21 September, 2020

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SriLankan Airlines: Marching Orders Served To Chairman Dias, CEO Ratwatte And Directors By Airline’s Alliance Of Unions

Whilst blaming their Chairman Ajith Dias, Chief Executive Officer Capt. Suren Ratwatte and the entire Board of Directors for their incompetence, the Alliance of Unions of SriLankan Airlines collectively sent in a letter stating that they have no confidence and trust should the current Senior Management of the airline be retained after 31st March 2018.

SriLankan Chairman – Ajit Dias

The letter which was also copied to President Maithripala Sirisena, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, selected Government Ministers and the newly appointed Committee to look into the restructuring of the airline, was in response to letters Chairman Ajith Dias and CEO Capt.Suren Ratwatte had sent to all staff earlier, issuing them a soft warning of the imminent closure of the national carrier.

Their strongly worded letters stated that state banks will no longer be able to fund the loss making airline and that a proper restructuring of the national carrier will take effect shortly by a team of government appointed Ministers which will include a foreign consultant. Their task is to restructure the airline in order to attract a potential investor or restructure the airline in such a manner that in can be self-dependent if in the event a foreign partner cannot be attracted or if either or both options are not available, closing down the airline.

Chairman Dias’ letter to his staff further reiterated that this process will commence on the 11th December 2017, with a preliminary report to be submitted by the 20th December 2017, as the entire way forward of the airline needs to be completed by the 31st March 2018. Thereafter the letter stated that the Government of Sri Lanka will not be able to fund the national carrier using tax payer funds.

In response the Alliance of Unions of SriLankan Airlines based their reasons on stating that the Chairman, CEO and the entire Board of Directors were all government appointees with not having the prerequisite competencies and with having little or no experience in running the affairs of the airline. It also went on to accuse them of failing to execute their duties during the last three years, drawing hefty sums in salaries and perks and not turning around the airline’s existing financial woes. Further it went on to accuse them of shielding their predecessors of blatant malpractices committed in the past, despite a comprehensive investigation being carried out by Lawyer J.C.Weliamuna and his team in February and March 2015, who recommended that the former Chairman Nishantha Wickramasinghe and CEO Kapila Chandrasena should face public prosecution. This is besides the naming of many existing employees who are also currently shielded, such as Head of Human Resources Pradeepa Kekulawela, who were responsible for aiding and abetting malpractices and fraud in the past.

The letter went on to highlight that there are also dealings which could itself be a conflict of interest for a Director in any company. This statement has a direct reference to Rakhitha Jayawardena whose recent appointment as an Executive Director to oversee the lucrative In Flight Catering Operations of the airline that also supports the airline’s In Flight Duty Free business. His appointment which was done recently in a hushed manner, is still unknown to many employees. Besides this appointment Jayawardena is also the current President of a mega Duty Free operator that caters to multiple airlines across Australasia. The lucrativeness of the airline’s In Flight Duty Free business recently saw the airline being robbed off millions in US Dollars, when the business was outsourced out of tender procedure to Phoenix Duty Free Services (renamed Duty Free Partners) and run by Rumesh Dilan Wirasingha and Raju Chandiram between 2012 to 2017.

Whilst going on to blame Chairman Dias, CEO Ratwatte and the entire Board of Directors, the letter also stated that the airline was used as a center piece by the current Yahapalanaya Government in their political campaign especially in pulling off the Presidential Election in January 2015 and the General Election in August 2015 over the former Rajapaksa regime. .

In conclusion the letter sent in by the Alliance of Unions of SriLankan Airlines stated “We wish to very categorically state that if you, the CEO or any one of your members from the Board of Directors is retained and remains a constituent of the Management of our Company; post restructuring process, we have no confidence in, or trust that the said process will be effective and yield the desired results. We also wish to place on record that we will consider the liabilities and accountability of the Board, for the present state that the employees have been subjected to.

We published below the letter of the Alliance of Unions of SriLankan Airlines in full: (By Mannisha Unantanne) 

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Latest comments

  • 29
    3

    All these are Ranil’s friends. Nothing will happen to them. Also the President is now a hostage of the PM. He is powerless to do anything. SriLankan is doomed and like in the Batalanda and the Bond Investigations, no one will be held responsible.

    • 26
      2

      All the cronies Ranil has appointed are incompetent nincompoops.

      But Ranil didn’t run the two airlines to the ground singlehandedly …………… He isn’t that capable.

      Where were all these unions when Sajin Vass and Mahinda’s brother in law were so capably managing them? I supposed they practised world’s best practices eh?

      I am looking forward to the day I’ll stumble across a Lankan who is capable of having a single impartial thought …………….

      • 0
        1

        Comments were perfect
        Where were the union’s
        1.pilot gulid were almost through for car permit
        2.cabin crew union( FAU) allowance increases. And layovers

    • 7
      3

      Ranil W, Chairman, CEO and the BOD of SL Airlines,,

      “Marching Orders given by Alliane of Unions of Sri Lankan Airlines'”given to Chairman, CEO and Entire Board of Directors, given during Dec 2017.

      Amarasiri and millions have a few simple questions for Ranil and the Board.

      Q1. Why was that no “Marching Orders given by Alliane of Unions of Sri Lankan Airlines'”given to Chairman, CEO and Entire Board of Directors, given during 2010-2015, when Mahinda Rajapaksa and cronies, including is BIL, ran the Airlines to the ground by pissing off Emirates Airlines? The Marching orders came only after the Yahapalanaya Govt. after January 9, 2015.

      http://www.sundaytimes.lk/120212/News/nws_02.html

      https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/the-sad-state-of-srilankan-airlines-from-rs-4-4-billion-profit-to-rs-107-billion-loss-in-7-years/

      Q2. Are the Alliance of Unions of Sri Lankan Airlines concerned that the Airlines will be restructured and sold, as it is in the best interest of the Sri Lankan Taxpayers, and the Alliane of Unions of Sri Lankan Airlines, is concerned, their gravy train is going to stop?

      Q3. Why did it take so long to restruture the Airline? The incompetence of the Ranil appointees?

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SriLankan_Airlines

      http://www.srilankan.com/a/coporate/annual-reports

      The price paid for corruption, inefficiency, incompetence and low IQ.

    • 5
      0

      President has president’s fund. HE also increased budget this year as Mahinda Rajapakse did. Some say he set aside some money from the frequency to selling to Maharaja for his family use. Besides, there is a rumour that CEB money goes to PResident’s fund saying president’s fund need lot of resources. New media is also very selective. So, they all playing bulls in the china shops.

  • 19
    0

    The Sri Lankan Government is paying huge fees to a company called NYRAS from the UK to help restructure the airline, only to be told that the solution is to fire half the staff.

    • 6
      2

      Richard Davey,

      After paying huge fees to restructure and cut the losses, the huge fees are a bargain. Right now it is bleeding, huge fees every day!

  • 1
    0

    There are unconfirmed reports that the CEO Suren has already resigned from the company and has fled to Australia.

  • 16
    1

    a garment factory owner is the chairman and a pilot is the ceo
    does any other successful airline have heads like these
    one is ranils classmate the other the brother of his senior advisor[there are no junior advisors now]
    so they will continue to roll along at the poor taxpayers expense and the public private partnership talk is just poppycock

    • 11
      0

      It is not the fact that the CEO is a pilot that is the problem. Don’t forget the fact that this is aviation and an airline. The problem is the fact that the individual is incompetent. Former CEO of China Southern is an active line Captain. Look where they are! It all comes down to the individual and his/her competency. This particular gentleman has clearly shown which side of the line he is on.

      • 2
        2

        They are incompetent in their beds also!. So what about when they are in Job???????

    • 0
      0

      The garment factory owner was appointed, expecting him to cover the ‘transparency’ which may show the misdeeds of the board. But unsuccessful.

  • 12
    0

    It is an absolute disgrace that this kind of high handedness is allowed to carry on at the tax payers expense. There are still schools without toilets , and hospitals without beds but these parasites continue live off the blood sweat and tears of millions of ordinary citizens without any guilt or shame.

    • 11
      3

      The staff are overpaid anyway: a stewardess can make up to half a million a month. Air India fired half its staff (who were not paid as much as UL staff) to restructure.
      We don’t need a national airline, period. If the government subsidized the cost of tickets to everyone who wants to go abroad, we still would save money.

  • 9
    0

    The CEO Suren Ratwatte, the bother of Prime Minster Ranil Wickremesinghe’s senior advisor Charitha Ratwatte has now been FIRED and has already left to his home country Australia.

    15 UK consultants from Nyras are now working on the best way to sack the rest of the staff. They are paid DOLLARS 1.3 MILLION for this work.

  • 9
    0

    The current board member Rakitha Jayawardene who also functions as CEO of catering is also by his own admission on linked in , a director and partner of KING POWER TRAVELLER THAILAND which is a duty free operator in the region .

    Working in cahoots with the powers that be he has got himself installed in the seat and is in control of the procurement and purchasing of all food, beverage, free alcohol on board, and the entire duty free product range through his partners Flamingo and king power., making millions for himself while the ball less chairman and CEO are taking the flak and the airline is sinking.

  • 10
    0

    Give us the details of the benefits the directors have enjoyed ( and their cost to the country)in these 2 years-travel ( what class ?), entertainment, allowances, salaries, parties.

    We will never know how much they have earned in commissions etc by giving contacts to buddies and other Royalists !

    To think that Ranil was talking about Rajapakse corruption makes my blood boil. What a cynical hypocrite

  • 6
    0

    Do not underestimate the “TACTICS” and “MASTERMINDED PLANS” of this ELITE CLUB of Mr. Ranil Wickramasinghe. You all, perhaps would remember, the entire Board of SriLankan Airline was summoned by the President before a Cabinet meeting and was given a dressing down to put matters right, if not all would be sent out. The PM, Malik Samarawickrama, Cabir Hasshim , Eran Wickramaratne and others in that ELITE CLUB knew that something was brewing and action has to be taken to SAVE these cronies from falling. The plan was put into operation immediately. (1) The PM suddenly from nowhere brought in Air Asia and initiated discussion with a massive plan to inject million dollar investment proposal to take over Mihin Lanka and on top of it to build another Airport facility in Katunayake to run a “Budget Airline”. No. (2) Plan is this “RESTRUCTURING” of the SriLankan Airlines and a “Committee” has been appointed to do that. You all know who have been appointed to that Committee. All that “Committee Action Plan” is a “MASTERMINDED” & “TACTICAL” plan to keep the “CRONIES” in place and give them the opportunity to ENJOY and further the long life they desire. In the background all those “Higher Management”
    personnel(properly termed Supportive & Cleaning Brigade) who lick the bones falling off the main table too have a good life. Now what the President could do? NOTHING. He has to look up and wait until the “RESTRUCTURING” is over; by which time, without his knowledge, his balls too would be put into the grinding machine. At least, now these employee unions have SENSED what is in stock for them. No Justice System is going to correct these situations, until, as in the case of January 2015, the PEOPLE are going to PUNISH all this BUNCH of CROOKS, inclusive of the President.

  • 5
    0

    The title of the article ~ “SriLankan Airlines: Marching Orders Served To Chairman Dias, CEO Ratwatte And Directors By Airline’s Alliance Of Unions’ is deceptive.
    Writing a letter is NOT giving ‘Marching orders’
    Shame shame CT.
    The signatories must touch their heart and ask “How much did we do to avert the slide into this debt ocean?”

  • 4
    0

    It is unfair to ask these people to step down. It looks JAYAWARDANA is a JRJ relative who is related to Ranil Wickramsinghe. Ratwatta is a brother of Another Ranil wickramsinghe close Friend and a minister. These are UNP voter base. They need employment. Money is not a problem. Women problem middle east always send some money to the Treasury even though they can not hold onto it.

    • 4
      0

      Jim Softly

      He is not a relative , but a very wealthy man based in the UK doing big business here post 2015 . Another parachute artist making hay while the sun shines , while millions suffer in silence .

      • 2
        0

        Rakhitha Jayawardane is a owner of a business syndicate, retail sales in air lines industry which include duty free shops, Service inside plane. He is in the business for over 30 years. HE had been charged in Singapore for developing a duty free business while being employed in the Singapore as an airline employee. Ranil is adhered with the american model. that is why nothing develops. He doe snot privatize right away. As a govgt business he hands over to businessmen. Remember how a business man was running the finance ministry. Now, it is run by an american agent Avamangala.

  • 4
    0

    I agree with kolla
    the govt publicized the salaries of engine drivers when they went on strike
    why not publicise the salaries and perks of the top notchers at sri Lankan in view of the dispute

  • 3
    0

    Whether its Ranil’s or anybody’s friends if no action is taken by the government to get rid of these parasites, Sri Lankans should get together and stop flying Air Lanka and the Union members should walk out and ground the planes. To say restructuring of national airline will be done by a set of government ministers is a joke as these government ministers do not have A/Levels and some do not have O/L even.

  • 0
    1

    We have to think about a quick turnaround of our national carrier to fly on a smooth atmosphere
    1.flight deck crew off day flying allownce
    2.crew performance manager’s flying hours
    3.cabin crew productvity payment
    4.all executive traveling to katunayke
    High way paymeny
    5.procurement wastage
    If we considered above we may able to save couple of millions

    • 0
      0

      Answer for above No -4 No highway payment for Executives. it is paid only for G- 10 and above managers .

      Anyway , we always don’t go against our fellow managers perks and benefits. When we are paid some thing they are also given . It is our pleasure .

  • 3
    0

    As to Dias’ response, the union is contradictive:

    It helps if you can read. Obviously, Mr. Dias did not quite understand what the union alliance tried to express in their letter. With no word did they mention, that they would not support any efforts to save the airline. Dias’ hidden insinuation, the unions are breaking their word to offer their support, is a slapp in the face of all employees of the airline and their families who are in danger to lose their jobs and livelihood due to the incompetency of the Board. It was simply stated that there is no trust in an successful outcome of any restructuring plans with the current Board and CEO being involved. Never did the union refuse co-operation for a betterment of the airline.

    Indeed, specialized companies like an airline need highly skilled and experienced managements. The Board and CEO must therefore allow the question, why did they accept their appointments to run such a company having no expertise at all? Boundless hubris? Total ignorance? Definitely the expectation of gaining multiple benefits and powers!

    It is a disgrace but also an expected reaction, that this group of low performers now tries to put the blame onto the government, insteat of admitting their mismanagement, stating that the government has not approved their plans for a restructuring of the airline but rather appointed a foreign advisor to do their jobs. Obviously their plans must have been useless, which is not a surprise.

    Any decent and resonable management would have long time resigned and left space for those who understand their jobs. Instead they paste on their chairs, offering nothing but endless unsubstantial rehearsals of meaningless phrases, repeated again and again no matter what question has been adressed to them.

    The whole world is speechless about such an extent of demonstrated managerial disqualification and impudence. And we feel sorry for those that have to suffer under such incompetent leadership.

  • 0
    0

    Comments were perfect
    Where were the union’s
    1.pilot gulid were almost through for car permit
    2.cabin crew union( FAU) allowance increases. And layovers

  • 3
    1

    Answer to lakmans comment adding more as to quick coat cutting measures.
    1. Stop recruitments and reduce costs incurred specially for taking management trainee batches. The turnover of these trainees are quite high and mostly the most influential people’s children end up in these batches- that’s one reason hhr survive still in the airline. Last time the graduation was held at waters edge or some other 5 star hotel! Why can’t they keep the graduation at a in-house auditorium? Just because budgets are approved doesn’t mean that every penny should be spent! Most of the time hhr need a bed room reserved at the relevant venue either it’s a graduation or any other function so that heveryone can get his lustrous carvings satisfied on company cost. This is a well known fact bdw. ..
    2. Stop allocating budgets for departments because the heads think that if they don’t fully utilize the budgets next year that won’t get bigger budgets. That’s their mentality….
    3. Reduce staff travel benefits and limit the number of tickets per year or carry forward procedure. This incurred cost event hough they travel ifrom seats are available as there is a meal cost and some influential people in the airline try to unload the paid cargo n get their seat.
    4. Stop gIving company vehicles for managers as they have enough money and allowances to afford their own. Most managers’ personal cars are parked nicely at home while they use official cars for all their deeds. And also they claim for their highway fee too- what a joke!
    5. Stop giving bonus for the sake of giving as all should understand the fate of the company.
    6. Transparent procedures at procurement sections especially engineering as a lumpsum is earned annually as bribes. These managers should be rotated or should be audited frequently.
    7. Reduce on board costs such as mineral water imports – can provide all authentic sri lanka food items.

  • 0
    0

    What appears to be a total and corrupt mess at Sri Lankan is not helped by what appears to be biased and often incorrect descriptions of what is going there, all of which is faithfully reported by CT as gospel! That there is a rump at Sri Lankan from the Rajapaksa era who played pandu then is a fact. That CT is treating what they have to say does not serve the interests of truth or good journalism.
    It’s cold comfort that those who appear to be most critical of the status quo were part of the corrupt cabal that created it in the first place. However, that needs to be stated to give balance to the reporting on the chaos at Sri Lankan.

  • 0
    0

    In the history of Sri lankan Aviation similar situation arose. The Then Prime Minister J R
    having realised that there was no hope of saving the then National carrier appointed a Commission.The commission recomended to liqidate the Air line.

    Now it is time to appoint a similar commission

  • 0
    0

    How come a Member of the European Parliament and a British national become a Director of Sri Lankan Airways?
    Ranil W’s pal!!

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