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No changes at SriLankan until LG polls end


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  • Kabir confirms no changes until elections end
  • Ratwatte removal not communicated to ministry 
  • Replacement options still under discussion, new Board to be appointed after 10 Feb. 

 By Chathuri Dissanyake    

Beleaguered SriLankan CEO Suren Ratwatte is likely to continue in his post until after the Local Government elections following a decision made by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe to suspend all changes at the ailing carrier until the polls are over, sources said yesterday. 

The Government has frozen any changes to the board of directors of SriLankan Airlines including the appointment of a new Chief Executive Officer (CEO) until the Local Government elections are over, with plans to change the entire Board afterwards.

Public Enterprise Development Minister Kabir Hashim confirmed to the Daily FT that the Prime Minister was likely to appoint a new board of directors after the polls.

“On the Prime Minister’s request the entire Board will be changed once the election is over but we will not make any changes beforehand. 

We have not had time to decide on the names as we have been preoccupied with the elections. Till then no changes will happen,” he said.

The Minister also said that he has not been informed of the decision taken by the Board last week to remove CEO Suren Ratwatte.

“There has not been any official communication to me in this regard,” he said.

The Minister said that according to “protocol the Board should discuss several names of any possible new appointment for the post of CEO with the ministry first.”

“We are after all the line ministry,” he pointed out.

The candidate reportedly preferred by the board of directors to replace Ratwatte is former CEO Manoj Gunawardene but this option has not been viewed favourably by the Government, owing to his links with the Government of former President Mahinda Rajapaksa. 


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