committee to look into SriLankan future
With the existing management agreement with Emirates Airline on managing the Lankan national carrier scheduled to expire in March, the government has appointed a high level committee to canvass views of all local stakeholders on the future of SriLankan.
Ports and Aviation Ministry Secretary D.T.P. Collure said yesterday the Committee would canvass the views of the stakeholders on the existing shareholder agreement and any improvements that might be required.
Mr. Collure said the government would await the findings of the Committee prior to any further negotiations with the Emirates management on extending the contract or in taking any further action.
Asked whether there is a deadline for the Committee to submit its report, the Ministry Secretary said “it will have to complete it as expeditiously as possible, but efficiently.”
The Committee comprises Additional Secretary to the Ministry G.S. Vitanage (Chairman), BOI Chairman Dhammika Perera, Treasury Representative and former Director General Public Enterprises V. Canagasabapathy and SriLankan Director Nishantha Wickramasingha.
The Sunday Times learns that the Committee appointed through a Cabinet paper has already canvassed the opinions of some of the top management of the national carrier and it is expected to meet the pilots and trade unions next week.
Unconfirmed reports have indicated that the talks so far held between the Government and the Emirates have ended in deadlock with the former wanting to separate ground handling and the catering operations, both lucrative on their own from the SriLankan in any fresh contract, while the latter insisting on things as they are.
Head of Corporate Affairs at SriLankan Chandana de Silva, who was brought in by Emirates is said to be actively involved with the committee. Mr. de Silva who is generally media savvy has been elusive since the negotiations between the two sides began on extending the management contract.