29 May, 2017

Weliamuna Report Recommends Criminal Prosecutions Of Shiranthi’s Brother Nishantha W & AirLanka CEO

A Board of Inquiry has found shocking details of corruption running into billions of dollars, manipulations of service contracting, recruitment of unqualified staff and major security breaches at Sri Lankan airlines under the former government, says the Prime Minister’s office.

The panel headed by anti-corruption advocate and senior lawyer J. C. Weliamuna found instances of gross abuse of power by former chairman Nishantha Wickramasinghe whose penchant for young air hostesses cost the debt-ridden airline even more problems.

Former Chairman Nishantha Wickremasinghe

Former Chairman Nishantha Wickremasinghe

According to a statement issued by the PM’s office, the former government of President Mahinda Rajapaksa made management changes to carry out a re-fleeting of the airline with brand-new aircraft costing $2.3 billion despite the availability of more cost effective alternatives.

The Weliamuna report recommends criminal investigations into the entire re-fleeting process and have noted instances where former chairman Wickramasinghe, a brother-in-law of Mahinda Rajapaksa, should be prosecuted.

The Board of Inquiry (BOI) found evidence of Wickramasinghe and Sri Lankan CEO, Kapila Chandrasena falsifying documents to lease a luxury sports utility vehicle for the use of Wickramasinghe. This was in addition to a luxury Mercedes Benz vehicle and a Prado super luxury vehicle.

The purchase of vehicles pales into insignificance when compared to irregularities in the re-fleeting exercise and a fiasco involving the launch of an air taxi service which was eventually abandoned causing millions of dollars in losses to Sri Lankan airlines.

The management of Sri Lankan staff knowingly ignored conflict of interest in companies and individuals hired to advise the national carrier on procurements leading to a reasonable assumption that they were all corrupt deals.

A Cabin crew member had been released from the airline to work at the Presidential Secretariat following a request from the then Presidential Secretary Lalith Weeratunga, but she was actually released for Namal Rajapaksa‘s political work.

She had been paid by the airline, including allowances for cabin work although there is no explanation of what services she provided except that she had been over paid more than 4.2 million rupees.

The BOI recommends that the Sri Lankan airlines take action to recover the overpaid amounts from the staff member who has been identified in the report and direct prosecutions of those who authorized misappropriation of public finance.

The BOI also found that several applicants who repeatedly failed entrance tests were eventually recruited on verbal requests from the management.

The former chairman had also created a post of “SLA Brand Ambassador” and appointed his known companion, an airhostess even though no such designation was known to the national carrier. The couple had travelled abroad on tickets bought by Sri Lankan from other airlines too.

“In our investigation, we can conclusively hold that former Chairman’s association with cabin crew members exposed Sri Lankan Airlines to abuse of power, causing reputational risks as well as financial losses.

“BOI can also hold that there was no corporate culture in the board or the top management to raise such issues when a senior officer or the chairman was involved in such behavioral issues adversely affecting the company” the report said.

The BOI has found CEO Chandrasena unsuitable for the job and was surprised to discover that he was paid a minimum monthly salary of 1.5 million rupees on top of other perks and he had also enjoyed salaries simultaneously from his other appointments.

There had been a time when he drew a salary as Mobitel CEO as well as Mihin Lanka CEO. The BOI recommends criminal prosecutions of Chandrasena as well as Wickramasinghe, among other senior management staff.

The BOI also found that a London station manager who tried to stop the illegal practice of sending motor spare parts for the use of former president’s son Rohitha had been suddenly transferred out on the direction of the former President Rajapaska.

The airline had also tried to hush up two serious flying mishaps involving the chief pilot Druvi Perera and Captain U. A. V. Pathirana.

Two staff members involved in alleged human smuggling had got off lightly raising serious concerns whether few employees continue to support a criminal human smuggling ring.

The BOI also raised questions about the suitability of appointing a retired army major general, P. Chandrawansa, who did not have aviation security experience on a salary of 450,000 rupees, without following recruitment procedure and accused him of engaging in political activities while in the employment of Sri Lankan airlines.

The BOI recommends the termination of services, or immediate disciplinary action for breaching company rules. Security Department was among the most politicized.

The BOI praised two senior pilots — Patrick Fernando and Ranga Amadoru — who had resigned in protest against attempts to lower pass marks of recruit pilots.

“Their resignation effectively prevented the selection of unsuitable candidates in the 2013 Cadet Pilot intake. In view of their bold stand taken to protect professional standards, BOI recommends that they be commended.” the report said.

The report also lists major fraud in the award of tenders and singles out a duty free deal and the sale of wine as one of the blatantly corrupt deals of Sri Lankan requiring a criminal investigation. BOI points out the corrupt manner in which General Sales Agents were appointed in many countries on behalf of the airlines and manipulations made. BOI also recommends criminal investigations on the involvement of Udayanga Weeratunga former Ambassador to Russia and Dilan Ariyawansa in several GSA appointments.

Finally the BOI has concluded that the management culture was a major contributory factor for abuse of power and external interference into the business of Sri Lankan airlines.

Related posts;

Shiranthi Brother Chairman Nishantha’s Girlfriend’s Phone Call Costs SriLankan Rs. 6.2 million

Shiranthi Brother SriLankan Chairman’s Girlfriend Couldn’t Wait

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Latest comments

  • 4
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    Every body says arrest, arrest,and how many can they arrest as some of them in the govt., are in it and how could they find the 2/3 majority if the govt. wants the 19th amendment and other useful acts passed by the parliament. The change of regime is a God’s gift to people of Sri Lanka as no one expected the change.It was a shock to the former regime as they were caught unawares and they were not prepared for it to brush the wrong doings under the carpet.This is a fact,but what the President and his trustee PM Ranil are doing is that they are undoing what God meant to be done. Usually it is the other way around as God disposes what we propose.So folks, there is a saying as you all know that, ‘birds of the same feather, flock together’ and they have flocked together and no jail terms will be delivered but inquire and discharge procedures will take place until President’s term ends, though media will be full of such news and C.I.D boys would be put under heavy pressure, not to indict some of the wrong doers. Basil R,indicted for fraud and arrest warrant is ready for an arrest on return to the Island but he is determined to step on SL soil,some day soon, knowing,nothing of that sort will happen to him on arrival and there are many cases like this, where criminals, people stained with corruption, walk freely in the country and abroad, as if they are on furlough . Do not know how far it is true, that it is alleged that govt.ministers too help such people to flee the country This is the state of affairs we are facing, after taking a big risk, and in some cases, fear of losing lives, by the people, after voting Mr. Sirisena to power.
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      Lanka Watch . Oops . I actually thought it was the voting public that brought Mr.Sirisena to power !
      • 0
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        Dr. Goebells, It is true that the voting public that brought Mr. Sirisena to power and they are very same people at the receiving end now. Is it clear now ?
  • 6
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    Our divided nation is apparent by the ” thumbs down ” received for opinions. The ” In group “, ” Out Group ” conflict, as learnt in Social Psychology is alive and well, in the Motherland. These folks are the near 6 million people who voted for MR. They are the MR’s ” In Group “. No matter what evidence is presented to them by the ” Out group ” they will hang on to their views. Praying for their saviors return, never mind the murder, mayhem, wholesale thievery, white vans, and the list goes on. Evidence presented to the ” In Group “, by the ” Out Group ” won’t convince them. They must be convinced by those whom they believe. Perhaps SB, can start doing the hard work. Until then, we will keep ” disliking ” comments on findings of the MR regime. Applauding the regimes actions.
  • 6
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    Now, there is a talk that Mahinda Rajapaksha too will join the government. Mostly likely it will happen. When that happens this report will be thrown into the waste paper basket. Nothing will happen to Nishantha or any other who is reponsible for the corrupt activities in the Sri Lankan. The rogues will continue to rule the country. The citizens need to realize that another way has to found to save our land.
    • 1
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      My Dear Father, There is absolutely no truth to what you just said. MR is a spoil sport who is being egged on by his most notorious crooks to save their own skin. The whole country and all the educated politicians in the current government know this. There is no way that they will accomodate him and no way he will bow down to them either.
    • 2
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      As long as CBK is around , MR’s life is going to be a miserable one ,the message has been delivered on a public platform by CBK the other day , she didn’t mince her words when describing the condition , basically MR will have to stay head down if he wants to join SLFP , wow what a terrible humiliation for an Ex president ? so , forget about MR Joining with MY3, MR’s fate has been sealed , Period.
  • 8
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    emirates management with 24 planes they had 3400 staff, today with 24 planes have 6500 staff. There is no space at HR there are so many staff, cabin crew have almost a manager for each stewardess. Some crew are kept on contract to have the number needed to terminate when required to put nil balakaya appointees after there training. They cant train enough operating staff as they are spending time having parties and spending money for the building to look posh. A clean sweep of the top management who came in with the leaving of emirates is a must if this airline is to get back. Peter Hill, speak to some of the managers from the past. You promoted on merit, not suckers and pimps and loud mouths.
  • 5
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    The current commercial team in this airline have consistently failed in reviving the airline to profitability since its take over from emirates over a decade now. Some members of the commercial team took leave to work for Sajin Vaas’s election campaign by positing them at Ambalangoda during the last parliamentary election.Such is the class of Commercial heads running this entity. Government must action now and make suitable replacements without any further delay.
    • 4
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      The guy who you are referring to did infact was granted paid leave by the former CEO who was the brother of SVG. and and as compensation for the services rendered was made head of worldwide sales. There are few others who too should be shown the door.One notable person is the Chief Strategic Office a known manipulator who is mainly responsible for what has happened in the Commercial division.
      • 1
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        you o(e) none?
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        This is not correct. The staff concerned was on unpaid leave and his appointment as Head of Sales was due to his seniority, performance and experience as he is the best sales person that UL produced.
  • 10
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    ever since I read this article I’m trying to figure out the sort of services this pretty flight stewardess would have given our baby Namal that cost 4.5 Million rupees of our tax money? Can any of the CT readers suggest the services you can get for 4.5 Million rupees from an airline stewardess?
    • 1
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      Mmmmmmmm Quite a bit for Rs 4.5 m
    • 1
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      Like maternal uncle, the popular nephew.
    • 2
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      Well, Monica Lewinski gave it to Bill Clinton for much less. Much, much less, I should say.
      • 1
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        But Monica L got back her dues in Millions of Dollars.
    • 8
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      the worst part is, these Rajapaksha kids cannot even pay on their own for their wet dream partys withougt taking it from the tax payers. there was another girl sent to Australia on diplomatic services after she provided services to the family members? shameless bastards and a shameless father. If there is anything called moral, they Rajapakshas never heard of it. going to military schools on public money, writting exams in AC rooms with internet and so on. MR can say anything but can he explain why Basil left the country so soon after the elections? His brother in law made Ambassador in Moskow, his other brother in law mad Air line CEO….just few examples.
      • 3
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        Please don’t leave out that poor Rhitha Geezer , he was the first Srilankan astronaut and used his rocket science theory to send a rocket to space , isn’t that some thing we all can be proud of ? PS: MY3 regime must scrutinize Rohitha’s rocket farce , who actually paid that few hundred millions Dollars ?
    • 3
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      Yes Gamarala , lots of lessons from that highly charged Hindu Indian sex Bible { different positions does not include poltical ones” “this gal can teach Namal Baba about sex from the “Khama Sutra” Hope you are up to it with the old ‘Gama Mahage” This Airline should rename itself “Sex Lankan Airlines” for frustrated old Managerial old Farts.
    • 2
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      In the west for special VIP escort cum special services it could be anything between $ $1,000 to $5,000 an hour. Read the following web. http://www.cnn.com/2008/POLITICS/03/10/spitzer/ Still need to find out the going rate in Siri Lanka.
  • 0
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    CT – Your heading for this article should change…Kapila Chandrasena is not AirLanka ceo but SriLankan Airline CEO….AirLanka Closed over two decades ago.
    • 1
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      If I may, the carrier re-branded from Airlanka to Srilankan. The carrier still has it’s Internationally recognized suffixes of UL and 603.
  • 6
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    Head of human resources is famous for recruiting inexperienced staff and using his charms whenever needed to get things done around especially women. Recently his mistress was given a unique designation as HR manager planning and analytics with a less than two years hands on experience in the department. These upgradings should be revisited as there is no quality but the power of connection/influence of head of hr.
  • 6
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    Not sure whether Ranil will have the guts to take Nishantha, Kapula and Sajin into custody for ruining our airlines. Lets wait and see. The cabin crew used to love Nishantha.
    • 3
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      Jagath, he will surely not have the guts. But I am sure he will, with the power vested in him… have a probe or 2!!! Our current government will be remembered for the number of probes with no result! The Prez is kept busy with a trip to any place to meet anyone who will see him while the PM has had as many probes setup. All good jokes buy a bunch of jokers!!
      • 2
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        RW is too busy trying to exonerate his mate Mahendarn CB governor who name should enter in to the Guinness book for his involvement of alleged fraud and the speed and quickness he got his name written in mud. Perhaps he wanted to emulate Cabarala the former genius governor.
    • 2
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      @ Jagath Fernando “The cabin crew used to love Nishantha” … while Nishantha enjoyed the taste of paradise!
  • 6
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    Ranil? How or why would you expect Ranil to take any one in to custody? That should be done by the proper authorities after a case is heard and these jokers are found guilty
  • 4
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    This little uneducated old [Edited out] could not keep his pecker zipped in, when he is in Prison will the tarts who serviced him visit him? His poor wife will have to step in?
  • 3
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    Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe is protecting all the Rogues working in both Sri Lankan Airlines and Mihin Lanka as long as they are products of Royal College, Colombo. It is ao well known fact that Druvi Perera and Pujitha Jayakody (Both former Royalist) went out of their way to facilitate the fraud that was committed by Nishantha Wickremesinghe and Kapila Chandrasena. Both these two individuals must be removed from there respective positions and investigated culminating in criminal charges brought against them. J.C. Weliamuna should be given a mandate to carry out a similar investigation into Mihin Lanka, god knows the number of skeletons that will be unearthed including the fraud that was committed by the Mihin Head of Finance MR. Suwaris. Come on Prime Minister Ranil are you protecting rogues or Royalists??? Shame on you!!!!
  • 2
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    If this is all the board of investigation (BOI) headed by senior lawyer Mr. J.C. Weliyamuna can produce, it can be construed that that the board did not venture out into a broader investigation, investigating other areas like, flight operations, pilots displeasure, pilots errors and decisions ,catering department, traffic handling and of all.the engineering department ,which is in the news now as aircraft are returning to base more often,after take off due to mechanical failures.It was not a complete investigate but concentrated on two political appointees the chairman and the CEO.and others in the swindling of the national airline are left scotch free. Have they investigated the activities of the senior management and cover up stories done in lieu of added perks and whether the employees taken during the previous regime, were qualified and selected on merits or against chits from the ruling party.If the board did a through investigation,they would have recommended closure of this ‘white elephant’ but it turned out to be a political vendetta and not a genuine attempt to put the airline on the right path, which is closure and restart with a new board and administration coming under foreign management,until the airline steadied up.
  • 5
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    If this Bugger Nishantha Wickremasinghe as Chairman Sri Lankan Air, had a penchant for the Air hostesses, what would he have done to the Estate Meenachis while he was a Planter? There must be enough illegitimate Wickremasinghes in the Plantations to fill a Line. I believe someone should ‘Bob It’ for him.
    • 1
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      gamini, Many former white (English) planters left their genes behind in Little England, a village near Diyatalawa, where most children – in/around the sixties – had fair complexions. Now, our educated women know methods to prevent transfer of genes, to themselves.
      • 4
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        Justice, why are you looking that far. See the Former first lady and her brother will you and where they hail from.
  • 4
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    I thought it is another time to comment . We waited so long to punish these thieves. Now we have the power and time. But still there are certain corrupted politicians like Rajitha. I am saying this with responsibility, he is corrupted in the past, present and may in the future. He and MR never had any difference in many things. When MR and goons cancelled the agreement with Emirates , many people including me wrote “Don’t do it now…and so on” That is because we knew this is the results and we going to lose our national air line due to mismanagement and so on. ( please go back to older articles and comments at the end of the peter Hills era) At that time Sri Lankan was at on its way to achieve excellence among group of asian air lines. It had good HR, PR and management practices for us to get back at the right time.BUT MR destroyed all our hopes. Arrest Nishantha Wickramasinghe, Kapila Chandrasena including MR and other people. We are the tax payers and owners of the airline. Not RW or Maithree! If it happened in a another country like Korea or some where else they must spent their rest of the life time in prison.We must follow them.
    • 1
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      Sapumal, I totally agree with you. But the point is our Parliament is run by a bunch of corrupt thieves who themselves have made the parliament like their own Mafia Club house cartel. Everybody there is covering each others back while putting a fake show-off to the public. How can you imagine a single MP spending over 500 Lacks (50 million rupees) just to contest for an election. Where do they get all that money and who is sponsoring them other than mega business tycoons and fraudsters. At the moment only JVP is the only party who stand against these bunch of elite first class rogues and stand for the people. But unfortunately JVP do not have much say of power in the parliament due to their own mistakes in 1971 and 1989. But I hope one day JVP will rally the people behind and the people will rise against these corrupt thieves who screw our country left and right on daily basis and bring justice to people. That’s why we need more of J.C.Weliamunas to further investigate all other Government Corporations and Institutions and many more Colombo Telegraphs to bring these information to the attention of public. There’s still over 70,000 imported Rajapakse face wall clocks and over One Million imported printed Rajapakse Sinhala New Year Lithas to be distributed. Rakapakse family broke all the world records when it comes to fraud including bribing and duping Buddhist monks, foreign dignitaries and 70% politically un educated village folks to get their vote. The self proclaimed king Dutugemunu. I think the time is ripe to clean our Parliament and install real Patriots to govern our country.
  • 3
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    The report has missed out on the call center outsourcing deal, done by Kapila to MR related party.
  • 1
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    After JRJ of UNP won 1977 election that, UNP had been promised for 8 kilos of Grain and Dhamarist Samajya ( fair Society ), promptly what JRJ did that scraped and dismantle Air Ceylon, without any deliberation or consensus from Public or Parliament. Hopefully that UNP of Ranil.W…has now forget that past, how JRJ act an appointment Raikitha Wickramanayake as Chairmen of Air Lanka in 1979. Criminal charges against Rakitah W… had been hide by JRJ-UNP regime. Who is Rakitha .W…? Man who deserted Air Ceylon Pilot in Singapore left without any notice of Government of Sri lanka? He had committed crime to be charge by criminal defamation by Govt. of Sri lanka. But during that nothing has happen even CBK came to power 1994! Rakitha Wickramanayake was good friend of JRJ son’s, that Ravi Jayawaradana of UNP leader , that was the very reason drop all Criminal Charges against Rakita. UNP’s Rakita’s crime are not count or accountability to rule of law in Sri lanka soil? If any UNP’s are affiliated any committed crimes as not treat as the crime in Law of our Land? Welinimue has no knowledge of AIR LINE RULE OR IATA OR AIR OPERATIONAL SYSTEM. He is just lawyer of incompetence that to be an inversgation totally fail of Sri Lankan air line operation and its ground rules. Of cause there are lack and short coming of Sri lanka Air services was inherited from the past. But as whole, it has remarkable improvement and well balance achievement under MR ruling alliance last ten years. Buying New Aircraft is essential for development of Travel and Tourism industries is concern in Sri lanka. Most of Charges are base on political revenge against Mahinda Rajapakase family.
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      What are you talking about ? this is not an inquiry on previous management but the last one headed by Wickramasinghe/Chandrasena.If you have an iota of intelligence you must realize the extent of corruption that has taken place during the last 9 years and that has nothing to do with any inheritance from previous managements but creations of their own.Do not believe the report would disclose anything new that most of us did not knew already but did not come out in the open for either convenience or fear of reprisals.This is a mess that needs lot of effort and time to come out since like the Rajapakse regime the malaise would have seeped right down to the bottom of the Airline hierarchy as well
    • 0
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      Millroy What crazy nonsense point you are trying to prove here. Sri Lankan Air has lost Six Billion Rupees for the past three years on Leased out air planes. There’s not a single plane Sri Lanka own but all are leased out. You know with six billion rupees you could pay the whole Sri Lankan Air staff to stay at home and pay their “FREE SALARY” and still could say money to the country. This is how much Sri Lankan Air has lost under Rajapakses where under emirates it made so much profit. Remember crooks and monkey man “Game Baiyas” are suitable in the jungle and are not fit to run a Country or an Institution.
  • 0
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    [Edited out] – Please write instead of posting just web links – CT
  • 1
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    I like this comment “shocking details of corruption running into billions of dollars, manipulations of service contracting, recruitment of unqualified staff and major security breaches at Sri Lankan airlines “…..How about the recruitment of 6000 to port authority, 3000 to petroleum, 2000 to health ministry…..to name a few by some ministers, Railway carriages cut and sold for Rupees two per kilo…How about those things !
    • 0
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      All Government Corporations including the Parliament are run By Crooks, thugs and unqualified goons. Today Sri Lanka Parliament has become a self made Club House where they booze together in the evening. Even the educated ones are been exploited and constantly kept under suppression not allowing to reveal the truth to the public. All Govt. Corporations either should be made Semi-Government or Given to Private Contractors or entities to run under Government supervision. Sri Lanka should be saved from both Educated and uneducated, uncultured and uncivilized crook mafias who govern our country today. We need many more J.C.Weliamunas, many more Colombo Telegraphs and Sirasa TVs. Thank you all for making a voice for the people.
  • 2
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    Kind request to administrators of CT Please do use your usual high standards of editorial discretion to kill stories like this, they do not serve in the public interest. Very evident that these stories without bylines are just planted to malign and slander individuals. Objective, factual articles are ok but vindictive character bashing articles like these will only reduce the CT website to the level of many other online sites which have lost their credibility by just serving those with personal vendettas.
  • 2
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    Kind request to administrators of CT Please do use your usual high standards of editorial discretion to kill stories like this, they do not serve in the public interest. Very evident that these stories without bylines are just planted to malign and slander individuals. Objective, factual articles are ok but vindictive character bashing articles like these will only reduce the CT website to the level of many other online sites which have lost their credibility by just serving those with personal vendettas. P.s. posted under the wrong article, should have been under the article that attacks Capt Perera
  • 0
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    the right person not given the proper position @srilankan ,all yes management spoiled the entire progress of the airline,but the yes managers are still having a good time ,procurement ordering the wrong items and making money?…..

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