Suren Ratwatte had been appointed as the CEO of the SriLankan Airlines without a Board Decision, Airlines Company Secretary Dalarene Thirikumar told the Presidential Commission of Inquiry (PCoI) today.
“There is Board Paper and the appointment was made without a board decision,” she told the Commission of Inquiry (PCoI) on irregularities at SriLankan Airlines, SriLankan Catering and Mihin Lanka today.
She informed the Commission that another Board Paper mentioned that SriLankan Airlines Board of Directors had shortlisted fourteen potential candidates for the CEO’s position but the list sent to her by the SriLankan Airlines Chairman’s Office mentioned only eleven foreign candidates as shortlisted to the position.
During her testimony, she also informed the Commission that the interview panel, to interview foreign candidates, was represented by the SriLankan Airlines Chairman, Acting CEO and the Board of Directors.
She informed the Commission that the Board Paper on August 25, 2018, stated that the decision to appoint a new CEO is differed by the Board of Directors, but by that time all the interviews had been held.
However, on September 21, 2015, the Director Board had noted an appointment letter to appoint Suren Ratwatte as CEO of SriLankan Airlines and he would be effective in this position from October 15, 2015, onwards, she informed the Commission.
“The period of August 25, 2015, to September 21, 2015, there was no board meeting held by SriLankan Airlines Directors board,” She said to the Commission.
She also informed the Commission that according to the Board Paper on September 21, 2015, the Board of Directors had decided to pay monthly taxable remuneration of Rs. 3 million and if the target budget achieved by the Company, the SriLankan Airlines would pay Rs. 10 million as taxable Performance Bonus to Suren Ratwatte in his position as CEO.
“The board had noted his appointment letter on September 21, 2015, and it was handed over to him on September 22, 2015, by that time Suren Ratwatte had agreed to the package in his position as CEO in SriLankan Airlines,” She said.
During her testimony, she also informed the Commission former SriLankan Airlines CEO Kapila Chadrasena also worked as the CEO and a Consultant of Mobitel Ltd, while he was serving as the full-time CEO of SriLankan Airlines and it was not mentioned on his declaration letters to SriLankan Airlines.