Sunday, 5 April 2015

Sri Lankan Airlines Curruption Investigation

The Sri Lankan government has launched a criminal investigation into Sri Lankan Airlines, the national air carrier over allegations of "shocking" corruption.
A statement from the prime minister's office this week stated an inquiry had unearthed "major security breaches" at Sri Lankan Airlines. This follows on from much local speculation that there were serious wrongdoings at the company.
The official statement alleges irregularities in a $2.3bn purchase of 10 aircraft made under the previous government. This is the latest in a string of allegations  of corruption  against the administration of former President Mahinda Rajapaksa.

The statement, issued by the office of Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, accuses Mr Rajapaksa of making management changes within the airline to allow the $2.3bn-dollar purchase of 10 new aircraft "despite the availability of more cost-effective alternatives". The loss-making airline is 95% state-owned and 5% owned by staff.
The former chairman of the airline, Nishantha Wickramasinghe, is also singled out by the statement, accused of a "gross abuse of power".
Mr Wickramasinghe - who is Mr Rajapaksa's brother-in-law - is accused of exposing the airline to "reputational damage" by his "penchant for young air hostesses", as well as falsifying documents to lease a luxury sports car.
The statement also accuses the airline of attempting to "hush-up two serious flying mishaps", although no details are given.
Mr Rajapaksa, in power since 2005, was defeated in an election in January 2015, by Maithripapa Srisena.