15 October, 2018

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RTI Commission To Inquire Into SriLankan Airlines ‘In Public Interest’

Strongly rejecting the decision by Sri Lankan Airlines Chairman Ajith Dias not to give information on salaries and other financial benefits to the top executive officers of SriLankan in terms of the Right to Information (RTI) Act, the Sri Lanka Pilots Guild has filed an appeal to the RTI Commission asking that the information be released in the public interest.

Dias and Ratwatte

Earlier this month, six trade unions blasted Dias asking how the requested information could be refused on the basis that it was ‘confidential’ or of a ‘personal nature’ when ‘it has contributed to the accumulated debt’ that Dias has now declared publicly, may result in the airlines going bankrupt, resulting in ‘a potential loss of employment of nearly 7,000 individuals.’

Observers describe Dias’ shocking letter as a shrewd move calculated at scaring the unions and employees of SriLankan to ‘knuckle down’ under the directions of the top management. That tactic has now failed, they say.    

The country’s airline became a loss-making enterprise in the time of former President Mahinda Rajapaksa, but the unity alliance government of Maithripala Sirisena and Ranil Wickremesinghe has, despite promises by its top ministers that it will ‘turn the airline around’, failed to improve the situation. Instead SriLankan Airlines was kept afloat by public funds from the Treasury coming from taxes collected from citizens. Millions were doled out by the Treasury in equity investments as approved by the Cabinet.

Unions allege that the Government’s appointees to the Board of Directors and the Chairman lack the necessary skills to rescue the airline from its financially unstable state and that they have further aggravated the airline’s financial woes by using it as their personal property and awarding their favourites to the executive ranks, massive salaries and other benefits. Though the Government promised to take action in regard to the allegations, nothing was done. 

The RTI appeal filed by the Pilots Guild had asked for all information related to and/or connected to the cost of personal flying training for the A320 jet conversion borne by SriLankan Airlines Limited and/or any party for the CEO Suren Ratwatte. It has also asked for the salaries and other benefits enjoyed by the CEO, the Head of Human Resources (HHR) and the Chief Commercial Officer.

Further, the appeal asked for information (including profits and losses) suffered as a result of the agreement between Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) and Sri Lankan Airlines Limited and information on the cancellation of the order of the Airbus A350 Aircraft. 

Colombo Telegraph was informed by the Guild that the appeal hearing is due to take place before the RTI Commission in early January 2018 with the Commission calling for comprehensive written submissions by both parties in relation to the matter.

Related Posts:

SriLankan Airlines: Marching Orders Served To Chairman Dias, CEO Ratwatte And Directors By Airline’s Alliance Of Unions

SriLankan Airlines: Chairman Dias Is A Blatant Liar – Pilot Guild

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Latest comments

  • 4
    1

    Earlier it was privatized to Mahinda Rajapakse and a womanizer relative ran it. This time ?It is privatized to Ranil Wickramsingghe and tge Duty free shop catering service along the asis routes owner runs the company. He is also attached Mahabodhi society and to Pivithuru ..literature something probably to sell books inside plane. they get exorbitant salaries even though the airline looses money. If a air hostess earns a salary around $s 500, 000 think about the management. I heard pilots are now fighting for profit sharing. Agan even though the air line is losing.

    • 3
      0

      Eran wickramaratne should be questioned for his role in “re-structuring” Sri lankan over the past 3 years of Ranil’s Jarapalanaya govt. along with Shiranthi Rajapaksa’s cad brother and planter who ran it before Era was put on the job.
      Eran needs to be held accountable for the mess NOW. After all MR troupe of corrupt criminals have been out of power for 3 years.
      Eran should reveal who was putting pressure to sell Sri Lankan to a US Hedge Fund that is being sued in Australia for dirty deals, and the aborted plan to sell it off the the Texas Pacific Group that is known to asset strip companies. Only TPG had to face anti trust court cases in Australia and were sued by the Aussi govt.

    • 1
      0

      Pathetic behaviour of a barbaric decision made by the GOSL in Cremating the Nagadipa Thero in a public esplanade in Jaffna was a Blatant Injusitice served against the Religion and the People of the North.
      Culturally in the North this behaviou is a no no.
      When a death occurs the body is taken away to a proper land far away to be cremated.

      I know this barbaric custom is observed among the Buddhists of the South.
      Mainly the burning of the dead yellow robed ra…….ls a big ceremony under pomp and pageantry.
      This is not the way of MOURNING IN THE NORTH.
      A GRAVE INTOLERANCE OF HINDU CULTURE HAD BEEN SERVED ON THIS ANCIENT HINDU RELIGION AND ON THE PEOPLE OF NORTH.

      SHAME ON THE LAW OF SRI-LANKA FOR TRIVIALISING OF A RELIGION.
      MAY THE CURSE FALL UPON ON THOSE RESPONSIBLE FOR THE DECISION MADE TO BURN THE BODY IN PUBLIC ON BURNING PYRES.
      NEVER EVER BEEN A CREMATION OF A KIND TOOK PLACE CULTURALLY
      IN THE NORTH ,BUT BARBARICALLY MAY BE YES!!!!!!

      • 0
        0

        Now wot is this Analyst? Can’t cremate people in a public place in the North. Was Chelvanayagam cremated at home privately.?According to you when a death occurs the body is taken to a “proper land” far away! How far away? In India ?..What a great civilised custom much unlike those barbarians in the South. Why don’t you ask those Tamil buggers in the South to return to the North so that they can be cremated in a far away place. You have my full support for it. I will also assist in seeing that you are cremated without delay. OK?

        • 1
          0

          Percy
          Your ignorance is beyond imagination not even equal to a monkey brain!
          Read some documents on religious rituals before you shouts with your trumpet.
          You people do only read the bedtime stories of Gathas messed up by Mahawamsa!!
          True or False ?? To be seen or proved!!
          All are Enid Blyton’s Mysteries.
          Good Luck reading!!

    • 0
      0

      Sri lanka needs a Commission on AVANT GUARD which was the biggest financial and security scam in Sri Lanka.
      Avant guard was both a massive financial crime and a National Security Crime. Why is JVP silent on this?
      Why is Prez. Sirisena not setting up a commission to investigate UNP and JO partnership in Avant Guard Corruption, when the Sri Lankan Navy was asset stripped by Gota Rajapaksa and Tialak Marapone with help of Wijedasa Rajapaksa and Senadhipatti. The Navy was earning funds for country providing security for Ships in Indian Ocean but this lucrative function of SL Navy was privatized to Avant Guard to do gun running. Avant Guard is a foreign Surveillance company and there was an Israel – Ukrain and no doubt Deep State connecting.

  • 3
    0

    So, what are powers of RTI to change things ? Ranil and MY3 are silent. I heard the final report says MY3 is also responsible.

  • 0
    0

    This comment was removed by a moderator because it didn’t abide by our Comment policy.For more detail see our Comment policy https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/comments-policy-2

  • 2
    0

    The govt has given the approval to increase Salaries and everything related to Sri lankan airlines. So, the airline even when loses money, the management gets salary increases, CGR strike is also about that. Even though CGR loses money they want the ability to increase salaries and salary increases to themselves. Right now there must be a gap of nine hours between next work schedule. Yet, some get 600, 700 like hours per week. No one is capable of explaining it. Some times they haven’t worked even the required 140 hrs for the month. Their demand is a presidential decree to change every thing.

  • 6
    0

    This Government spent three years without initiating any action to investigate and correct the course to make Sri Lankan Airline a viable outfit, even having spent another Rs. 3 -4 million on an “Investigative Report” by a team led by Mr. Weliamuna. This present Chairman even had the nerve to tell the public that those “Findings” contained in that report had “NO BASIS” and therefore the Board of Directors have decided not to make further inquiries. What were the reactions of these “Employee Unions” then, on hearing that statement? How did the President, the Prime Minister and the rest of the Ministers in charge of this Public Body reacted to that statement? Did anyone in Parliament, on hearing that “High Handed” outburst had the nerve to question the Authorities of at least that “Doled Out” (if the Chairman’s statement was correct) amount of Rs. 3 – 4 million paid to that Weliamuna Team? Then there was an “Investigation” by the Presidential Commission – “PRECIFCA” who summoned the previous Chairman Mr. Nishantha Wickramasinge and submitted a “Report” among 17 others to the President. What happened and WHERE is that “REPORT”? In the meantime, the PM started another “GILL MART” by the name “RESTRUCTURING”, that also hiring a “CONSULTING FIRM” from UK. Haw much it will “COST” is anyone’s guess. Now the LATEST, the President has walked into the “FRY” by promising to his party members, to appoint another “Presidential Commission”; ONCE AGAIN to “INVESTIGATE”. This RTI is yet another “INQUIRY”. So Employee Unions have you or are you SERIOUS in working towards a SOLUTION that will protect your livelihood and the PEOPLES’ MONEY of this country? I think all PARTIES to this DEBACLE are playing “CASINO” with the sweat and blood of the Tax Payers of this country. The PAY BACK days will come and all of you will pay back the loot PLUS interest at “COMPOUND RATE”. Till then enjoy!

  • 7
    0

    Send Ranil to Dubai to learn how the Royal Family built up Emirates. A westerner with good contacts in the airline industry was made CEO and then it was history to make it the top airline. We have to headhunt the best in the industry and revive it and advise how to grow the airline. The airline is failing because Ranil and Mahinda are returning the favours of relatives and friends and party supporters. This is why we drain our national assets and then sell them to China.

  • 6
    0

    24 planes have 7000 employees means 280 per plane. then with five figure salaries, any idiot can understand that the air line would lose money. If the CEO is a businessman busy with his own business and a man with no initiative to run the airline properly and a man who stays most of the time home without going to the office certainly would be a disaster to the airline. Ask Jeremy he knows. There are more horror stories with regard to that.

  • 5
    0

    Even a grocery owner knows how to run a business and earn a profit. If a business to get profit, it should keep the cost down. In this case, top is heavy with exorbitant perks, and all around costs too extremely high, in a environment like these, any business deem to hit the rock bottom. This economic logic is not a rock science, even a layman who has little knowledge about economics and business knows it. If a business keeps the cost high it bound to fail. Today all most all airlines in the world are making money for the fuel cost is low, due to the over supply of oil, and during the hard time when oil price was high, they did high cost cutting, and now they are reaping the good rewards. In all the state owned businesses the situation is the same. When this government took over the market worth of SriLanka Telecom was SLR. 92 billion but today it’s SLR. 42 billion, same with Petroleum Corp etc who is going to answer for this and take the blames. These are the public assets and not politicians family businesses or grand fathers’ properties. All those who are responsible for these should be prosecuted for criminal offences of failing to up hold the public trust, misusing and abusing the the public property, and put all of them behind bars.

  • 0
    0

    This comment was removed by a moderator because it didn’t abide by our Comment policy.For more detail see our Comment policy https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/comments-policy-2

  • 1
    0

    Edward,

    What happened to the Air Lanka investigation report?. All Commissions wasting the public money, Why not bring similar law as the prevention of terrorism. Of course, non will do it because everyone is a white Lilly.

  • 4
    0

    Ranil thinks that all top posts should be given to his Royalist friends. Good examples are Mahendran and Dias. Ranil is responsible for this mess at Sri Lankan airlines allowing them to earn six figure salaries. He also succeeded in appointing his friend Charitha Ratwatte’s brother AS CEO. These are the people clamouring for Yahapalanaya and sending the country into the drain

  • 0
    0

    It was reported yesterday that MS has undertaken to appoint a Commission to look into the SriLankanAirlines mess. In a way RTI has achieved something!
    Hope the MS Commission will not be given the findings and told to find them.

  • 1
    0

    While some of the comments by the readers are true some are either exaggerated or far below the truth. Ranil too did the same as what MR did by appointing relatives and friends having no knowledge in the industry or any top level experience in managing mega industry. As an ex employee of Srilankan it should be noted that aviation is the toughest business in the world with very sensitive links to fuel pricing, changes in exchange rates, civil unrest across the world , natural disasters etc. It certainly takes time nearly 3 to 4 years to clear the mess with far reaching ideas to bring the airline back to business . However it should be noted that the present Chairman and the CEO did nothing to put the airline back in track mainly due to their lack of basic knowledge. An internationally renowned personality free of any sort of political influence similar to what Peter Hill did will certainly be able to do the job for us

  • 6
    0

    Commissions, Commissions, Commissions, Commissions & Commissions.
    Commissions in the toilets, Commissions in beds, Commissions in Brothel Houses, Commissions whilst in the coffins, Commissions with Gays, Commissions with the Corrupt, Commissions with the honest, Commissions with the Devil, Commissions with God Almighty, Commissions with good, the bad & the ugly,
    Commissions with the short & the tall, Commissions with the fat and the thin, Commissions with the mad and sane, etc, etc, etc.

    Sri lankans are so damn funny people, so damn funny that even the Devil will not want the bloody lot in Hell because they will appoint a commission there to find out why Hell is not hot enough.
    If there are people in this world who are totally and insanely mad then they are Sri lankans, so stark raving mad that in another 1000 years time to come they will be so damned stark raving mad that God Almighty will regret for having created the damned insane, mad bloody lot.
    In the end the Great God of the world will appoint a Commission to find out what went wrong when he created Sri lanka and the Mad , Insane Sri lankans.

    Sri lankan politicians are all suffering from a incurable form of Madness.
    It is medically called “Psynocockitis. “
    In simple terms ” it is a sudden heavy rush of Shit to the Brain .”———–Beyond cure.

  • 1
    1

    No one speaks about the main brainchild who is flooding media eh?… The Ranatunga’s the Captains eh?… Sajith P’s cousins eh?… Happy to be serving as HFO eh?…

  • 2
    0

    CT Editors please we need some analysis here:

    Hambantota has been sold and $ 293 million was transferred the same week as Sri Lankan Air Lines takes another loan for $ 175 million from Credit Suise since the Texas Pacific Group Hedge fund plan to buy Sri Lankan Air failed.

    Selling and borrowing, is Ranil Wickramasinghe’s game with his MCC economic Hit men!
    . Sri Lanka is in a massive debt trap and is what is called the Bail Out Business by the Transnational Institute which has written a report on how countries are put into Debt Traps and then forced to sell assets. operated by IMF, KPMG, Deloit, Arthur Anderson

  • 1
    0

    Just liquidate Srilankan. General Motors was forced into liquidation under ‘Chapter 11’ Bankruptcy and the unions and the top management HAD to restructure the company. Now G.M is profitable and make excellent cars. Just pull out of underwriting corruption and inefficiency. After dealing with Srilanakan, go after the RPCs. “Sink or swim”.

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