Loss making SriLankan Airlines CEO Suren Ratwatte who refused to provide his salary and perk details, sent out a New Year message to all employees of the national carrier stating the defining moments of the year gone by was the spread of ‘Fake News’ regarding the airline.
Ratwatte’s letter further stated “Sadly the national airline appears to have become the focus of many mischievous individuals who fabricate stories for reasons best known to them. At times some media institutions too publish such news without fact – checking and verifying with the original sources.”
However on the 20th of December 2017 the Government spokesman and Minister of Health, Nutrition and Indigenous Medicine Dr. Rajitha Senaratne speaking to journalists at a press briefing sternly said that both the loss making Chairman Ajith Dias and CEO Ratwatte of SriLankan Airlines must be removed.
It is still to be established if CEO Ratwatte sent these letters out in English and Sinhala to garner the support of his staff fearing his ouster from the airline due to a certain Board Member eyeing his seat.
A close associate of CEO Ratwatte speaking to Colombo Telegraph said that CEO Ratwatte was perplexed regarding a series of exposes carried out by a certain television station that has close links to one of his current Board Directors.
“Rakhitha Jayawardena’s daughter is married into the Maharajah Organization’s owning family. Its unthinkable as to how such critical inside information about the national carrier keeps leaking out to this one particular television station. They simply keep attacking the Chairman and CEO but keeps protecting the Board of Directors of which Rakhitha Jayawardena is a part of. Actually Rakhitha was hailed on the same television channel’s prime time news segment in January 2015 for having been honored by a UK company when they bestowed a Lifetime Achievement Award in the duty free business. We all know that even that company in UK is owned by a personal friend of his,” CEO Ratwatte’s close aid said.
Rakhitha Jayawardena held the post of interim CEO prior to Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe appointing his close friend Charitha Ratwatte’s brother Suren, as the CEO of the national carrier on the 1st October 2015. (By Jacqueline Senanayake)