29 February, 2024


Pilots Guild Wants SriLankan Airlines To Continue Its Fraud

The Airline Pilots Guild of Sri Lanka wants SriLankan Airlines to continue its unlawful EPF/ETF and tax scam.

Over the years SriLankan Airlines has been paying flying meal allowances in the billions of rupees annually to both its pilots and cabin crew at overseas hotels for long trips and locally for short trips which is not highlighted in their salary slips.

Neither the pilots or cabin crew have paid taxes for these monies received, despite the Flight Attendants Union (FAU) demanding that the airline’s management make EPF/ETF contributions for flying meal allowances received.

Senani Samaranayaka resigned

Senani Samaranayaka resigned

When Colombo Telegraph contacted Inland Revenue Department official Mahinda Gunaweera, he said “a thorough investigation ought to be carried out in this regard if the details exposed by Colombo Telegraph were true”.

Writing to the President of the Flight Attendants Union Adrian Cramer, the President of the Airline Pilots Guild of Sri Lanka Capt Renuke Senanayake asked ” This is a payment, made to all employees of the Company; from the Chairman down, when on duty travel. Kindly enlighten us as to what gave you the right to jeopardize this earning for all of us”.

The head of the Human Resources, Pradeepa Kekulawala had responded to the FAU’s letter of demand, Colombo Telegraph has learnt

Kekulawala in a strongly worded reply had informed the FAU that the company would be more than happy to provide the existing meals on board for the crew and have them consume food in the hotel overseas and sign for it.This will be in lieu of having to make flying meal allowance payments and also having to incur further costs such as making EPF/ETF payments on top of that to the pilots and cabin crew.

However Kekulawala’s reply did not dispute the fact that EPF/ETF contributions should have been made all these years.

“Kekulawala’s suggestion if implemented is certainly going to uplift our loss making airline, as we could then go on to negotiate better room rates for the pilots and crew stays overseas. This is a huge cost to the airline annually and negotiating an all inclusive full board rate / deal would save millions of dollars throughout the entire network ” said a manager of the the airline’s In Flight Service Department.

We publish below the email sent by the President of the APGSL Capt Renuke Senanayake to the President of the FAU Adrian Cramer in full:

Mr. Adrian Cramer,
Flight Attendants Union.

Dear Mr. Cramer,
It is with a strong sense of disapproval and abhorrence we write this letter to you, to express our opinion on the stance taken by you and your committee, with regards to demanding that the Company pay EPF/ETF on meal allowances.

Meal allowances are not paid to Pilots and flight attendants alone. This is a payment, made to all employees of the Company; from the Chairman down, when on duty travel. Kindly enlighten us as to what gave you the right to jeopardize this earning for all of us.

Over the years, the FAU and the ALPGSL have worked closely together for mutual benefit. We have placed each other in high regards and a sense of cordial, mutual respect has always prevailed. Even when a Cabin Supervisor was earning a higher allowance than the second-in-command of an aircraft or when the Purser was earning a higher allowance than a Commander, we saw no reason to deprive any of you of that. It is common knowledge as to how these discrepancies in payments occurred and how they were secured, however, we saw no benefit in pursuing these matters as it would only have created hostilities amongst us. It seems though that you have seen fit to take the onus of creating a rift between us and as such, we will be requesting that the Government and the Company conduct investigations into how these allowances were paid, on what basis these values were justified and how the former Management provided a certain lump-sum to be distributed amongst your membership.

Perhaps you and your committee do not represent the opinion of your entire membership. If so, we sincerely hope that your membership take necessary steps to ensure that your rogue actions are brought swiftly under control. When the vast majority of your membership are contract employees; who will be the first to be terminated if the Company can no longer function as it is; it is benumbing to witness such insolent and brazen acts such as yours that put the livelihoods of your own members at stake.

As Pilots, we have single handedly, over the years, been responsible for millions of dollars in operational costs saved. At present, we have been given targets by our flight operations to actively pursue further means of cost savings to assist the Company in these dire times. We have and always will, place the future of this Airline above petty, individual gains.

As custodians of this Airline, we have always taken it upon ourselves to ensure that each and every one of you and all the other employees of this Company, have a means of feeding their families. However, by pursuing rattening acts such as your latest fiasco, you have perhaps driven the final nail in the coffin of our beloved Airline. We and all the other employees will hold you and your Union unequivocally responsible for this iniquitous deed.

Capt. Renuke Senanayake
President – ALPGSL
Airline Pilots Guild of Sri Lanka,
216/45, Diyawanna Place,
Welikada, Rajagiriya.
Sri Lanka.

Meanwhile the airline’s stewardess Nithya Senanaya Samaranayaka who was released to work for Namal Rajapaksa at Temple Trees during the previous Rajapaksa regime, has resigned from the FAU Executive Committee. No clarification is given if she resigned on her own or if she was asked to hand in her resignation.

Sending an SMS to all the Union Members, the FAU said “Dear Member, This is to inform you that Senani Samaranayaka has resigned from the FAU ExCo. Your Exco”.

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Latest comments

  • 4

    Not only the pilots the cabin crew has taken so many measure’s as saving to the Airline.on all European fareast and certain Meadle East sector’s.suggestions was made by cabin crew to take all juice’s and the amenities to uplift from Colombo. For the return sector’s.and proposal was implemented and the Airline was saving million of dollars

    • 10

      The bottom line is Sri Lankan should have been downsized many years ago to be a regional airline.

      Incompetent directors and senior management together with egoistic politicians prevented this from being done. The end result is a loss of Rs 100 billion over 5 years!!! We could have built 50 hospitals or 100 schools or 10 universities. These Directors should never be allowed to be on any listed company or public interest company boards.

      Pilots and cabin crew will always want European destinations and will always prevent them being shut down. Hotel owners will be the same. Poor tax payer has to fund this nonsense.

      Why aren’t pilots and cabin crew talking about continuous losses on passenger traffic?? When did we last make any money from passengers ? Almost 10 years ago under Emirates.

      Imagine previous management recommending destinations such as South Africa, Russia, many Eurpoean cities and Australia in the past?

      Junior pilots are earning Rs 1 million per month and some cabin crew at Rs 500,000 per month with allowances are not sustainable.

      If we cannot make money at USD 30 for oil we will never make money at Sri Lankan.!!!

      • 4

        The bottom line Jagath is not incompetence but fraud.

        It fraud of all types within Sri Lankan Airlines that continues to bleed the country.

        No body has the guts to say enough is enough and shut this eternally loss making white elephant down. The money saved can go for education and hospitals who are sorely lacking in funds.

  • 9

    This is difficult to read without wanting to turn violent! If all this was being done with money that has been earned, then we could turn a blind eye to this, but where are we heading? How can these people with connections, and perhaps looks and youth, be allowed to prey on the poor people of this country: people who dream only of sitting in a plane and feel the thrill of being airborne?

    We don’t want violence. We don’t want these people torn to bits in sewers the Muaumar Gaddafi was. Of course that was when he was old.

    Well, this Senani Samaranayaka woman no longer looks even pretty! We elected a new government to put an end to this scandalous state of affairs, but what has now happened is that i read this sort of thing daily and get so mad that I can hardly write coherently. Do you say, then get lost instead of writing rot?

    Well doesn’t that apply to the entire airline? Why not start phasing it out?

    • 4

      Sinhala_Man, I am sad that you had to drag Muammar Gaddafi into this debate. Did you know that during his reign, the Libyans paid no taxes, every newborn child started off with a substantive capital, Libyan students studying overseas had their tuition fees and maintenance paid, businessmen borrowed capital free of interest. Unlike our own Mahinda Rajapakse (MR) he spent the oil revenue on his own people while MR pilfered our revenues for himself. Had Gaddafi lived, he certainly would have given solace to the Yemenis now being pounded by the Saudis equipped with their 279% increase in weapons from USA. When he came to power, he closed the US and British military bases and nationalised the oil industry. He banned alcohol and gambling. He signed his death warrant when he would not yield to Western interests. Was it any wonder the West engineered a regime change?

      • 4

        It’s nice to see you have a positive view of Gadaffi’s reign. Such views must be the reason that Rajapakse managed to run riot (and is still trying to, although failingly) in Sri Lanka as well. Since you seem very knowledgeable about Gadaffi, please may I have an answer to whether the below incidents (few among many) that I have outlined can also be justified as you have so glibly done above?

        For one, Gadaffi led Libyans into an unjust and failed war in Chad that caused mass destruction and led to a social tragedy. In 1996, he committed the horrible massacre of over 1200 political prisoners in Abu Salim prison. The same year, a bodyguard of his son shot 50 spectators dead near the sports centre at Tripoli. On February 17 2006 (ten years ago) 50 dissidents were killed by Gadaffi snipers during the uprising in Benghazi. In addition, Gadaffi set up gallows for Libyans in the streets and squares. In addition, he said up public gallows for Libyans in the streets and his ‘cultural ambassador’ supporters set up gallows at university campuses. Public executions of ‘dissidents’ were paraded as victories and celebratory championships, with absolutely no accountability or rule of law adhered to in the sentence. This is all OK and should be encouraged, per your world view is it?

        Do you have answers for his role in the 1988 Lockerbie Pan-Am bombing that claimed over 280 lives? Another 157 dead in a Libyan plane bombing in Tripoli in 1992?Those who died in the nightclub bombing in Berlin in 1986? His involvement in all of these, by the way, proven in court.

        Let’s also not forget the intentional infection of over 450 babies with HIV at Benghazi hospital. The case was closed and the alleged Bulgarian perpetrators were released on the pressure of funders of the family. Going further back, there was also the assassinations and arrests of dissidents in 1981 after Gadaffi announced the “cleansing” of dissidents in AND outside of Libya, including former Libyan foreign minister Mansoor who was kidnapped in Egypt in 1993.

        And what about the crime of the century in Libya – the disappearance of the Lebanese Imam Musa al-Sadr and two companions, Sheikh Muhammad Yaacoub and journalist Abbas Badreddine, who went missing after being invited to Libya by Gadaffi, in an attempt to unite Arab leaders to stop Israeli aggression in Lebanon?

        I could go on at some length about this, but I hope you consider all of the above worth it in order to reach your state of “utopia” as mentioned in your post. Perhaps you have never visited Libya under Gadaffi. I have, and the reality could not be further from what you have said.

      • 3

        It’s good also that you mention that he banned the consumption of alcohol. I wonder why he could not enforce that ban on himself (it is well documented that the favourite drink of him and his lackeys was Johnnie Walker Black label). Also, he had scaled up to Blue Label at the time of his hideout being busted. You could see some visual evidence here: http://edition.cnn.com/2011/WORLD/africa/08/28/libya.gadhafi.nanny/

  • 18

    Since when did Pilots become custodians of the Airline ? perhaps after Suren Ratwatte assumed CEO’s position !

    They seem to have forgotten this Airline belongs to the people of the country and it is only the Tax payers money that provide a means to feed all the families (including Pilots)

    If the Law of the Land dictates all such payments are subject to Tax so be it regardless of whether such has been avoided all this time

    Would it perhaps be better for both FAU and ALPGSL to wash their dirty linen in Private

    • 2

      [Edited out]

  • 16

    Everyone knows how the cabin crew got their money from “Sudu Seeya”. How the girls were sold for his enjoyment when their agreements were signed. How is it that cabin crew earn more money than a pilot and even an engineer? Funny nonsense that is! Pilots have always paid taxes on every penny they make. If they were not taxed on this (if of course they were supposed to be) it’s not their fault. As per the law of the land if this is to be taxed, they will have no qualms about it! But once they start initiating investigations with the company and government (as per the letter) about these payments made to cabin crew, the FAU will have to tuck it’s tail up its behind and run for the hills.

  • 25

    Ludicrous! Engineers and Pilots have always been the “custodians” of this airline. Who the hell is the FAU? Bunch of greedy, money hugging mongrels who won’t think twice to drive this company to bankruptcy if they think they can make a buck out of it! These cabin crew think so highly of themselves, they think they are a head and shoulders above everyone else! Not too long ago, their management circulated a letter instructing them not to offer a technician working on the aircraft a cold drink even! The FAU had complained saying that they were not there to serve technicians! The Pilots are the once that stepped in and sorted these fools out!

    • 5

      Dont forget the image of the Airline lies with a Cabin crew, Pilots in Sri lanka think planes cant take off with them, the previous bunch of old Uncle sams who flew the Planes established the perks and this airline cannot tolerate the wages and demand of the Pilots. There are young Captains making Rs 1 million take home and this Airline can be saved if they cut the wages and allowances and transport of the crew and make them like Ryan and Easy .

      Have some respect mate, end of the any monkey can be trained to fly these airbuses and I have seen Donkeys fly
      you guys and just privileged Bus Drivers.

      • 19

        I’m not a Pilot “Small Putha”. You want to talk about salaries and allowances? Shall we talk about what an Engineer or Technician takes home when compared to one of you waiters in suit and tie? That should be fun!

      • 18

        Or are you trying to say that Engineers and technicians are mere Monkeys with wrench? Goes to prove that you glorified servants think you are a different breed!

  • 4

    Why kakula was sleeping all this time? A problem should arise for him to give a solution? Well sleeping is a known fact! Wonder who gave this golden idea! I am sure it’s not his own but must be benefitting from someone else! Maybe he will say the HR manger planning and analytics dul baby gave the idea and promote her to grade 10- no grade 11! She deserve that for all the hard core affection shown, isn’t it kakulo?

  • 12

    Engine Aiya,

    Is this the correspondence that you were talking about?

    Firs Email below – Manager In Flight Services Senaka De Soysa’s email instructions to all cabin crew not to serve drinks to ground personnel when the aircraft is on ground.

    Second Email Below – Reply from APGSL President Capt.Renuke Senanayake


    ——– Original Message ——–
    From:Senaka De Soysa
    Sent:Thu, 24 Sep 2015 11:17:12 +0530
    To:Inflights – Cabin Crew
    Cc:Inflights – Cabin Crew Performance Manager ,Inflights – Service Instructors – SISE ,

    Subject:Serving drinks to FD crew

    Dear all,

    Gentle reminder to oblige the requests for drinks made by FD crew for their personal consumption, taking into consideration the time factor and work load attending to pre departure duties and passenger service needs. Requests made for drinks/eats to be served to any person outside of the FD crew should not be entertained and consistency in ensuring same is sought from all crew. This process has been informed to the Flight Operations Management too.

    Furthermore, cabin crew should not be offering ground staff any drinks or food, when the aircraft is on ground.

    All crew should be consistent in following the above procedure.


    Senaka De Soysa
    Manager Inflight Service (Performance & Support Services)
    SriLankan Airlines Ltd. Mktg – Service Delivery, Airline Centre, Bandaranaike International Airport, Katunayake, Sri Lanka.

    SECOND EMAIL:Sent in by President APGSL to Head of Flight Operations

    Dear Capt Ranatunga,

    Reference is drawn to the communication issued to all cabin crew by Manager Inflight Services (Performance and Support Services) Senaka De Soysa.

    The ALPGSL wishes to place on record its disapproval of the contents therein.

    It is disappointing that Flight Operations Department was merely ‘informed’ of a process that has been formulated by Senaka De Soysa that directly involves the well-being of tech crew members. Upon further inquiry the ALPGSL has learnt that this process has been formulated by Senaka Soysa as a knee-jerk reaction to a misplaced complaint by a disgruntled cabin crew member, purser Amila Gunawardena. Whilst the ALPGSL holds in high regard, the professionalism of cabin crew of SriLankan Airlines, it is no secret of the existence, as in any part of society, of a minority of CCMs who have misconceptions of authority and are often guilty of insubordination. In anticipation of a formal investigation in future of the background of the issuance of the communication by Senaka De Soysa, the ALPGSL is in the process of gathering information of the many instances of insubordination displayed by purser Amila Gunawardena.

    As the Flight Operations Department thus far has remained silent on this matter, the ALPGSL would like to highlight a few concerns for your urgent attention.

    1. “Gentle reminder to oblige the requests for drinks made by FD crew for their personal consumption, taking into consideration the time factor and workload attending to pre departure duties and passenger service needs.”

    As you are well aware, most of our departures impede on normal meal times. TCMs leave home approximately three hours prior to the scheduled time of departure. World wide civil aviation regulations and scientific research emphasize the satisfactory mental and physical disposition of pilots when operating aircraft. Needless to say food and drink is essential to this end, and is an important role the cabin crew play for a safe operation. It is imperative thus to elucidate Senaka Soysa that this is phrased a “request” as professional courtesy. Should his process of ‘obliging’ if time and pre departure work load permits, be allowed to continue, the ALPGSL, in consideration of a safe conduct of flight, would be forced to advise its members to consider issuing a direct order for same and escalate this matter to the Director General of Civil Aviation. If any CCM is then seen to be willfully disregarding the authority of the Commander, he/she shall be dealt with appropriately for insubordination.

    2. “Requests made for drinks/eats to be served to any person outside of the FD crew should not be entertained” and “Furthermore, cabin crew should not be offering ground staff any drinks or food, when the aircraft is on ground.”

    To formulate policy of this nature by a manager in the Inflight Department is seen by the ALPGSL as nothing less than a direct threat to the authority and discretion of the Commander. May we remind you, the Chairman and outgoing CEO at the first meeting held by the new management and the ALPGSL reaffirmed the wish of the Board of Directors to escalate the pilots to the previous authority, that has been compromised over years of having exactly the kind of attitude that Senaka Soysa has displayed in this instance.

    As we are unaware of the background of Senaka De Soysa, we request you to remind him that we are first and foremost, SriLankan. We are a compassionate people. The SriLankan Airlines family is made up of many from all walks of life. Engineers and Technicians work long hours in challenging situations to assure the airworthiness of our aircraft and on time movements. Dispatch personnel assure correct loading and weight and balance essential for a safe flight. The role of the Security personnel, we hope is self-explanatory. All such support staff often endure extreme outside weather conditions and demands of tough technical needs to ensure the collective safety of the aircraft. It is therefore ironic, that a Manager of Performance and Support Services seem to lack the core knowledge of human performance. To formulate such policy and issue communication not to entertain requests made by TCMs for drinks/eats for ground personnel, is thus seen by the ALPGSL as undermining the authority of the Commander and insubordination. It is disappointing that the intricacies and fundamentals of day-to-day line operations and the common, professional courtesies we extend each other seems lost on Senaka De Soysa.

    It is also pertinent at this moment to stress on the importance of all of us working together in harmony, to aid in the recovery of our Airline. Petty attitudes and deliberate encouragement of discrimination should be considered willful sabotage of the untiring effort made by the new management to turn the fortunes of our airlines back to profitability.

    In conclusion, the ALPGSL request your intervention in the immediate withdrawal of the communication issued to the cabin crew by Senaka Soysa and to assure, in future policy that affects TCMs are not formulated by second tier managers of other Departments. Further the ALPGSL request an immediate formal inquiry, with all parties concerned, into the incidents that have led to the issuance of this communication.

    An urgent resolution of this matter is sought and your intervention is much appreciated.

    Best Regards

    Capt Renuke Senanayake

    President – ALPGSL

  • 8

    Guys you are pissing in the wind.Can you please stop it for the same of rest of the staff?
    You areas are pretty nasty and touchy might end up with worse episodes,like a can of worms.
    Please let it rest

  • 4

    This is like something from Comedy Central. Our National Flag Carrier looks ridiculous with the tail and the arse in dispute, and the head hasn’t a clue about how to lead or bring about order. What a dismal state of affairs. Sri Lankan should have been the killed-off a long time ago. Instead it was allowed to live off WE the taxpayers and then sodomised by wily politicians and their proxies and, now it seems, its own staff. This is a national disgrace and the sooner it is brought to an end, the better.

    Perhaps, in the spirit of Yahapalanaya, we could hope that a national airline, run by professional management, and independent of political interference, will emerge. Is that too much to hope for?

  • 9

    What we see here is a classic case of a siblings at war ! When the parents are at each other’s throats, such actions by the siblings cannot be avoided. We hear of Boardroom ( or is it Bored-room) chaos where top clowns are at war while and then the well known hostilities between flight and Cabin crew. While all this is happening there are others who are milking the airline silly through some well established malpractices. They go home richer than those at war here but the siblings and their parents were turning a Nelsosian eye to all those rogue activities. Take for instants UL ticketing, Cargo, procurement etc and compare them with profit making airlines. What do they do better to bring in profits ? Why don’t these clowns follow a leader than attempt to reinvent the cart wheel ? Are we proactive with our ticketing ? Marketing ? Sales ? Or any other area ? NO IS THE ANSWER.
    Saving on fuel or fruit juices alone cannot bring an airline to black but adopting an overall strategy to SAVE, can. Saving or cutting down from the lower paid employees is not the answer. A few are said to be taking away packages of Rs 10m per month so can a tottering airline pay such salaries and perks ?

    The cabin crew mafia at UL has hijacked the airline to boost their flagging egos at times resorting to insubordination and should be dealt with severely. Those who do not belong to this category act professionally and are loved by flight deck crew and passengers alike.

    If there’s a fraud here, then it had gone on for too long and needs to be corrected now but the bigger rot and siphoning happens elsewhere ? BTW where are those large scale rogues who dried up the coffers ?? Sudu seeya….former CEOs……free riding politicos…….their mistresses ….

  • 2

    Yes, Ofcourse not having the hand in the cookie jar is very difficult to live without.

  • 7

    Can HHR Kekulawala please justify as to come Cabin Crew get paid a basic salary, then productivity pay ( hourly pay in dollars from chocks off to chocks on) which amounts to way more than their basic salaries and also pay them meal allowances calculated from the time they sign on to sign off from duty? This is day light robbery. The other poor employees like us put in much more hard hours for tuppence. The board of directors are all political appointees who just don’t have a clue as to what is taking place. How can a bunch of employees sign an agreement with the airline’s management and get the tax payer to fork out these payments. Kekulawala should be whipped with a sting ray tail for signing these deals. The lump sum Capt. Senanayake has mentioned is a huge sum of Rs. 50 million that the previous Flight Attendants Union siphoned off with his help. December 2014 salary slips will highlight as to how all crew members equally split this pot and took home 49,000 each just before Christmas. They had turkey whilst the rest us and our families had our usual fowl curry for Christmas. Capt. Senanayake quite rightly as mentioned in his letter should have this also investigated.

  • 4

    This whole shit stinks. Most of the female cabin crew are from namal baby’s home town medamulana. Withdrawing hefty salaries including other perks etc is unacceptable compared to other ground staff. Yahapalana do something.
    Over to you FCID

  • 0

    Now that New Zealand PM is here why don’t we trade Sri Lankan to some fat good, cows and run a farm..I am sure we will make good revenue than the airline.But make sure not to appoint a dumb, Royalist who had not played any sport even carrom..in school. Even late Kadale would have done a better job standing by the side lines.Don’t insult the rest of us by continuously failing.

  • 5

    does this mean we won’t be getting the smile and flirtatious small talk in the galley? sigh… Mostly the senior and older stewardess from the era when Sri Lankan was flying high are humble, friendly and attentive.

    but seriously, the custodians of the Airline are its pilots and engineers. They are the one’s who have maintained the stellar record in safety. The engineers service 3rd party aircraft for many airlines such as Indigo and Gulf Air and reel in the profits. The most important thing is that they want to do their job because they love their job. More obvious for pilots but I have personally seen the enthusiasm of the engineers talking about aircraft in their free time.

    time to employ the FCID to get rid of the beggars

  • 4

    Ex UL Staff: I am surprised to read your question viz. “Since when Pilots have become the custodians of the airline?”. You being an ex airline person (ex UL staff) I least expected this idea to come from you. This is no doubt a National Venture; and it is the very reason and obligation of all its employees to be the custodians and participants to run its affairs in the best interest of the Public. As you correctly said, let the Pilots and Cabin Crew wash their dirty linen in “Private”. Having said so, it is a matter of Pubic Interest to address the issues connected with this demand for payment of EPF & ETF on the allowances paid to the relevant staff.

    As reported by CT, the Inland Revenue person contacted says: “a through investigation is necessary to determine the issue if the facts reported are correct”. Why an “Investigation”? Simple to read through the provisions of the EPF & ETF Acts and see whether such allowances do fall within the stipulations made in respect of such payments and earnings. Consult the Commissioner of Labour who administers these Acts; viz EPF & ETF for interpretation and advice.

    Next the reply by the Head of Human Resources Mr.Kekulawala. Isn’t he the authority to interpret the provisions of the EPF & ETF Acts to the Finance Division of the airline as regards these payments to staff and say whether such payments are deemed as “earnings” or “reimbursement of expenses” and such are liable or not for deductions and contributions to the Funds by the employee and the employer. Why cant he say; these allowances are NOT subject to payment of EPF & ETF and close the subject.

    Both the above scenarios are not surprising and typical of the way Sri Lankans manage the affairs of day to day administration. The motto is: Pass the Buck and Save the Arse”. Will Sri Lanka ever makes a recovery? I doubt it very much.

    • 0

      I knew you would contribute to the conversation. You have been in the ” front end ” of these policy decisions. Not much has changed since days past, in my experience these allowances are not subjected to ETF/EPF.

    • 3


      I wonder why you are surprised at my question Viz” since when Pilot become custodians of the Airline “‘.It was simply in relation to what President-ALPGSL has claimed in his response.My intentions were simply to say that no particular group of people can take it upon themselves to proclaim the custodianship of the Airline per se.

      As much as Pilots and Engineers are vital for successful operation of the Airline so are the others who also have much responsibility in ensuring the end Product meets up with customers expectations.What most these pressure groups fail to realize is that their jobs if the necessity arises could very well be outsourced perhaps cost effectively.

      AS you have rightly pointed out this issue simply could have been resolved if only necessary reference would have been made to the applicable labour/inland Revenue laws of the country.I believe UL has a legal department and surely there should at least be one person who is conversant with such regulations ? In a worst case scenario they could at least consult a good Lawyer with sound knowledge of these matters and put at end to this comedy once and for all.

      Whatever it is this episode is an indictment on both Heads of Human Resources as well as Finance for their ineptitude

  • 14

    This is equivalent to looking up and spitting onto your own face. The very act of aending this so called letter to the management on the part of the FAU simply highlights what level of thinki g these shoddy opportunists have. Surely they are of the view that that they have dealt a massive blow to the airline and thus shown their power andtheir wit. More like their lack of wit, while this issue warrants a proper checking with regard to taxability of allowances, these donkeys seem to forget that there is a 10% employee contribution, fair enough it is a saving but in the short term flight attendants and pilots wpuld most likely have to cough up the due contributiona on said allowances if deemed taxable.

    Another jolly good fact is, these allowances would become eligible for PAYE tax deductions.

    I dare anyone able to contact UL and demand information wot regard to the ridiculous collective agreements signed by FAU and former CEO CHAIRMAN. Under these conditions, the cabin crew were able to sleep their way to fixed annual increases in salary over a period of time regardless of performance. Further perhaps wprth noting only Cabin Crew, Pilots and Engineers get a set of confirmed tickets in addition to their free of charge sub load ( can fly only when free seats available on flight). Under this scheme, these crew are wntitled to book a free ticket on aany flight they choose and would be recognized as equal to any paying passenger therefore there is a huge opportunity cost for heavy flights by honouring these deals.

    The rest of the staff in UL are paid well below infuatry standards and enjoy very little in terms of benefits. These staff could be considered the life blood of the airline and yet are paid a mere pittance in comparison to the the crew.

    It is commin knowledge how several indivoduals received promotions over the past few years, performance appraisals in the sheets and the infamous NivasiPura residence of Sudu Maama.

    How can there bot be any action taken on these gross violations of conduct and procedure.

    How can nobody question the remuneration paid to Manoj Gunawardena while he sits pretty in London doing diddly squat. Or question why he was allowed to restructure the commercial division of the airline as he saw fit, conveniently ensuring he retains his approximate 1.5 million monthly payday with luxry house and vehicle in the UK. Os UL reaponsible to ensure he is in London to be eligible to apply for PR or citizenship perhaps? How to justify air headed women such as Mrs. Rodrigo being promoted as senior manager to only head up a Frequent Flyer Program and that too without any focus.

    A former politico campaign manager to Sajin Vas, formerly heading sales and now banished to Mihin Lanka.

    When will somebody realize that Mihin has become the little sister that nobody needs amd yet continues to throw the family fortune away.

    The logic of havin this lousy Mahinda namesake still in operation amd that too in competition with the national carrier is dumbfounding.

    Clearly action is needed. whether it will be taken is a good question. Basically the hardworking groundstaff and head office staff are left standing with their pants down, jocks hangin the balance and a set of clippers swaying perilously to and fro..

  • 2

    Oh my God. These guys really managed to demonstrate the calibre of the national airline to the general public and the rest of the world. Pretty sad.

  • 0

    The present board and the management is still running the set up in the same manner, created by MR storages.spineless newly appointed board, are still feeding commission to the last regime’s top people,even if the end up in prison they will still earn their commission, Sajin,Kapila are still earning from Sri Lankan, shame on you PM and Minister.UL is like a boat without the sails.Gota’s security still at the gates..shame on you.every card you show has been a hand down

  • 1

    Vishvajith: Thank you. So much have changed since PAST DAYS of UL mainly due to “Political Bungling” and continue to stink the whole of aviation industry. Please read through the Waliamuna Report.

    Ex-UL staff: Thanks. Your comment agrees with what I tried to explain. It must be “every ones” concern and participation from the very top to the bottom. Equally the PUBLIC must be aware and made aware at all times to keep those in Management and the Politicians “responsible” and “accountable”.

    Saman: What you said were only an “atom” in the whole mass. What is going on in UL is thousand times mountainous than that of Meethotamulla Garbage dump. Who will clear it? To do that we must find a massive “Incinerator” type man like that of Lee Iacocca who saved the giant car manufacturing company – Chrysler of USA from extinction.

  • 8

    Douglas, You are absolutely right. There is much more going on and probably would take ages to put down into words, However at least the issues that stand out from the rough and into the surface must be looked into.

    Maybe people should look into how Mr. Dilan Ariyawansa, a close aide of MR himself is still holding the GSA contracts to Australia and even USA, CANADA if not mistaken. These are highly lucrative contracts which rake in millions in commissions and incentives. However the management turns a blind eye.

    The focus is yet to cater to the Golden Oldies of the airline, giving them all the vital roles in the company and watching them further run it into the ground.

    This Airline has managers who are only with A level qualifications, The need of the hour is to revise the retirement age and enforce such. Get rid of old lethargic staff who are drawing salaries amounting to multiple lakhs due to years of service and compulsory increments. Imagine the cost saving when there are young blooded graduates, talented qualified staff in the company who are capable of handling these operations and draw a fraction of the salary of these ridiculous outdated individuals.

    Why bother spending money or scouting and recruiting high performers ,obtaining their skills at comparatively low cost only to just sideline them and continue to pour tonnes of cash into the pockets of a range of expired potatoes.

    New retirement age should be 55 Years, plain and simple. When will management realize that reducing this excess workforce which has become a huge burden would not only lead to higher productivity and performance but would also garner in the new thinking that has long been the need of the hour.

    Much to be done. Hopefully the readers of Colombo Telegraph can do us a favour and highlight these to people of decision making caliber.

  • 6

    Saman: You brought out a very critical and an urgent action to be taken by the Management of the airline viz. “The appointment of GSA”. In one of my earlier comments I too brought out this fact, when the ex CEO, Mr. Kapila Chandrasena stated that out of 14% of earnings, only 4% is accrued to the airline while the balance 10% is taken by the GSAs. Just imagine how much the GSAs earn out of “No Investment” and doing sweet nothing for the airline. The example you quoted is still a “Living Example” in the business. Before writing my comment on the stated facts by the ex CEO, I inquired what services that the GSA of USA and Canada provides to the airline. It was revealed that GSA belongs to a close associate and formally an associate of Ceylinco and of the “Big Wigs” of the previous regime. It was at a “House Party” held by its owner that Sajin Vas Gunawardane assaulted the then High Commissioner to UK, Mr. Kris Nonis. This GSA receives “commissions” from all the tickets sold by the Travel Agents in those countries and there was absolutely no “Service” rendered even by way of advertising the airline in local media. Any query raised by the Travel Agents on the telephone goes directly to a “Call Centre” in Sri Lanka and local employee is scheduled to address the issue. This “Call Centre” is yet another “Big Business” handled by another “private party”.

    These are the “small findings” of the huge “Garbage Dump” I stressed earlier.

  • 4

    Douglas, That ratio of sharing is a disgrace. Surely something needs to be done along the lines of fine tuning such. Further to that, the management should relook at how these contracts were awarded. Surely there must be a way to have some guideline in place that in order to be entitled for such a sharing, the GSA is required to make some sort of stipulated amount in terms of Airline promotion in media and trade?? That would make sense.

    Word is that GSA owner is particular is currently being reviewed and set to lose his contracts, at least something seems to be happening. The biggest waste yet would sure be the larger than life Director of HR, I wonder what capacity he acts in for all he has seemed to want to do is pick and choose to award promotions to people without any base or guideline.

    Call Centre you are refereeing to I believe was also an issue that has since been rectified, sources indicate that the call center is now inhouse. Similarly the outsourced company that used to handle all of the internet related promotions has been kicked out and that too handled insource. Based on these one cant say the management has not done anything .

    Can anyone possibly look to get some feedback on the average age of employees in the company. and then the average age of managers above. The results would be appalling. assuredly over 40% (possibly much more) staff are aged close to 50 and above… how in the name of sanity it that healthy for an organization… let alone an airline.

    However lot more to be done!!

  • 0

    Sell this and the other airline and invest the money in the railways, which has been starved for 50 years. Even if the trains run at a loss, at least it provides a service to our people.

  • 0

    I am surprised how you blame the GSAs when the CEO and the 35-40years old managers offered GSAs 5 percentage ticket commission plus another 6% additional commission for any ticket bought online(if a passenger buy his ticket at home using his credit card)we offered commission to GSA. All these decisions were taken by so called young managers along with CEO.when the seniors questioned they were asked to keep off. The so called young managers with all farce talk and bogus PR qualities,sucking up to MR clan now sucking up to Politicians, and the new board taking the air line to cleaners.The 50 plus managers keep their respect dignity has always stuck to their knowledge and quality.You want their assistance you talk to them if not go F6$#@ yourselves.

  • 2

    Sumane please get a life. When we discuss here, we paint a picture of the situation based on information from sources as well as our own findings. You are referring to maybe 1 incident of a manager agreeing to ridiculous terms from a GSA and sure enough, if anyone has done wrong they must be held accountable.

    However you may not be aware, but at SriLankan nothing used to happened without the blessing of the CEO and or Chairman. Therefore surely they are as much to blame.

    Further, you may not be aware but younger approx 40 ur old managers have been in charge for GSA overall only for the past year. Prior to that those 50 + fuddy duddies that you so boldly protect were in charge.

    The biggest travesty in GSA appointment was for USA, CANADA & AUSTRALIA, who went and appointed a MR stalwart for this business?? who enable him to lead a luxuries carefree life in USA and maintain such high ranking ties that a Senior Minister of the then government as well as the High commissioner to UK were guests at his residence for a formal gathering.

    Your 50+ managers with their outdated experience have tactics and methodologies that are ideal for an airline over a decade ago. These are individuals who are struggling to get their head around Microsoft Office 365 merely because the background, border design and button arrangement has slightly been tweaked.

    Respectfully the airline is better off staying as far away from these expired old prunes and sidelining them rather than ask questions and get their ideas. The reason being they have always been out for themselves and will always look to continue to do so.

    The company needs young blood to drive them forward. What ever happened to the big idea of geooming future leaders. These programs seem to always get overlooked.

    The former Head of Sales alone is the perfect example old managers working towards their own benefit. Time and time again we have mentioned he was the campaign manager for the same senior minister of former govt rederred to above. Rumour has it that this individual had strange links woth not just GSAs but agents themselves.

    Its a lovely mess.
    @sumane & @ Douglas…

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