Written by Zulfick Farzan
12 Jul, 2018 | 3:22 pm
Colombo (News 1st) – Former Chairman of SriLankan Airlines Nishantha Wickremesinghe had three drivers assigned to him. Wickremesinghe was appointed as a full-time Chairman of the Airline in 2010. These three drivers are Wasantha Devapriya ( Employee Number 9574), Lakman Cooray ( Employee Number 12077 ) and Sudath Ranasinghe ( Employee Number 13268 ).
According to the testimony of Dalrene Thirukumar, the Company Secretary for SriLankan Airlines, SriLankan Catering and Mihin Lanka Private Limited, Devapriya is a Senior Driver in the Grade 04 category while Cooray and Ranasinghe were both Grade 03 drivers.
The overtime schedules for these three drivers produced by the witness today stunned the commissioners.
OT Schedule for Wasantha Devapriya
April 2011 to March 2012: Rs. 914,282
April 2012 to March 2013: Rs. 920,026
April 2013 to March 2014: Rs. 739,550
April 2014 to March 2015: Rs. 398,195
OT Schedule for Lakmal Cooray
April 2011 to March 2012: Rs. 439,774
April 2012 to March 2013: Rs. 960,734
April 2013 to March 2014: Rs. 432,570
OT Schedule for Sudath Ranasinghe
April 2013 to March 2014: Rs. 153,832
April 2014 to March 2015: Rs. 559,197
What is more surprising is their overtime payment for individual months.
For example, Devapriya and Cooray had earned Rs. 121,734 and Rs. 138,825 as overtime pay for the month of June 2012.
The question now is how many hours did they work per day during that month to earn such a massive amount as over time.
The witness using a formula provided by the Human Resources Department at SriLankan Airlines did the math and ascertained, based on the basic salary of Devapriya which is Rs. 61,601 he gets paid Rs. 385 per hour of over time.
But according to the calculations done by both the commission and the witness it came to light that Devapriya had, in fact, worked 13 hours per day in overtime. So if you add the 08 hours normal work duty of the driver, he had worked for almost 21 hours every day during that month.
Cooray, on the other hand, had worked almost 23 hours per day for the entire month, which is indeed astounding and the commissioners raised the question, “ Were both in the same vehicle at the same time ? “.
Another fact that was highlighted by the commission was that no approval was given for the airline to do away with the BMW used by the previous chairman and purchase a Mercedez Benz E200 for the exclusive use of Mr Nishantha Wickremesinghe.
Apart from the car, another Toyota Hilux Vigo was given for the security detail of the Chairman of the national carrier.
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