Written by Staff Writer
24 Oct, 2018 | 2:50 am
COLOMBO (News 1st) – Former Minister of civil aviation MP Piyankara Jayaratne and current Secretary to the Treasury, Dr. R.H.S Samaratunga provided evidence before the Presidential Commission of Inquiry on irregularities at SriLankan Airlines, SriLankan Catering, and Mihin Lanka on Tuesday (October 23).
It was bought to the attention of the commission today that the Rs. 500 million investment of EPF funds into Sri Lankan Airlines were utilized without a cabinet approval.
It was further revealed that appointments to the board of Sri Lankan Airlines were made against mandatory provisions of the public enterprise department, and the Curriculum Vitae’s of appointees had not been maintained prior to 2015.
MP Piyankara Jayaratne in his testimony confessed that he had never witnessed the airline’s business plan, despite the former minister having signed all documents and cabinet memos pertaining to the subject matter. He revealed that he was not informed of the capital infusion that came in the form of treasury bonds worth Rs. 14.2 billion which were issued in 2012 and 2013.
He further stated that during his tenure as Minister of Civil Aviation, from 2010 to 2015, he had never met the chairman of Sri Lankan Airlines and was not aware of the members of the board.
According to MP Piyankara Jayaratne, today was the first time he witnessed such a document that included circulars of the PED and was not aware that appointments should be made adhering to guidelines outlined by this document.
The former minister also confessed to not overseeing important approvals and cabinet memorandums, claiming that it was upon the belief he had in the secretary that he approved such decisions without further inquiry. MP Piyankara Jayaratne stated that all nominations and appointments to the board of Sri Lankan Airlines came through the presidential secretariat, and though he was the former minister of civil aviation, he was not responsible for any nomination.
The minister stated that sometimes ‘practices go above the rules and regulations, even if such rules are imposed by the government’.
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