1 December, 2020

Blog

SriLankan Airlines’ HHR Pradeepa Kekulawela Transferred

Controversial SriLankan Airlines‘ Head of Human Resources Pradeepa Kekulawela has finally been transferred and will now oversee the Properties and Logistics Department of the airline.

Pradeepa Kekulawala

The national carrier releasing a Human Resources communique to all staff revealed that the decision was taken by the Board of Directors on the 24th of January 2019 and will be in effect as of today.

Srimanthaka Senanayake the airline’s Senior Manager International Relations has been entrusted to oversee the Human Resources functions in addition to his current duties.

As the former Head of Human Resources, Kekulawela earlier drew severe flak when he was named in the “Weliamuna Report” by Lawyer J.C. Weliamuna and his team of lawyers who had conducted a government ordered investigation into the airline for fraud and corruption in 2015.

In February 2018, many employees of the national carrier voluntarily came forward to expose Kekulawela yet again in the ongoing Presidential Commission of Inquiry into fraud and corruption caused at SriLankan Airlines, Mihin Lanka and SriLankan Catering.

Notably it was Captain Ruwan Vithange the President of the Airline Pilots Guild of Sri Lanka, who handed a dossier of information to the current investigation commission on the alleged fraudulent corrupter.

Captain Vithanage also handed an official letter to the airline’s Chairman and Board of Directors stating that the APGSL had no confidence in Kekulawela continuing to be their Head of Human Resources. The letter stated 12 reasons as to why they wanted Kekulwela removed.

Earlier even the Flight Attendants Union (FAU) officially threatened the airline’s senior management that they would take legal action against the company as Kekulawela was instrumental in promoting employees much against documented clauses as stated in their Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) which they had signed with the airline’s management.

Pradeepa Kekulawela was also reported in the media on several occasions for shelving reported cases, such as human smuggling, fraud and corruption committed by employees of the airline.

Much to the chagrin of many employees of the airline, Kekulawela’s role as Head of Human Resources continued to be protected, as he curried favour with the current Yahapalanaya government’s appointed former Chairman Ajith Dias and former CEO Suren Ratwatte and its former Board of Directors.

According to a Right To Information (RTI) report, Pradeepa Kekulawela is paid a whopping sum of Rs 998,004 besides other perks and benefits by SriLankan Airlines. (By Janaka Ranaweera)

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Latest comments

  • 13
    0

    Today most of civil servants and politicians are corrupt. Sri Lankan goes back into dark age.

  • 11
    2

    So, rouges prosper in Sri Lanka – nothing new – in the midst of difficulty of payment of loan installments.
    De we need an airline which loses massive amounts yearly, packed with corrupt unfit office bearers ?
    What is the prestige in such an airline?

  • 8
    6

    Bring back Sam Silva or Rakkhitha Wickramanayake or their ghosts to run this ailing airline please

    • 12
      1

      He He He
      Rakkhita Wickramanayka ???
      He flew AIRCEYLON flight to Bangkok and sent his resignation by telex and joined at Singapore Airlines Colombo was compelled to send a pilot to Bangkok to bring the scheduled flight back. Pity.

      Also, he brought his cronies from THAI & PAL to AirLanka the corruption went to its peak
      JR was compelled to nominate a commission to inquiry his achievements.

      Nowhere in the world, an airline will give a Chairman post (AIR LANKA) to such a character
      he got it because of his family connection to JR.

      The other joke was this RW was a senior pilot at Singapore Airlines which released him to AIR LANKA thus he got 2 salaries plus perks,

      The biggest joke was when he was at SIA he called .Mr.Kulasekaram the GM of SIA as Sir and here same Kulasekaram was GM for Air Lanka how would have been their relationship?

      The same RW used his influence to stop landing rights to SIA for one year intelligent SIA selected Male and routed all their European flights even constructed a Catering Centre in Male.

      Who is the looser?

      RW even printed his business cards in Bangkok pity no printer here.

      He He He these guys don’t know how to run an Air Line and Parliment soon will learn a lot under Chinese rule here.

      Cheers

  • 8
    0

    I have repeatedly said this and will say it again. This is airlines can never get out of the debt hole. There are only to two options. Option 1, to do a massive restructuring process and change in management will competent management professionals from airline domain. Option 2 , to completely liquidate it as no sensible company will partner or buy this airlines after having known the breakdowns of agreement with Emirates.

    Option 1 , will definitely cause a trade union action, therefore it is not viable. Leaving option two as the last and only resort.

    For god sake, kill this white elephant as tax payers cannot bear to anymore.

  • 2
    2

    only way of putting the airline on the correct path would be close/open policy should activate with certain conditions
    1.salarey structure
    2,cut down on staff
    3 regional airline
    4.a good administrator on key position of the airline
    5 C,E.O. with airline experience on the feet 24/7

    • 5
      0

      LUXMAN.

      Are you dreaming to this.. Today, many high posts are taken by many unqualified people? What do you want to see.. All fault of political influence.. Before, Politicians had fear for their names and reputation.. Now crooks are elected more and more with money they have. So, people are fooled by them… or they are fooled by people.

  • 2
    0

    COPE report has revealed that there 190 who are receiving 1 million PLUS other perks per month in the “Higher Management” of this National Carrier of Sr Lanka, among them this “Head of HR” is has become a very “prominent” starting with the Weliamuna Report days. In spit of very grave allegations made both by that report and the employee organizations, “HE” the “GREAT” manages still to survive in that out fit. With whose “BLESSINGS” – can anyone tell us? We have just seen in courts, that two accused in the “Bond Scam” have named two other “accused’ from the CB. Now with that scenario, do we have to accept that the”Duties & Responsibilities” of the PEOPLES’ ATTORNEY GENERA have been “Taken Over” by those who are charged on the same cases. Perhaps, now the employees’ organizations would have to take “DISCIPLINARY ACTION against this “Head of HR”, since the Management of this Airline have FAILED to do that over the last three years..All these “190” “High Profiled Professionals” paid in “Millions PLUS” running the Business have “Contributed” in no “Small Measure” to leave a Public Debt running into “Billions”. Well Done!. The PEOPLE are SILENT so you can continue to PLUNDER the National Resources AS YOU LIKE, and most certainly with “BLESSINGS” of the “BIG WIGS”. I understand that this “Head of HR” is also the Chairman of the Institute of Personnel Management of Sri Lanka. If “TRUE” Thank you for “PROVIDING” a “High Profiled” “PROFESSIONAL” to the National Carrier of Sri Lanka.

    • 3
      0

      Dude, out of the 190+ employees receiving 1 mill + monthly package consists mostly of Pilots and Licensed Aircraft Engineers which is on par with industry standards. Either you’ve got your facts messed up or COPE has.

  • 4
    0

    According to COPE there are 190 people in Sri Lanka airlines earning more than a million rupees a month. Ranil is responsible for this by appointing his friend Ajith de Silva as Chairman of Sri Lankan and Suren Ratwatte who is the brother of Charitha Ratwatte, a member of the economic council and a close associate of Ranil. What is the minister of civil aviation doing while these rogues prosper? These people like Ranil who condone such blatant violations with utter disregard to the needs of the country should be held responsible.

  • 9
    0

    When Singapore inaugurated Singapore Airlines Lee Kuan Yu selected Mr.Pillai as Chairman and Mr.Kulasekaram as GM both were Sri Lanka origin, not from the majority Chinese.

    Look how is SIA today one of the worlds top Airlines.

    Here Air Ceylon, Air Lanka died now Sri Lankan airline is in a coma.

    At SIA never there was a political influence with the day to day operation the only Airline in the world which pay cash when they buy new aircraft.

    Even the PM of Singapore can’t get a seat if the flight is full ….passengers first.

    Once the son of then SIA chairman was in Zurich wanted to go back early but the SIA station manager refused a seat even though he explained who is he because it was already full….for this SIA station manager in Zurich, was promoted. How is this?

    He He He guys what would have happened in this case here in such a situation.?

    Remember what happened to Air Lanka GM Mr.Hill when he refused to disembark 1st class passengers to accommodate Murderpakse &Co.?

    Once then US Ambassador in Colombo was in Male who couldn’t get a seat to return Colombo early..the poor Male station manager was transferred by telex message immediately.

    This cursed country will never prosper with these racists and corruption kings and duds who are at Sri Lankan Air Lines simply because they belong to the majority.

    Cheers

  • 3
    0

    This should be the guy who approved One million ruppe salry to over 190 people. this guy should be arrested. Because not only the LAW there are other things in place. Now the Ari line salries are very law. How come thisguy gave one million in Srilanka.

    • 1
      0

      JD, what an idiot you are. did you go to a school?

  • 4
    0

    Both chairman and CEO are with zero knowledge in aviation.chairman is an ageing typical government servant and CEO an accountant. Get the best avistion experts to run this airline

    • 0
      1

      No need for qualification in Airline management but they are belong to majority so whatever they are doing is right.

      Cheers

    • 0
      0

      CEO was CFO during Emirates period
      and had hand on experience
      Not just an accountant

  • 3
    0

    I think the govt does not fire these people may be theyhave lot of political connections probaly a relative of a politician. Private companieswouldfire these people would hire hard working people who ask lesser payments. A profit seekingcompanywould neverwork this company. This is just exploiting the public resources. When a Airhostess earn Rs 500,000 this salary that air line can never be profitable unless the air lineis very popular and charges a lot.

  • 0
    5

    As a ex-Airlanka staff , I expect speedy development of our national carrier. Therefore the management should take revolutionary steps for the enhancing its profits. I like to suggest, the ownership of the national carrier should be give to the all staff. The shares must be distributed equally all staff. Then all labour unions will be vanished. All staff get encouragement to work honestly and efficiently. Corruption will be stopped when all shareholders are in vigilance for their own company.

  • 4
    1

    First of all I think this decision should have been taken way before when the weliamuna report came out, since when there are numerous accusations against this man, there should be some action taken. However he manged to save his post as he was a courteous man with politicians. He ran his own show, with head high, making his own rules, traveling as he wish, promoting people as he wish etc. As everything comes to an end in this world , his merry time also has come to an end , breaking the heart of dahanayaka lady too. What goes around comes around HHR! How many people have you transferred to properties department simply because you have listened to rumours or simply because you had to satisfy another colleague or simplyou because you couldn’t satisfy your personal needs etc . However I believe he has saved enough until his retirement and he is well off with his life already thanks to the poor people’s money in the country. But don’t let him lose easily without a proper investigation for his misbehaviour, favorism for dahanayaka lady, frauds, unnecessary spending on company money, terminating services at his will, harassing employees etc. Etc.
    This should be your END!

  • 3
    0

    Air Lanka/Sri Lankan Airlines is an example of government interference in commercial enterprises. The National carrier’s fate is not different to the Nation’s fate.

  • 2
    1

    In Malaysia once Bankrupted AIR ASIA just with 2 planes bought by an Indian guy and he made this
    airline as one of the best low cost airline in the world fling to 53 destinations today.

    But MALAYSIAN AIRLINES is slowly dying because management by Malay only racist policy.

    Of course this dying Sri Lankan can become successful if it leaves the hands of Sinhalese only else it will die soon.

    WoW one million per month salary for these duds for what ?

    There are many non-Sinhalese who were working since the inception of AIR LANKA to this day they are clever with experience but they can not get big jobs due to racist policy .

    These guys can`t manage government..airlines..hospitals but know how to sell the country to Chinese.
    Ever heard a nation will sell a part of their land (port city) to a foreign power?

    Sri Lanka Boleh.

    Cheers

  • 0
    0

    Investigative Commission are just a white wash. Usually such commissions are appointed to keep the people happy & a waste of tax payers’ money. What’s the point of the Welimuna Commission (& others) if their recommendations are not considered? In this case, allegations are shoved under the carpet but when it comes to serious crimes, such as, fraud, shouldn’t the appropriate law enforcement agencies take over?

    I stopped flying SL Airlines many years ago because there are better & even cheaper air lines that provide a good service. The Air Line industry is highly competitive but the perks enjoyed by the SL Airline staff are too generous compared to industry norm. The National Carrier has been propped by the tax payer from the beginning & it has now become a bottomless pit. When the country is in a state of austerity, thanks to our incompetent & corrupt politicians, how can the country afford another loss making enterprise before SL becomes another Zimbabwe or Venezuela?

  • 5
    4

    Lot of talk about high salaries, CT and those who comment, did you people find out who these people with high salaries are, who earn over a million? Out of 190 odd, 160 are pilot, the latter, who always ask for their pound of flesh by hook or crook, the rest are engineers and engineering management. The fact is that this is an Airline and not CTB. When taking decisions for the best interest of the business, not necessarily everyone will be satisfied and their wishes fulfilled. The curse of this nation is that there are too many unions and their interference, which always is a ganged up voice in favor of their needs only and this would do nothing for good for the business, hence administrators become the bad guys.

    • 6
      0

      There is no big revelation here, Pilots and engineers are the highest paid employees in any airline in the world for the simple fact that they are the most sought after professionals today in aviation.
      In fact the pilots/engineer salaries of SriLankan Airlines are some of the lowest in the region leave alone the world. This is obvious by the large outflow of these professionals to the Middle East and more recently the Far East where engineers are paid nearly 2-3 times as much. The fact of the matter is that even if the airline closes down these professionals can find a job the next day due to their marketability. This is why any company has to pay high competitive salaries to keep them.
      The real problem here is the fact that this airline has 7000 odd employees. You probably have 5 people seated at desks with the same job designation all doing nothing and drawing a salary. Go and start at that HR department. From This Kekulawala downwards you’re bound to find that 95% of them are desk fillers not doing an ounce of work and bleeding this airline. This is the same in any government owned enterprise.
      You want to make this airline profitable then find the real problem!
      Closing the airline down is not an option and it is extremely foolish to suggest this. Anyone with an ounce of understanding will tell you of the importance of an airline specifically to us as an island.
      Speak to anyone in the tourist industry they will tell you what a hit it was when SriLankan stopped flying to Europe. For a country that relies on tourism you don’t have to be a genius to put 2+2 together.

      • 3
        0

        Good statement. Thank you.
        The problem will be the employment contracts and high compensations, which would be necessary to get rid of the desk fillers. Anyway, hopefully the transferring of this Kekulawela is the start of a new development in this Organisation.
        As for counting 2+2 together: the managers and boards of this airline have never been famous for their logical brilliance, intelligence and expertise, so what can we expect?

  • 3
    0

    Everyone knew that SriLankan Airlines was into the culture of corruption/nepotism/impunity. The GoSL of the time kept subsidising the Airlines to make it easy for their own nominees to loot.
    .
    Remember the looting started the day the then President MR demanded the Airline to offload passengers to enable him and his entourage on a PRIVATE visit to London, to return home. SriLankan was administered by Emirates and the CEO was sacked for not complying. Minhin Airlines etc are part of the sordid history.
    The SLR one million per month salary is only the tip of the iceberg.
    .
    Right now we, layLankans, have the freedom to voice our concerns.
    We may loose this right.

  • 5
    0

    Every time Ranil manages to creep in to power Charitha Ratawtta his otherwise jobless fake expert Charitha Ratwatta comes out of the wood works like a worm.

    These are chaps who sip their black label and think they are some special brand of people. They criticise everyone else , especially the Rajapakses saying they are corrupt and practice nepotism.

    What happened this time, the Rat-watta rascal got caught with his pants down. Now we all know he is no different to the rest of the scum bags and smell equally bad.

    He manipulated the system to get his always grinning pilot brother the top job at SriLankan at 3 million rupees a month plus other benefits ! His argument -the pilot brother is hot stuff in the world of aviation !

    The result-another scandal -Sri-Lankan airline losses accelerate while there is talk of commissions and kick backs worse than Rajapaksse era .

  • 3
    0

    under qualified fellows posing as they are brilliant holding high posts, made so much loss not only to airline but country as well, during MR time he had an attitude ‘I am the boss, everything should be at my disposal’ RW fellows are cheaters as well as liars,they announced not taking salary in public while talking salary, perks, behind the curtain, if airline employees pay salaries of international standard , then others too should pay as same eg. doctors, teachers ect.

  • 2
    0

    Restructuring of the company, which Nyras consultants never told you is that it isn’t a restructuring without a managerial restructure. Now the HHR a total misfit who was glaringly useless, was moved (not removed?) much to the delight of most of the staff. The man had no skills in HR, even to question any division of favouritism, bias appointments and promotions, futile interviews- Staff Vacancy notices were called, where a a person is already selected for the job in advance. This guy was a total waste of money nearly 1million rupees a month. There are a lot like this who speaks to boards and New CEOs and leading this company in many divisions. People in commercial who will never be hired by no other airline are just bluffing and taking this airline to the cleaners. People with no selling and market experience is heading vital areas of the airlines and this is a cartel which is protected by the weak, lethargic Chief offices. Nyras did mention few names but was again protected by the mafia. Some of them still talk to the MRs era CEOs and Chairman, just marking time for more loot. The fundamental cause is the airline business is so complicated, cross wired, entwined and multipart unlike any other manufacturing, production line. Each area runs as different processes and some as very dynamic and internationally involved on a daily basis. You need experienced airline persons to infect advise you openly and honestly. In fact even to Presidents restructuring committee is not carrying the true picture. Just gazing at the bottom line results will not bring you any resuls if you don’t understand the critical contributing factors.

  • 1
    0

    Here’s the sad truth:-

    -New aircraft leased at higher than market rates (up to 30% higher) on 12 year leases with no termination clause.

    – 4 A350 purchased directly from airbus with U$800 Million still left to pay. Also appears to be no termination clause in this deal. These aircraft appear to have been bought at full listed price instead of at a 40-50% discount achieved by all other Airlines.

    Leases make it impossible to ever make money. In fact the Airline has several Billion dollars in future liabilities that they cannot get out of.

    The sooner the Airline is closed down the better for the country imho.

  • 3
    0

    Pasindu; I figure out by addressing your comment “Dude” you referred to me and my comment. Thanks for your input. I relied on the COPE report details and that reference to “190” would includes those of the categories you mentioned. However, in an earlier information “Forced” obtained by the Pilot Guild through RTI, there were many who are in this salary bracket. I understand those “Technical Categories” receiving such salary ranges in keeping with “Industry Norms”. and I fully support it. But, those of “Non Technical” categories receiving such emoluments cannot be supported specially if their “Contributions” for the “Bottom Line” are not making any changes. The latest revelations at the Commission pin point how the “HR” has made “Thousands” of recruitment without approval and also a complete “Mess” in the “Division”. Why this was not inquired into earlier is the question now before the Commission. It is also interesting to read the evidence of the “Internal Audit” in relation to to these findings. Probably this “HR Head” would be questioned and more information would come out. Once again, Thank You for you input.

Leave A Comment

Comments should not exceed 200 words. Embedding external links and writing in capital letters are discouraged. Commenting is automatically disabled after 7 days and approval may take up to 24 hours. Please read our Comments Policy for further details. Your email address will not be published.