SriLankan directors’ resignations are like sending all doctors home & handing hospital over to the patient
The national carrier SriLankan Airlines has become a burden on the country. In the 2016-17 financial year, it incurred a Rs. 27,789 million loss.
For some time, the government has been trying to privatize the institution, but could not find a suitable investor, which is an indication of its sorry plight.
 
PM’s push to make Suren permanent
 
The PM appointed Suren Ratwatte as its CEO to revive SriLanka, but he has no qualification or experience for the position, excepting being a pilot, and his brother Charita being an adviser to the PM.
 
Suren was so powerful that he managed to get his probation period extended at the instigation of the PM’s office. The director board was against his appointment, but they were pressurized by the PM’s office, which told them to leave their positions if not.
 
Ajith Dias to go home
 
Reports say chairman Ajith Dias is going to resign and that he will tender his resignation on Monday. Several directors resigned recently. Actually, they had been pressurized into do so.
 
CEO Suren is the main culprit for the losses by the SriLankan. Directors and employees are disappointed with him. All the seven TUs are against him, the pilots being his worst enemy. Most say he should be removed to minimize the institution’s losses.
 
But, the PM’s office is intervening to do the opposite. It tries to keep him in the position and appoint a director board that suits him.
 
CEO, a cancer
 
All the TUs opposed Suren, but that was ignored. They say he has become a cancer for the institution. They want the cancer removed, without treating the side effects only.
 
Air Asia – All Nippon
 
Both Air Asia and All Nippon have agreed to buy SriLankan, with the former being the frontrunner. Air Asia is a leading airline in Malaysia, Indonesia and other Southeast Asian countries. All Nippon is Japan’s top airline.
 
However, Air Asia is vehemently opposed by SriLankan employees who fear that that will be the end of the institution. That airline is promoted by the son-in-law of director board member Mahinda Haridasa. That will be yet another corrupt deal.
 
Restructuring to the wastepaper basket
 
Around two years ago, lawyer J.C. Weliamuna submitted a series of proposals to restructure loss-making entities. But, those have been thrown into the wastepaper basket. Reports by committees appointed later too, suffered the same fate.
 
On the pretext of a restructuring of the institution, the PM’s office is trying to appoint a director board that suits the CEO. That is like sending all doctors home and handing over the hospital to the patient.
 
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