing seems to be the “in” thing nowadays. Where were all these paragons of efficiency when Maha Rajano was naming budget airlines after himself?
      Hey, about annnual leave and such matters, I wouldn’t mind working 24/7 for the rest of my life if somebody pays me as much as even a stewardess gets.

  • 9
    2

    If this is true, with this management, this air line will never be profitable.

  • 10
    21

    Dear Ruwan – Shutup and fly a kite. Respect your CEO and do what’s defined on your ‘Job Description’.

    • 3
      1

      If Bond Scam Ranil is a good thoughtful leader, a manager he would never appoint CEOs and Management this way.

  • 10
    21

    This is becoming a bloody farce. Just leave him alone to do his job rather than critizing him for everything. Media.coolies led by killi maharajano is all out to destroy the UNP.

    • 3
      0

      Annesly Dias: Ranil Wickramsinghe by appointing a CEO from the group of pilots and expecting good leadership and cooperation when the professional jealousy and sabotage can be the result, CEO who is also the brother of Ranil’s right nad man means. It is a disaster waiting to happen. I think CEO should risign because Ranil’s Time is also numbered. Another man Ranil has appointed is in the air line businesses already. So, he is managing his business from home and not coming to work.

  • 10
    3

    CEO and the pilots are at logger heads. probably professional jealousy of each. It says, all money these losses began during the last govt womanizer CEO was managing the airline and when Mahinda rajapakse used it as his private jet. Thsi govt came and the names show definitely they are govt henchmen. Probably almost every one working there. They can not be motivated to improve the airline as their employment is protected by the party alligieance. Instead of this govt solving the problem they exasperated it. Now, it has become a wound that will never heal. I think CEO should step down or should go back to his former position. Sri lankan airline should hire a proper CEO who can cut and prune every where needed. Otherwis, it should be leased back to Emirate air lines. Otherwise, it won’t work. I heard cabinet does not like chaing it because they lose extra free trips at the expense of the airline.

    • 4
      5

      Remember when Rajapakse took plane loads? remember when his useless Brother In law mismanaged the place and took trips with his mistresses? DO YOUR JOB as Pilots and shut the hell up. CEO is doing a thankless job. You are typical Sinhalese full of jealousy. Not a surprise given some of your backgrounds. CEO has class. Cabin Crew members are also upset because their chance to make fat allowances became less and will they resort to pilfering alcohol and cigarettes like they used to when I worked for AirLanka in the Tri-Star? It was very common.

      • 4
        1

        Yes Peter, remember the corruption of the past and continue to outdo them. CEO is doing a thankless job? He doesn’t need anybody’s thanks for his utter mismanagement. The sneer about the backgrounds ofthe CEOS critics says it all. Do your job as pilots and let the CEO and team fill theor pockets. Peter you are either dumb or just another plant.

  • 9
    0

    From topic to bottom corruption prevailed..
    What is wrong with Sri Lankan politics and politicians..one of beautiful countries in the world but politics spoils it …

  • 13
    4

    Is that “Dru” a “PILOT”? “Respect your CEO and do what is in your job description”. “Dru”, RESPECT has to be earned and not to be “Demanded”. You would have been much accustomed to that “Demand” for “Respect” rather than to be “Respectful” for a person who earns it. That “Demand” took place during previous regime of MR, and under that Chairmanship of that “sex maniac” in the Sri Lanakan Airline. Do you still think that this CEO must be pardoned for the expenses of millions in giving him “conversion training” to a particular type of aircraft? In the same opinion you express, WHY you don’t tell this CEO to “RESPECT” the tax payers demand to put this outfit into a profitable venture by DOING what is in his “Job Description”?

    Annesly Dias: How to leave him ALONE when he (CEO) hasn’t done anything to turn around this organization. Just imagine what would have happened to him, if this man was given such a job in any other airline? Of course, he would have NEVER, EVER got such a job or even DREAM of it. But that was made “POSSIBLE” and became a “REALITY” because his “Brother” is the “Secretary” to the Prime Minster. Such things happen in Sri Lanka and that is the most unfortunate thing that we are saddled with.

    • 5
      0

      Exactly, Douglas, such nepotism is not only ruining Sri Lanka‘s airline but also Sri Lanka‘s reputation in the whole world. Bad at times, when the country is dependent on the financial support of the IMF. Everybody should appreciate the fact, that the unions have taken action. They started the ball rolling. Hope it roles to success!

  • 0
    0

    Wonder when this CEO is going to be a part of the dump labelled GROBR?

  • 2
    0

    It’s such stooges of Ranil which made a loud noice to say he would take the responsibility now proved to ruin the country and UNPs chances also in future hustlings. This Rat Watte, CB governor Mahendran about whom Ranil is very silent.

  • 7
    1

    Not surprising that anyone hand picked by Ranil Wickremasinhe turns out to be either a dud or a crook.

  • 5
    0

    We are waiting for your answer Mr. Ratwatte!
    Well, maybe he was referring to news like “SriLankan Air Says in Position to Be Profitable This Year
    Bloomberg Markets
    August 2nd, 2017, 5:59 AM GMT+02” when talking about fake news???

    • 0
      0

      Jo, talk to the unions, SLNSS only wants to keep crooks in jobs and f all during the day. Pilots? Fly, allowances, lay overs and recruit their kids by creating shortages, promised to fly 90hrs per month got the pay but fly about 50, cabin crew: on trade missions, engineers, too much pay for non grads.
      We are the unheard voice who gets hammered at work and home. Nearly two hundred engineers, pilots and chief officers(4) makes over million rupees.
      Place is full of dead weights. Have an executive union who sucks behind HHR to get favours to stay in power. Place needs a reset not a restructuring. On top of this you want profits? Joke!

  • 2
    0

    Sri lankan Air lines management and employees all show their character with all these. One Malaysian company wants to start a budget airline from three locations in Sri lanka. they say they will expand to 24 air planes in 5 years and will bring 9 million tourists. These guys are struggling with not even 24 air planes. Sri lankan airlines from the minister downwards is a mess and a loss to the country except for these individuals.

  • 1
    0

    I remember why I left Sri Lanka 18 yrs ago. The corruption and selfishness of the politicians and people enjoying in high positions seem to have exploded. It is so sad to see the country and the airline in this state.
    It could have done much more compared to the service that was provided by the staff comparatively in North America.

  • 1
    0

    Air Lanka, Sri Lankan both were vandalized by the politician then and now. Always appointing their own stooges without any aviation insights. Son in laws, class mates children were in the Board. The heads and seniors in these two airlines, always sucked up to these blobs who came with little or no knowledge. They got promoted and well looked after and it happens even now . They pimp for directors and hide and aid all foul play by these political digits. With a proper investigation even now you could find out all about these. How biased appointments promotions are planned and accordingly Staff job notices are published for these already decided bimbos. You could easily investigate the free tickets issued, hotel costs and perdiums paid for all the higher positions. Thank God we decided to leave seeing this circus long ago. Unnecessary cost on Promotions and advertising is incurred always with hidden agendas. It’s so sad Airlanka with such potential is ruined by these selfish, greedy white collar scavengers.

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