3 March, 2024


SriLankan Airlines: ‘Bugger Off’ Gracefully Or Be ‘Sacked’ – Director Board To Decide CEO Ratwatte’s Fate

SriLankan Airlines CEO Suren Ratwatte who is currently holidaying in Melbourne Australia is to tender his resignation before the 2nd of February 2018, Colombo Telegraph reliably learns.


Earlier when the Board of Directors of SriLankan Airlines had convened on the 25th of January 2018, they had unanimously agreed that the services of CEO Ratwatte should be terminated. Their decision had been conveyed to CEO Ratwatte and he was verbally asked to resign last week.

However instead of informing of his decision CEO Ratwatte took wing to Melbourne Australia.

The Board of Directors who are scheduled to meet once again on the 2nd of February 2018 will now decide on an exit package which they will implement by the end of February 2018, if in the event CEO Ratwatte does not tender his resignation.

Colombo Telegraph reliably learns that if CEO Ratwatte does not resign, he will be sacked.

Ratwatte is the brother of Charitha Ratwatte a close confidante and current advisor to Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe

The Sunday Times newspaper in its headlined article titled “SriLankan Board votes to sack CEO Ratwatte” published on 28th January 2018 went on to state “However, the Sunday Times learns that Prime Minister Wickremesinghe has said that a ‘caretaker board of directors’ had no power to take such action. He said the removal of the CEO would be a matter for the Minister in charge of the airline, Kabir Hashim to decide. There was also a Ministerial Committee and a separate Restructuring Committee of the airline that needed to be consulted”.

Sources close to the Prime Minister’s office when contacted said “The above statement published in the Sunday Times is incorrect. The Board of Directors has every right to sack the CEO of SriLankan Airlines. This is not a ‘caretaker’ Board of Directors, but a fully-fledged Board appointed over two years ago. They have every right to decide whats good for the airline”.

A very close associate of Chairman Ajith Dias speaking to Colombo Telegraph said “The Board of Directors has decided to give Suren Ratwatte the opportunity of resigning. This is the noble way of asking him to serve his three month notice period prior to departing. He would then stand to be paid his wages during his notice period which would be approximately Rs 9 million. He also has the opportunity then to seek employment elsewhere. If in the event he is terminated it does not look too good for him. After all he made a decision to leave behind a very lucrative package at Emirates Airline where he was flying the A380 as a Captain and opt for a lower wage when joining the national carrier”.

Meanwhile last December, employees of the national carrier had begun to despise the presence of CEO Ratwatte in office.

The airline’s Alliance of Unions that represents every employee sent in a letter to the Board of Directors and copied President Maithripala Sirisena and Premier Ranil Wickremesinghe seeking his removal. This was after employees began to lose faith and trust in his competence, decision making abilities and and most of all his abuse of power.

CEO Ratwatte’s decision to ignore recommendations made by Lawyer J.C.Weliamuna and his Board of Inquiry’s findings of fraud and corruption committed by the previous Rajapaksa regime, the unfair dismissals of employees such as Captains Sujith Jayasekara and Charles Sirimanne, re-leasing 18 year old aircraft at staggering costs without seeking Director Board approval, shutting down of lucrative European destinations such as Rome, Frankfurt and Paris and a loss making wet lease deal with Pakistan International Airlines were some of the reasons that also exposed the incompetence of their inexperienced CEO.

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  • 6

    The degree he was awarded related to flying and not to corporate management.
    Suren Ratwatte is a pilot and what are his credentials to manage a big corporate entity. His duties do not involve flying. It is like appointing an engine driver to be GM of the Railway. A case of square peg in round hole methinks. The other issue here is nepotism.He is a politico.s brother. This is nothing new. Yahalapana is teeming with examples. Fat boy Ranatungeappointed his brother to head the Ports and the guys completely at sea not in Port! Then Ravi K appoints his ex police sergeant brother in law to head the Insurance Corporation and is said to be running the place aground. Now we have the Ratwatte trying to crash land Sri Lankan Airlines. This is the kind of nepotism people disliked and which Sirisena/ Ranil and their pack of stooges were baying against the Rajapkses at the last elections. Now they are upping the ante in the nepotism stakes! What brazen audacity? Are we a country of simpletons to be taken for such a ride.?

    • 5


      You are a trained pilot, and not a trained Manager or an experienced business executive to run and manage an airline.

      Those idiots, low IQ Para morons, the board and the politician apparently do not know the above basic principle, and went for nepotism, and we see the Peter Principle, for the agony of all-you, the board, the airline, the tax payers and the idiotic politicos as well.

      Remember, the average IQ of the Paras illegally occupying the Land of Native Veddah Aethho is 79, and these idiotic actions can be expected more or less on a regular basis.

      National IQ Scores – Country Rankings


      The intelligence scores came from work carried out earlier this decade by Richard Lynn, a British psychologist, and Tatu Vanhanen, a Finnish political scientist, who analysed IQ studies from 113 countries, and from subsequent work by Jelte Wicherts, a Dutch psychologist.

      Countries are ranked highest to lowest national IQ score.

      Can we rank our politicians and the boards from the highest to lowest national idiocy score?.

    • 1

      On this independence day we need independence from corrupt politicians and nepotism.

  • 1

    Idiots had got China to Build Hangbangtota Port & Matala Raja Bachan Naked International Airport and now giving those out those to China. Can they give the Air Lanka to Peter paying him another 12 Billion or giving him a 5 villages spread of Land in Hangbangtota?

    If the voter Modayas’ brain is not opening, somebody has to use butcher knife to cut and open it to tell the message.

  • 9

    How about the HHR !!
    Send this guy home !!
    He gives promotions to the girls who sleep with him.
    Even to the daughters of his girl friends for that matter.
    His love life is a known fact. No one is doing anything. God knows who is protecting this culprit.
    Recently his girlfriend’s daughter got promoted from Grade 5 to Grade 8 at HR department He uses company hotels as their love nests ! We wanted a change from Yahapalanaya. It’s not late to sack these culprits !

    • 5

      Totally agree. This is not the first time this happened at HR, dahanayaka woman was promoted overnight simply for sleeping with him. Madhuka got grade 9 at sales, hansinI became an executive overnight simply cos father is a rich man who is also the neighbour of hhr. The stories of sexual favourism are endless. He was sacked from his previous job at a apparel factory he was caught red handed sleeping with the chairman’s wife and he was sacked overnight. Now at srilankan it’s like nariyata kukullu for him. .. lol

    • 0

      Waiting for the miracle to happen. Since the president signed the commission against curruption at Srilankan Airlines let’s hope Kekulawela and the rest of the culprits get arrested soon. If you arrest them or sack them you will have a valued votes this time. Otherwise it’s better to give to Mahinda again as no point waiting for a miracle for over two years !
      People all work for Srilankan know how we get treated from head of our HR. Use your votes wisely this time. We waited enough ! Please our excellency we suffered so much due to curruption in this airline. Please send this wicked man Pradeepa Kekulawala to prison or home ! We believed in Yahampalanaya. Honourable minister came to our premises did a prmosiming speech to send them home. It’s being over 7months since speech. None sent home. Please save people who work hard towards the airline !

  • 3

    Is there still hope for this beleaguered airline ? Heartening to see the inefficient, corrupt
    political stooges being cleared of one by one before they run the nation’s flag carrier to the ground.
    Yet, people who will replace these individuals will decide if there will be any hope.

    To dig this airline out of its hellhole, it needs a bunch of smart decision makers at the top. They should have an in-depth understanding of the complex airline industry and a proven track record to discuss, negotiate, make crucial business decisions. They should seek expertise from, and enter into win-win agreements with successful airline companies with a high standing in the industry. Decisions should never be based on individual preferences, political or otherwise by a single individual (s) as may have been the case with the dismal lease agreement with PIA orchestrated by CEO Ratwatte seemingly with the blessings of Aviation Minister Kabir Hashim .
    SriLankan Airlines does not need another Chairman conversant with stitching garments but clueless in running an airline or a CEO who runs the airline like it is their inherited personal property. Arrogance, favouritism political or otherwise have no place in any successful business. The culture must change.

    The President, Prime Minister, Minister in Charge of Aviation should make sure appointments they make are not based on personal or political reasons, but are fair, effective in the best interests of SriLankan Airlines. They should have the will and strength to swing the sword for cutting off all flak, and bring to justice, anyone whose flawed rash deliberate actions caused colossal losses to the airline.

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