June 14, Colombo: The President of the Airline Pilots' Guild of Sri Lanka Captain Ruwan Vithanage yesterday told the Presidential Commission inquiring into the national airlines that the institutions incurred losses due to the appointment of former president Mahinda Rajapaksa's relatives to the key posts.
The Presidential Commission investigating alleged fraud, corruption and misuse of state funds and property in SriLankan Airlines, Sri Lankan Catering Services and Mihin Lanka convened for the fifth time on Wednesday to record statements from witnesses.
Captain Ruwan Vithanage said appointments of most of the key officials and members on the Board of Directors given between 2008 and 2015 were based on family relationships and political affiliations.
He said the former CEO Suren Ratwatte, Ajith Dias, Kapila Chandrasena and Nishantha Wickremasinghe were obstacles for the progress of the Airlines.
Also, Ruwan Vithanage has said that SriLankan Airlines is moving forward under the present Chairman.
During yesterday's hearing it has been revealed that the Mihin Lanka has refused to receive tax concessions when measures have been taken by the Board of Investment (BOI) of Sri Lanka to grant tax concessions.
The Presidential Commission questioned the Director of BOI Gamini Jayatilleka why the BOI granted tax concessions to Mihin Lanka violating the regulations when the airline has refused to receive such concessions and whether it was due to any influence from any person.
The Presidential Commission ordered the CID to investigate whether any outside interference prevented the BOI from taking action against Mihin Lanka.