Sri Lanka to debate troubled state airline, public officer: lawmaker

Standing left to right – Mr. Dinesh Jebamani (Chief Manager Liability Product Management and New Age Media – Seylan Bank), Mr.Sudesh Peiris (Senior Manager – Digital Banking Channels – Seylan Bank), Ms. S.Senevirathne (Representative of the Revenue Department – Western Province), Mr. Tilan Wijeyesekera (Deputy General Manager – Retail Banking – Seylan Bank) and Mr. Malik Wickremanayaka (Deputy General Manager – Operations – Seylan Bank)

Sept 16, 2008 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s parliament will debate the issues of a state-run budget airline that has been eating up peoples’ money and a senior public official who was faulted by courts, an opposition lawmaker said. Jayasundera immediately offered to resign but the government has not accepted his resignation.

Sri Lanka’s controversial Mihin Air, started by an associate of President Mahinda Rajapaksa amid much controversy, would be the focus of a parliamentary debate on September 23, United National Party (UNP) strongman Ravi Karunanayake said.

The airline had lost its seed capital and has also borrowed more than a billion rupees from state-run Bank of Ceylon and also owes hundreds of millions of rupees to a state petroleum utility.

It is currently without aircraft after leased aircraft went back to their owners, as the airline went deeper into red.

Reports said the airline has requested another three billion rupee injection in peoples’ money in an upcoming budget for 2009.

Sri Lanka’s Treasury Secretary P B Jayasundera would be the focus of another debate on September 24, Karunanayake said.

Jayasundera has been faulted by courts over a privatization deal, executed at a time when Karu