President of the Airline Pilots Guild of Sri Lanka Capt. Ruwan Vithanage further endorsing the pilots no confidence in the national carrier’s Senor Management, went on to blame Chairman Ajith Dias for leaking falsified, unsubstantiated and conflicting information to the media.
In a letter dated 20th December 2017 and copied also to President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, Capt. Vithanage went on to write “We wish to categorically state that the correspondence of the Alliance addressed to you and signed by the ALPGSL was not copied to any media as claimed by you. It was however noted that your correspondence to all unions dated 15th December 2015 was published in mass media on the 16th of December 2017, but sent to us in an official capacity only on the 18th of December 2017.
Blaming Chairman Dias further especially with regards to their awareness meeting with all Unions held on the 6th of December 2017 titled “Way Forward for the Airline”, Capt. Vithanage went on to say that no restructuring plan was presented or discussed with them at that time.
“All Unions present on this day, were merely briefed by you with regards to the dire situation faced by the Airline and told to expect change, if not possible closure of our airline itself. You were thereafter requested by the ALPGSL and other employee representatives to officially communicate your message, along with the three options in writing to all employees. Subsequently your communiqué in the English language was of the stark contrast to that of the Sinhala translation: on which there was no mention facing a possible closure of the Airline. This was only corrected on our query of the same.” The letter went on to state.
Writing further regarding the interview Chairman Dias gave a media institution, he stated “Having written to all employees of the possibility of closure of the company, you subsequently proceeded to contradict your own written statement by saying ‘we are not going to close the Airline’, in response to the Media attention that was attracted due to the content of your own communiqué.”
Concluding the President ALPGSL wrote “We would also like to an equivocally state at this point that the ALPGSL remains an independent body, with no political affiliations and that no point have we objected to any restructuring process of our Airline. However, the ALPGSL and the other unions of the airline as an “Alliance” have placed on record its first suggestion for the process; which is that we at Sri Lankan Airlines are of the firm belief that your management team have proven to be ineffective and unsuitable for the task at hand.”
Meanwhile at the concluded Cabinet Briefing held earlier yesterday, Government Media Spokesman and Minister of Health, Nutrition & Indigenous Medicine Rajitha Senaratne stated that the Chairman Ajith Dias and CEO Suren Ratwatte must be removed. This was after they had both sent in letters to the employees of the national carrier to brace themselves because some will be removed. They are pocketing nearly Rs 3 million a month despite plunging the airline into further crisis. They should be terminated for contributing to this colossal loss the national carrier has continued to make.