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POSTED AT 07:23 AM 09-06-2018

First Mihin Lanka Board appointed without Govt. approval

Presidential Commission reveals:

Image courtesy: Hotelier Maldives

The first Board of Directors to Mihin Lanka in 2006 had been appointed without government approval, it was revealed at the Presidential Commission of Inquiry on Irregularities at SriLanka Airlines, Sri Lankan Catering and Mihin Lanka on June 7.

The first Board of Directors consisted of former Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, former Finance Ministry Secretary P.B. Jayasundera, former Air Force Commander Air Chief Marshal Roshan Mahesh Gunathilake and former President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s Coordinating Secretary Sajin de Vaas Gunawardena.

The above was revealed when Additional Solicitor General, President’s Counsel Neel Unambuwa questioned the Department of Registrar of Companies, State Management Assistant Indika Roshan Gunawardena before the Commission.

Gunawardena explained that the Department’s documents on Mihin Lanka did not contain any letter authorising the setting up of the airline from either the Finance Ministry, Defence Ministry or the Cabinet at the time.

He added that they did not also have any document stating the first Board of Directors had been appointed.

Further, according to the State Management Assistant, the company’s (Mihin) Constitution stated that either the state or Minister of Civil Aviation had to present the board with letters of appointment.

The Commission this week also learned that Mihin Lanka had suffered a loss of Rs.14.4 billion from June 23 2006 up to June 23 2014.

As the losses were revealed, Additional Solicitor General Unambuwa observed that it had cost Rs.200 million to purchase a PET scan machine for cancer patients and by 2014 there were large numbers of patients suffering with kidney disease, unable to afford care.

The Commission is headed by its President, Retired Supreme Court Judge Anil Goonaratne with members; Appeal Court Judge Gamini Rohan Amarasekara, retired High Court Judge Piyasena Ranasinghe, former Deputy Auditor General Mallawaarachchige Don Anthony Harold and Director General of the Sri Lanka Accounting and Auditing Standards Monitoring Board Wasantha Jayaseeli Kapugama.

Kamani Alwis

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