UL assets used for former President’s 2015 election campaign: Official

Monday, 30 July 2018 00:36 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

  • Security officials and vehicles used for 2015 presidential election of former President
  • Company assets used in political activities in Kolonnawa
  • SriLankan Cargo has used uncertified explosive detectors since 2016

By Maleesha Sulthanagoda

The assets and security officers of SriLankan Airlines were used in the 2015 presidential campaign of former President Mahinda Rajapaksa, a top official of the national carrier told the Presidential Commission of Inquiry (PCoI) into alleged fraud and misconduct at SriLankan Airlines, SriLankan Catering and Mihin Lanka on Thursday.

SriLankan Airlines Security Officer Hasantha Yasaratne said that security officials and airline assets such as vehicles were used in the 2015 presidential campaign of former President Mahinda Rajapaksa.

“Security officials and vehicles were used for election work in 2015 for President Mahinda Rajapksa. These were used for election in the Kolonnawa area. The Group Security Head Chandrawansa approved the use of these company assets,” he said.  The Security Officer stated that the use of company resources for political activities was prohibited in the company guidelines.  The Civil Aviation Authority Director P. Jayakantha, also testifying before the PCoI, provided evidence on two explosives detectors operating in the cargo division of SriLankan Airlines since 2016. He said that these explosive detectors were low-cost machines with invalid certification and field tests failures.

The Civil Aviation Director also said that these detectors were installed and operated by SriLankan Cargo prior to Civil Aviation Authority certification. 

He also noted that the operation of these devices without certificationwas against national regulations. 

“In accordance with International Civil Aviation Organisation rules and regulations, all security machines should be approved by relevant transportation security administration associations,” he elaborated.