Suren Ratwatte’s demands for early retirement from SriLankan airlines

Suren Ratwatte’s demands for early retirement from SriLankan airlines

Suren Ratwatte’s demands for early retirement from SriLankan airlines

Written by Staff Writer

13 Jun, 2018 | 10:41 pm

COLOMBO (News 1st) – CEO of SriLankan Airlines Suren Ratwatte who caused the national carrier to incur losses to the tune of billions within just three years, has put forward a series of conditions to take an early retirement.

After the Government was elected in 2015 Suren Ratwatte, the brother of Charitha Ratwatte – who is the Senior Adviser to the Prime Minister – was appointed as the CEO of SriLankan Airlines.

When he was appointed, several agreements were reached and among them was one that he be paid a salary of 03 Million Rupees a month, the Airlines must pay the taxes for the salary and another 10 Million Rupee benefit needs to be provided.

As there was no common agreement within the Board of Directors, Suren Ratwatte was appointed for a probationary period of 06 months, a Board Paper thereafter proposed that his service be reviewed after the time period.  The Board paper also states that the Chairman of the Airline and Board of Directors must carry out separate reviews.

Ratwatte’s 06 month probation period was to end on the 15th of April 2016, however, the Ministry of Public Enterprise Development had proposed Ratwatte be given another 06-month extension to his service. The view of some members of the Board of Directors was that Suren Ratwatte’s service was not efficient and it needed to be suspended. This has been reported in the Board Minutes as well.

However, later the Chairman of SriLankan Airlines was summoned to Temple Trees and Suren Ratwatte’s service was made permanent. He was appointed as CEO at the age of 52 and in three years he caused the national airlines to suffer losses to the tune of billions, and now when taking an early retirement, Suren Ratwatte has put forward a series of demands.

In a letter to the Chairman of SriLankan Airlines Ranjith Fernando, Ratwatte says he is eligible for employment until April 2022 and since he is taking an early retirement he requests a payment equivalent to six months salary without tax.

He also notes, his last official duty would be the One World IATA Conference in Sydney, Australia from the 01st to the 06th of June allowing him to part company with his peers and notes from June 07th 2018 onwards he will be on annual leave.

Ratwatte who is requesting for a payment equivalent to six months salary says the income tax will be the responsibility of SriLankan Airlines as he will no longer be a resident of Sri Lanka from the 1st of June. He noted all Final Payments must be remitted in Australian Dollars to his offshore accounts.

As additional benefits, he requests 06 return confirmed business class tickets to be used at his discretion on SriLankan Airlines valid for one year and a reparation ticket for his wife to accompany him to Australia.

Speaking to News 1st, Chairman of the Airline Ranjith Fernando said it is important to discuss the agreement the airline has reached with Ratwatte and not his requests. Ratwatte will continue to function as CEO until a successor is located.

When taking into account the agreed terms of appointment for a 03 million rupee monthly salary, the sum for six months would be equal to 18 Million rupees. However, if you calculate the tax, air tickets and other benefits the sum would be even higher.

In 2015 when Ratwatte was appointed as CEO SriLankan Airlines, the carrier suffered a loss of 16.3 Billion rupees and it 2016 the loss was 12 Billion rupees. In 2017, the loss increased to 28.5 Billion Rupees.

What if the sum sought by Suren Ratwatte to seek early retirement was used for the public benefit?

Imagine the number of houses that can be built?

How many can be provided with clean drinking water, especially in villages that are affected by Chronic Kidney Disease?

How many cancer patients could be provided with proper treatment and care?

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