17 May, 2022


SriLankan Airlines: Minister Kabir Hashim Continues His ‘Yahapalanaya Blab’ As 27 Cabin Crew Fail Flight Safety Exams

Taking to social media the general public vented their frustration and even hurled insults at Minister of Public Enterprise and Development Kabir Hashim, after a video footage of him addressing the management of SriLankan Airlines went viral.

This was after Minister Kabir Hashim visited the offices and the training facilities of SriLankan Airlines in Katunayake a few days ago and went on to tongue lash and blame the former Rajapaksa led regime for the catastrophic losses it incurred when managing the national carrier.

The contents of Minister Kabir Hashim’s speech, where mere words regarding the national carrier have been now echoed by the current yahapalanaya government over the last two and a half years with no action taken, are the strong sentiments stated in many comments uploaded especially on Facebook.

Venting his frustration a commentator named Capt. Lalith Wijetunge, a former employee of both SriLankan Airlines and Mihin Lanka posted on Facebook saying ” Yes but nothing seems to have happened to turn it around Mr Minister. The corrupt guys are still in whilst the rest are out! Just look at the board and some managers including HHR ! A silly joke”.

This is mainly due to the non-committal stance employed by the President Sirisena – Premier Wickremesinghe led government to date, especially after the airline was thoroughly investigated by a ‘Board of Inquiry’ led by Lawyer J.C. Weliamuna and his team in February and March of 2015.

The Board of Inquiry made several recommendations including the criminal prosecution of the former Chairman Nishantha Wickremasinghe and CEO Kapila Chandrasena, besides naming many employees who strangely are still employed by the airline.

However current Chairman Ajith Dias and CEO Capt. Suren Ratwatte earlier went on to state that the ‘Weliamuna Report’ carried no weight, as there was not sufficient proof in the ‘Board of Inquiry’ Claims.

After been taken for a joy ride in the Flight Simulator Minister Hashim then gathered the management of the airline and went on to say “I am always questioned by the opposition as to what we are going to do with the national carrier. They kept on asking if we are planning to sell it. I always said that there is nothing to sell. The only option we have is to bury it. But President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe’s have given me instructions to resurrect this airline. The previous government wasted funds on spending money for banners during their political campaigns. We have not taken a red cent from this airline for any of our political events. They even spent monies sponsoring the famous nights races and Carlton rugby sevens. But the airline’s unions kept mum about those things then. The former Chairman was provided with three houses by the airline. How could he spend one night in three houses? He was also provided with six mobile phones. They even ordered eight Airbus 350 aircraft for millions of dollars without any strategic planning which destroyed your airline. The total loss they incurred was Rs 461 billion or US $ 3252 million. That is the cost equivalent of building five highways in the country”.

Meanwhile in another unique first, the International Aviation Academy has now implemented a ‘cash for jobs’ strategy, especially for those who wish to join as Cabin Crew.

Despite the airline conducting its own training programme for all new Cabin Crew recruits, the IAA run by General Manager Primal De Silva forces those who wish to join the airline as Cabin Crew to pay nearly US $ 2000 and follow a Cabin Crew programme.

This has now been made mandatory if anyone wishes to secure a much cherished job.

The quality of this new venture was shockingly experienced a few weeks ago, when 27 out of a batch of 58 Cabin Crew granted full time employment through the IAA as Cabin Crew, failed SriLankan Airlines’ Safety and Emergency Procedures examination.

A Cabin Crew Safety Instructor speaking to Colombo Telegraph on condition of anonymity as he is barred from speaking to the media said “This was quite embarrassing. Firstly the IAA led by GM Primal De Silva insisted that we reduce our Safety Training days as students are now forced to follow two sets of courses. The management then asked us to prepare a rather simple Safety and Emergency Procedures examination paper in order to ensure that we somehow pass these 27 failed students. We were given no choice and we had to do it. Mind you even after making a simple test paper, three students still failed that test too. Issues like this have never been experienced in our airline’s history. This is nothing but a blatant violation of Flight Safety. I hope this exposure will be taken seriously and a complete stop to this nonsensical IAA recruitment process of Cabin Crew takes place immediately”.

Earlier SriLankan Airlines had refused to employ the children of Cabin Managers Gehan Perera and Jainudeen Cuttilan, stating that they did not meet the height criteria for Cabin Crew recruitment by a few centimeters.

However airline’s management maintained a different stance when it chose to recruit the son of a former FAU Executive Committee Member, who was below the recruitment age at the time of being interviewed and whilst following his subsequent training. (Chanaka Unambuwa)

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Latest comments

  • 6

    Why would Srilankan need enemies when it has friends like Kabir….. what a F****t?….Srilankan is starting a Non Stop service to CMB from MEL ……It can make money , if they follow SIA model with Stop Overs…. But Dengu and Kabir are frightening the crap out of potential customers……

  • 8

    Just more empty talk to hide the fact that they are:-

    – Out of money
    – Out of ideas
    – Out of time

    There is no way to turn this Airline around.

    The new aircraft all appear to have been leased on 12 year leases at above market rates with no termination clause in the contract.

    Too many aircraft have been ordered.

    While this has increased the total value of this deal (and the commissions paid out to ??) it means that these aircraft cannot be operated profitably.

    The only way out of this mess is close the Airline down – the sooner the better imho.

    why should the people of Sri Lanka have to pay for this?

  • 3

    This man too , has turned out to be a big disappointment . At least one person in the picture was appointed by the very same former regime he is lambasting .

  • 12

    No wonder Srilankan has fallen into this pathetic situation when they appoint people like Primal ( a former Steward without any kind of management experience) to a very important position as the GM.

  • 11

    The Minister is right in his assessment and that is why we voted this government in. My question is what has this government done? It has not brought to book the previous regime. They have not fulfilled the mandate the people have given them. This is one big circus and a party for the politicians in the diyawana at the expense of the people. A 10 year long party for the Rajapakses and another 5 year long party for the Yahaplanaya Gov is sinking this country everyday.

    Rajapakse is not the answer for this Country!
    Neither is the UNP!

    What next?

  • 11

    While there are ample evidence the former government incurred massive losses using the national airline as their family transportation as and when required and placing overpriced purchase commitments with Airbus, what has been done to date since Jan 2015 by this government to rectify the colossal losses the airline is incurring on a daily basis?

    The Board of UL is totally incompetent, inept with no business acumen or vision for the airline. Experience in running a barista franchise dishing out coffee is no qualification to chair a business enterprise of the magnitude of Sri Lankan. For the chair to discount the Weliamuna report – a commission of inquiry authorized by his friend the PM speaks volumes and the lack of any authority the PM has on the very Board he appointed with his cronies. Some on the board sit and enjoy the Business class perks to travel to be with their families in UK and New Zealand. CEO is a fudge packer – shamelessly occupying the seat of CEO knowing fully well he is totally incompetent and corrupt of any business management expertise and experience to manage an airline. His favorite physical exercise regiment of bending has rewarded him well..

    None including Minister, the PM and the President seem to have an urgency to act consciously in the national interest. The PM appears quite at ease that he has rewarded his rainbow friends for their years of stooping.

    The Government needs to act fast and now to rid the airline of its corrupt. Mr President – it is time for you to act. Use your constitutional authority to dismiss the Board and Senior Management and employ young Sri Lankan’s with business and management expertise, with a vision to make an enterprise successful. There are many of them if only you would look outside your party cronies box. Please act NOW.

  • 9

    Minister Hashim why do you want to rob Srilankan airlines when you all have robbed billions of dollars from the CB which the highest daylight robbery in the history of Sri Lanka.

    Primal de Silva is a useless shammer . That is all I can say about him

    • 5

      Minister Hashim why do you want to rob Srilankan airlines when you all have robbed billions of dollars from the CB which the highest daylight robbery in the history of Sri Lanka.
      What about starting from Helping Hambantota 2014 – until 2015 jan 8 nilwala ganga scam and billions of 5000 notes taken in freezer trucks from central bank!! etc etc.

  • 7

    The plight of an incompetent government who came to power stating that they will protect the Rajapakshes knowing full well the the old fart was a murderer and his siblings were nothing more than a bunch of greedy uneducated thugs. This is what protecting the Rajapakshes looks like. Instead of cleaning it up they kept every body on. The master of rehabilitation Suren Rathwatte was put in charge the rest is a sad joke.

  • 5

    hope the minister took notice of who were paying pooja to him as its the same lot who sucked up to the Rajapakse’s and former regime.
    He just needs to keep making visits and noting the people who come to worship.
    No change in the worshippers just the god.
    Maybe it’s only a matter of time till they join him in his hobby.

  • 5

    Mr. Minister Kabir Hashim: Sorry to hear you speak to the employees of UL again on the misdoings of the previous Management under MR, without being unable to move in the matter of taking action on the findings of the Waliamuna Report. Perhaps, you would have been “Ordered” by the “BOSS” to back off taking action; but continue to TALK to keep the fire burning. Mr. Minister, those “TALKING SESSIONS” are no more in existence even though you, your BOSS and most in the Government are “refusing” to accept. The PEOPLE and the affected stakeholders are much more advanced in standards of “Judgement” when it concerns public interests. I don’t think, you had any response from the audience when you spoke to them. But please remember, the scornful remarks would have been abundantly split, no sooner you left the venue. Your FAILURE to feel the pulse of the people and continued ARROGANCE to accept reality are definitely directing towards an ABYSS.

  • 3

    “SriLankan Airlines: Minister Kabir Hashim Continues His ‘Yahapalanaya Blab’ As 27 Cabin Crew Fail Flight Safety Exams”
    Did any cabin crew (including pilots) pass?

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