ECONOMYNEXT – Police and Bribery Commission were investigating allegations of corruption and abuse of power at SriLankan Airlines made by an independent board of inquiry while internal and disciplinary issues had been dealt with, the national carrier said without giving details.
“Contrary to popular belief, the Board of Directors of SriLankan Airlines have taken all action possible to address the internal and disciplinary issues highlighted in the J. C. Weliamuna Report,” a statement said.
It was issued in response to inquiries about the outcome of the Board of Inquiry headed by attorney-at-law J.C. Weliamuna appointed in February 2015.
The airline did not say if internal and disciplinary issues highlighted by Weliamuna and allegations against its senior management were true and if so, what internal action had been taken.
SriLankan Airlines said the Ministry of Aviation has sought the opinion of the Attorney General on the J.C. Weliamuna Report.
Some of the cases reported had been referred to the Bribery Commission, Criminal Investigation Department and Financial Crimes Investigation Division, it said.
Weliamuna did a preliminary investigation to see whether there was prima facie evidence of the abuse of power by the former Board of Directors and the senior management of SriLankan Airlines.
He also probed irregularities in the procurement or leasing of aircraft and whether there had been external interferences adversely affecting the smooth functioning of the airline.
“It is to be noted that whilst simultaneously the internal investigation were being carried out by a three member Board Committee of SriLankan Airlines, some of the employees were also summoned to the PRECIFAC (Presidential Commission of Inquiry to Investigate and Inquire into Serious acts of Fraud, Corruption and abuse of power, state resources and privileges), CID FCID and the Bribery commission to provide statements and submit documents and information,” the airline said.
“Investigations continue with the CID, FCID and Bribery commission. The external investigations are not within the capability or the mandate of the Board of Directors.”
The airline also said Kabir Hashim, Minister of Public Enterprise Development, had requested a forensic audit on the financial transaction and affairs referred to in the Weliamuna Report but dropped the idea owing to its high cost.
(COLOMBO, January 19, 2018)