25 August, 2019

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SriLankan Airlines: Raju Chandiram All Said To Continue Duty Free Operation For Two More Years

SriLankan Airlines is said to continue its controversial partnership with its in flight duty free supplier Duty Free Partners formerly known as Phoenix Duty Free Rising Ventures for two more years, as their five year contract draws to a close in November 2016.

Raju Chandiram

Raju Chandiram

Phoenix Duty Free Rising Ventures who kept changing its name several times over the years to Phoenix Duty Frees Services and then finally to Duty Free Partners, is headed by Sri Lankan born Canadian national and CEO Rumesh Dilan Wirasinghe whose name recently appeared in the offshore leaks database released by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ). The ICIJ report states that Rumesh Dilan Wirasinghe has two off shore accounts linked to Canada.

The operation in Colombo is run by its Managing Director Raju Chandiram. Chandiram also previously served as a Director of the national carrier when it was then named Air Lanka. He was appointed to the Board of Directors in 2004 – 2007.

According to the initial contract signed by the national carrier and Duty Free Partners, the extension is permissible for a further two years if both parties amicably agree.

The contract was initial signed in November 2011 and the five year in flight duty free programme commenced operations during the financial year of 2012 / 2013.

The controversial awarding of the contract out of tender procedures was also highlighted in the “Weliamuna Report” when the national carrier was ordered to be investigated by the government in February of 2015. The report highlighted staggering losses the airline was incurring after the signed contract was amended midway through the contract.

Based on lawyer Weliamuna’s report, the airline will eventually stand to lose over US $ 8 million when the deal which strangely still continues comes to an end with the current financial year.

Aviation experts are baffled as to why this deal was not ceased when it was exposed in full in the Weliamuna Report. This contract was signed during the previous Rajapaksa regime and till to date not a single FCID investigation has been held into this blatant ongoing robbery of the national carrier. Despite Raju Chandiram being a Sri Lankan national neither he nor the freely roaming CEO Rumesh Dialn Wirasinghe have been hauled in for questioning.

The controversy still continues where Phoenix Duty Free Services against its contractual obligations, purchases colossal stock of duty free such as cigarettes, alcohol and perfumes on behalf of the national carrier and transports it to a warehouse in Singapore. According to its contract with the airline, goods purchased using the bar code of the airline has to be transported directly from the supplier to the bonded stores of the national carrier. The extra stock sent to Singapore is then sold to third parties where US dollars in the millions are made.

However SriLanka airlines further lost a staggering 37% of its guaranteed income due to a technical glitch worded in the contract. Promising to pay US cents 84 per passenger carried and rising annually to eventually US $ 1.17, the contract was amended due to the count of passengers on transit flights been duplicated by the national carrier. The previous Board of Directors of Sri Lankan Airlines who amended the contract was headed by John Keells Chairman Susantha Ratnayake and Director Sanath Ukwatte, close associates of Raju Chandiram.

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Latest comments

  • 2
    1

    The house is smiling with silver,clerical, croaket and hot croakola.

    Can you refrain from laughter, people?

    Neglectful of what is seemly and what is not.

    • 3
      0

      Raju Chandiram’s link to the Airline is through Shiranthi Rajapakse’s younger brother and his school friend Srimal Wickremasinghe who is involved in the deal. They should all be investigated and brought to trial.

  • 6
    0

    DISGRACEFUL.

  • 0
    1

    [Edited out]

  • 6
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    Why continue to talk of “Waliamuna Report”? The present Chairman said, a Committee of the Board of Directors examined the “Report” and found “No Basis” for such allegations made and their “REPORT” was accepted by the Ministerial Committee that oversee the affairs of the National Carrier. So we spent Rs. 3 million to get “Waliamuna Committee” to tell us “LIES” and those members ROBBED us in style. Properly speaking, the “Report” produced by the members of the present Board of Directors must become a “Public Document” accepted by the Ministerial Committee and legal action must be taken against “Waliamuna Team” to recover the Rs. 3 millions paid to them. On this “Duty Free” business, there is an EXPERT presently sitting on the Board of Directors, who runs the “BUSINESS” of Duty Free on board. Why not cancel the present contract and award the next to that “Director”. Mr. Chairman, food for “Life Long” planning. That would be better than your TEXTILE know how.

    • 1
      0

      @Douglas

      The Weliamuna report is based on information provided by a number of employees including former management. You will find some of the names listed at the end of the report.

      I have personally provided the commission with signed letters and e-mails that prove abuse of power.

      The Weliamuna report paints an accurate picture of the situation at the Airline – why do you think it was derailed by the Politicians?

      The Weliamuna report is just the tip of the iceberg – SriLankan is riddled with corruption/incompetence/theft/fraud and Racketeering.

      To say this report is a fabrication is an insult to all of us that came forward to provide information.

      • 2
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        Douglas is an employee sacked from MJ, UK Citizen is an employee sacked from UL. What credibility have these two got ?

  • 6
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    Typical successful Sri Lankan businessmen, success measured by robbing the government. This has been the bane of the country. Why aren’t these crooks being investigated? Giving an extension in these circumstances is most suspect. A new tender should have been called, come on yahalpanaya, you will be made accountable if no action is taken.

  • 3
    0

    What we lack is organization in administration of the state of affairs. Politicians think they are heroes and have over a period of time usurped all the powers that rightfully should have been vested with auditing and self correcting organizations. Instead one head undertakes command of all the roles and doesn’t find enough room upstairs to handle everything, in the process leaving out many areas of incomes what is rightfully due to the state.

  • 2
    1

    He He He

    These Mahavamsa fans can’t even run an Airline …only big talk .

    AIR CEYLON–AIR LANKA…SRI LANKAN ..all disgrace for this cursed land .

    This land has become a laughing topic for foreigners because of the beauty oF ape aanduwa talents.

    What is the point of running this already cracked Airline ? For whom ?

    Better sell the aircrafts for naadars who can scarp the metal and make some money.

    Cheers

  • 4
    1

    Cholan,hope you are not suggesting the sale of aircrafts to the Naadars so that extremists can buy them and create Air Eelam and then dangerously fly them over the South as Pirbha did.

  • 0
    0

    [Edited out]

  • 1
    1

    @PK

    Interesting initials…..

    You are partially correct – SriLankan ended my contract and forced me out of the country.

    At no time was the word termination used. If they had terminated my employment they would have had to give a reason.

    I have never been given an explanation by the Airline – those involved have refused to answer my e-mails requesting clarification for their actions.

    As for my credibility – people can make up their own minds.

    I have nothing to hide and nothing to prove.

    My record at SriLankan speaks for itself.

    • 2
      0

      A dignified response, I am sure you are not a Sri lankan national, we Sri Lankans use abuse, insult, even filth to attack a person, never address issues in a decent manner.

      My initials are a hint to the dept at SriLankan that I work The info that I have access to doesn’t show any contract terminations like yours. Unless you are a pilot contract staff are rare, if you are a pilot are you sure you did not fail any checks etc

      So how can anyone make up their minds about your credibility

      Douglas on the other hand was sacked from Mihin,my friends at Mihin say he was a sacked Capt bearing the same name as their CEO- so big credibility issue no?

  • 1
    0

    A very queer state of affairs within this UNP government.

    • 1
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      Hmm!!! Looks like the Tattaglia’s are taking some interest in Lankan affairs. The Island so far has been too small to engage the interest of the global Mafiosi. But considering our political VVIP’s have been deeply involved in the narcotics trade in recent times with the Pakistani underworld the Dons may have had second thoughts. The Pakis, in turn, are linked to the Sicilian, Napolitan mobs for the supply flow from the Golden Triangle and they know the trade well.

      Will we see those colourful characters from such notorious families as the Bonanos, Colombos, Gambinos, Genoveses, Capones, Lucheeses and so on here soon. The Yahapaalanaya crowd and the Rajapakses were well entrenched with our own drug traffickers. Joe Sim, no doubt with his own connections to the US mafia, made his presence felt here during the days of Maru Sira/Kehelwatta Preme. It died down until the Godfathers from Medamulana took over and gave it life.

      Frank N. Stein

  • 1
    0

    Poor people of this poor island are left with nothing . only option available for them now is to sit and watch

  • 0
    0

    @PK

    You are correct – I’m not Sri Lankan.

    My credibility isn’t the issue – the issue is the state of SriLankan Airlines.

    The article above is one of many describing what is going on at the Airline.

    If you work at the Airline you must also know what is going on.

    Why should people get away with wrong doing?

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