Written by Zulfick Farzan
19 Jul, 2018 | 7:18 am
COLOMBO (News 1st) – It was revealed at the at the Presidential Commission of Inquiry on Wednesday (July 18th) that the former CEO of SriLankan Airlines Kapila Chandrasena, instructed the Advertising Manager in 2011 to select Kuma Stickers Pvt Ltd as the supplier of advertising space for the national airline.
The then Advertising Manager of SriLankan Airlines Priya Epitawala testifying before the commission said immediately after Kapila Chandrasena was appointed as the CEO, he had highlighted the urgent need for hoardings and introduced Kuma Stickers Pvt Ltd.
Though the witness had informed the Former CEO about the need to follow proper procurement processes, Kapila Chandrasena had instructed her to put it to the Senior Management Team for approval. However, according to the procurement guidelines, there is no mention of the Senior Management Team giving authority to approve the procurement of hoarding sites.
In addition, the witness had been subject to a probe as she had been in disagreements with the former CEO instructions.
The Manager of Commercial and Properties at the Airport & Aviation Services (Sri Lanka) Limited Somaratne De Silva said Kuma Stickers Pvt Ltd had initially reached an agreement to obtain only one area of the baggage belt at the BIA.
However there after they had made requests for other areas in the BIA after other suppliers had pre-terminated their contracts.
Earlier, SriLankan Airlines had produced what it said was an agreement where Kuma Stickers Pvt Ltd had noted it had released the BIA advertising sites to Vihanga Marketing & Advertising Services. According to the witness from Airport & Aviation Services (Sri Lanka) Limited, this is an illegal act. He went on to note almost all the requests made by Kuma Stickers had been approved by then Chairman Prasanna Wickremesuriya.
It came to light that the document given to SriLankan Airlines by Kuma Stickers for a five-year agreement for a particular section of the BIA was one that cannot be accepted as it appeared to be altered. In addition, before Kuma Stickers came into the picture, there were other suppliers.
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