Capt. Rajind Ranatunga the Head of Flight Operations confirmed that CEO Suren Ratwatte’s flying scholarship offered by Chairman Ajith Dias and approved by the Board of Directors which cost the tax payer around US $ 50,000 has been terminated.
Responding to a letter received from the Airline Pilots Guild of Sri Lanka regarding many questions raised pertaining to CEO Ratwatte’s abuse of power, Capt. Rajind Ranatunga responded by stating that he had received instructions from Chairman Ajith Dias that the costly Airbus 320 conversion course will not be continuing.
Earlier CEO Ratwatte had misused his authority and had got down Instructors of his choice to conduct Ground School classes in the comfort of his World Trade Center office. This is besides hand picking Capt. Mohan Pragasam to conduct his Simulator Training and obtaining the services of Capt. Nimal Rambukwella to conduct his Simulator Check. It was also reported Simulator Instructor Capt. Pragasam had failed to document a ‘tail strike’ that CEO Ratwatte had committed during his training.
However CEO Ratwatte’s abuse of power was exposed when he got his Secretary to call the airline’s Manager of Crew Rostering Nalaka De Soyza and have his scheduled Line Training Instructor Capt. Amjad Murad Shafeek removed and replaced with Capt. Ranga Amadoru an instructor of his choice.
Thereafter with Colombo Telegraph breaking the story, the APGSL also wrote to Capt. Rajind Ranatunga questioning him as to how he was permitting CEO Ratwatte to abuse his authority in such a blatant manner whilst compromising flight safety.
Meanwhile with Capt. Ranatunga continuing to schedule Line Training Instructor Capt. Amjath Murad Shafeek to fly with CEO Ratwatte on two back to back Line Training Flights, the CEO requested for annual leave stating that he wished go visit his family who reside in Australia.
However it was confirmed that CEO Ratwatte never traveled to Australia but rather spent time away from his training in Trincomalee.
With the cost of the now terminated Airbus 320 conversion course running into millions of rupees, it is hoped that the loss making national carrier will recover the incurred training costs from CEO Ratwatte.