Colombo Telegraph

Sri Lankan Airlines: Management Turns ‘Blind Eye’ To Weliamanuna’s Findings

A cross section of Sri Lankan Airlines employees who fearlessly came forward to reveal the blatant ongoing malpractices and fraud to the J.C.Weliamuna led ‘Board of Inquiry’ (BOI) complained to ‘Colombo Telegraph’ that nothing has changed since in the investigation report revealed damning findings at the end of March 2015.

New Chairman Ajit Dias

“It is almost a month since the ‘Weliamuna Report’ was submitted to the Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe which was also subsequently exposed across the print and electronic media. The reports highlighted grave findings as to why the airline was financially raped to the tune of over Rs 120 billion.

Strangely several names of those that were responsible for making the airline incur this huge loss still continue to operate in the airline.

A very senior Cabin Crew Member with over 30 years of experience with the airline told ‘Colombo Telegraph’, “There was a situation once when one of our Cabin Crew Members inadvertently took a ‘face towel’ from the Airport Hotel in Bangkok Thailand and was terminated instantly. However our airline seems to be having ‘different rules for different folks’ and it is disheartening to know that our new Chairman Ajit Dias and the Board of Directors of the airline are turning a blind eye to the now exposed high ranking officials who went on to commit much greater fraud. They should immediately suspend all employees who have been identified in the ‘Weliamuna Report’ until the full scale investigation in completed” said an employee who did not wish to be named.

Disgruntled passengers who used to fly Sri Lankan Airlines very frequently also went on to complain about the Flight Operations Department and those that run the safety side of the airline’s business. “It is brought to our attention that the present Chief Operations Officer Capt. Druvi Perera is an individual who never enrolled in a ‘Flight Training School’ when he was studying to be a pilot in the United States of America. He was home schooled and an FAA Instructor eventually certified him as a pilot. The repercussions of these inadequacies that the airline overlooked when recruiting him is what now exposed in the ‘Weliamuna Report’. The flight he commanded to Chennai is now one of the most talked about ‘Pilot Related Incidents’ where he himself covered his mishap due to the power he wielded due to his close ties with the former government during the Rajapaksa rule.

These are the sort of things that make us passengers not want to travel our national carrier anymore for the simple reason that the airline overall has gone on to break the trust which we have shared over the years. Furthermore in spite of all what has been exposed he still continues to remain in control and still is in power. Perhaps the new Director on the Board Col. Sunil Peiris who once worked under the Capt. Druvi Perera’s father in the Sri Lanka Army has a hand in protecting his former Commander’s young son.” said the former frequent former traveller of Sri Lanka Airlines.

Colombo Telegraph lately found out that the seriousness of the Flight Operations cover up of Capt.Druvi Perera’s incident in Chennai does not necessarily end there.

Capt. Druvi Perera is further responsible in appointing Capt. Keminda Yahampath to the post of Manager Flight / Ground Safety of Sri Lankan Airlines.

Capt. Yahampath himself who astonishingly took on or about 90 hours to complete his ‘solo flight’ as a cadet pilot also was responsible for bursting the tires of the aircraft of a flight he piloted into Trivandrum not too long ago. Many wonders as to how the Flight Operations Department of the national carrier handed such responsibility to professionals who proved to be incompetent in their professional roles as pilots. Are these pilot related accidents and incidents prerequisites for been offered promotions.

As we write this story it has also been brought to our notice that First Officer Danwatte who was nabbed by British officials for being under the influence of alcohol prior to boarding the aircraft in Heathrow to operate the flight back to Colombo. Danwatte who was part of a three man cockpit crew and operating as in flight relief crew was subsequently offloaded and the flight operated the long Heathrow /Colombo sector with only Capt. Krishan Fernnando and his First Officer on board.

The latest revelation is that First Officer Danwatte is in the process of being recruited as a Trainee Captain for Sri Lankan Airlines sister company Mihin Lanka.

“The airline has been fortunate up until now and it appears that passengers who travel the national carrier will always be sitting on a ticking bomb during their journey rather than the comfort of their in-flight seats enjoying the stellar service the cabin crew provides. The airline has certainly been protected by the ‘Hand of God’ all this time and it appears that it is only a matter of time before something more serious and fatal happens rather than skidding off a runway, removing the runway lights, or bursting tires upon landing by the two individuals COO Capt. Druvi Perera and Manager Flight / Ground Safety Capt. Keminda Yahampath who are placed in charge to look after and protect the lives of us on board” concluded the traveler who uses Sri Lankan Airlines competitors now.

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