Suren Ratwatte lays down conditions for early retirement from SriLankan airlines
During the Mahinda Rajapaksa era, the administration of Sri Lankan airlines was vested in the hands of an individual related to the first family. This administration led the national carrier on a downward spiral which resulted in the airline suffering losses worth 16.3billion rupees by 2015.
After the new government was elected in 2015, Ajith Dias a good friend of the Prime Minister was appointed as the Chairman of the Airline. Suren Ratwatte, the brother of Charitha Ratwatte, Senior Adviser to the Prime Minister was appointed as the Chief Executive Officer of the Airline.
Under this administration which was built based on friendships, the Airline incurred a loss of 28.5 Billion Rupees last year. The then Board of Directors did not approve of the appointment of the CEO, however, 06 months after he was appointed, his service was made permanent based on orders issued from Temple Trees. This confirmation of service came in a backdrop where a majority of the Board of Directors had issued an order to suspend Ratwatte from continuing to function as the CEO.
At present, a Presidential Commission has been appointed to investigate fraud and corruption at SriLankan Airlines. At the same time, Suren Ratwatte has taken an early retirement from the post of CEO and has put forward a series of conditions for this early retirement.
One condition is that 06 months salary, devoid of taxes, be provided to him. He has also requested valid air tickets to travel to Australia for a period of one year and several other benefits.
In a backdrop where the national airline has been brought to a situation where they continue to suffer losses year on year, how much will the National carrier dole out for Ratwatte to take an early retirement?