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SriLankan says

SriLankan Airlines has sent us the following statement in response to our news report headlined "Prez orders probes into Mihin Air, SriLankan" on page one of the January 15 edition of The Island. Our report said recommendations of the Weliamuna report had not yet been implemented.

Full text of the SriLankan reply: "This response is to put things into perspective with regard to the J. C.Weliamuna Report which has been referred to in the Newspapers and other interested parties, time and time again.

"The then Minister of Ports, Shipping & Aviation, Mr. Arjuna Ranatunga (M.P)  in February 2015 appointed a Board of Inquiry headed by attorney-at-law J.C. Weliamuna and the terms of reference of the Board of Inquiry was to conduct a preliminary investigation and ascertain whether there was

prima facie evidence of the following;

(1)Abuse of power by the Board of Directors and the Senior Management of SriLankan Airlines prior to the appointment of the current Board of Directors in February 2015

(2)Irregularities in the procurement/or leasing of Aircraft

(3) Whether due process has been followed in the procurement of goods and services by SriLankan Airlines valued at over LKR 25 MN

(4) Whether there have been external interferences adversely affecting the smooth functioning of the Airline.

"At a Cabinet Sub Committee on Economic Affairs Chaired by the Hon. Prime Minister in July 2015, it was explained that the Ministry of Aviation has sought the opinion of the Hon. Attorney General on the J.C. Weliamuna Report and that some of the cases reported had been referred to the Bribery Commission, CID and FCID.  At that same meeting, Chairman of SriLankan Airlines was instructed to submit a report at the next meeting on the actions that has been taken by the Board of Directors to address the internal and disciplinary issues highlighted in the report.

"On the instructions of the Cabinet Sub Committee,  a comprehensive response to the J.C. Weliamuna Report on the actions taken by the three member Board Committee in respect of the observations and recommendations made in the Report, was submitted. The comprehensive response to the Weliamuna Report was also submitted  to the President, Prime Minister, Kabir Hashim/Minister of Public Enterprise Development, Eran Wickramartne/Deputy Minister of Public Enterprise Development, Ravindra Hewavitharana/Secretary to the Ministry of Public Enterprise Development, Mr. D. Swarnapala/Secretary Ministry of Aviation and R Paskaralingam/Advisor to the Ministry of National Policies & Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance & Planning.

"In September 2017, a comprehensive docket containing the Company’s responses in connection with the Weliamuna Report were submitted to the Chairman of the COPE/Sunil Handunnetti M.P.  Most recently, a further update in January 2018 was submitted to the Minister Kabir Harshim/Minister of Public Enterprise Development.

"It is to be noted that whilst simultaneously the internal investigation

were being carried out by a three member Board Committee of SriLankan Airlines, some of the employees were also summoned to the PRECIFAC (Presidential Commission of Inquiry to Investigate and Inquire into Serious acts of Fraud, Corruption and abuse of power, state resources and privileges), CID (Criminal Investigation Department), FCID (Financial Crimes Investigation Division) and the Bribery commission (Commission to investigate allegations of Bribery or Corruption) to provide statements and submit documents and information and to this date investigations continue with the CID, FCID and Bribery commission.   The external investigations on the matters referred to above are not within the capability or the mandate of the Board of Directors.

"In July 2016, Kabir Hashim/Minister of Public Enterprise Development requested that a forensic audit on the financial transaction and affairs referred to in the Weliamuna Report be conducted by a forensic accounting services but owing to the high cost involved, the decision was abandoned by the Minister.

"Contrary to popular belief, the Board of Directors of SriLankan Airlines have taken all action possible to address the internal issues and disciplinary issues highlighted in the J. C. Weliamuna Report. "

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