SLT Chairman and directors stick to their posts amidst trade union pressure

SLT Chairman and directors stick to their posts amidst trade union pressure

2 December 2019 03:07 pm

Trade unions of Sri Lanka Telecom (SLT) have demanded the removal of current SLT Chairman and board of directors appointed by the previous UNF regime as they were responsible for the down fall of giant telecommunication service provider.   

SLT Chairman Kumarasinghe Sirisena, the brother of former President Maithripala Sirisena, two of previous government appointed directors, Kanishka Senanayake sun of Rosy Senanayake  Colombo mayor an Nilanthi Peiris are still stick  to their positions despite the new government’s request to resign immediately,trade union leaders said.

W.K.H Wegapitiya another board director of the SLT has already tendered his resignation and Treasury representative director Pradeep Kumara is not attending board meetings till the new board of directors is constituted, they confirmed.

An urgent board meeting of the SLT is to be convened on Tuesday 3rd and chairman Kumarasinghe and the clan  is preparing to pass around 50 board papers to regularize their deals including vendor financing agreements, new project contracts, procumbent tenders etc running at billions of rupees.

This was revealed by the Telecommunication Engineers Union (TEU) adding that they informed this matter along with mal practices and corruption of the chairman hand his stooges to the President, Prime Minister and the subject Minister.

The TEU is planning a trade union action the first such workers protest since the assumption of new President, Prime Minister and Cabinet of Ministers, they said.     

SLT trade unions allege that under Chairman Sirisena’s watch the institution had lost Rs. 50 billion due to short-sighted decisions and wasteful expenditure.

They said a handful of senior officials working hand in glove with Kumarasinghe Sirisena are responsible for the current state of affairs within the institution.

Trade unions also stated that SLT had obtained a staggering amount of bank loans under Sirisena’s instructions for no apparent reason. They added that Sirisena’s decisions had jeopardized the future of all SLT workers.

Eight trade unions have come together as a common front under the name “Protest Sri Lanka Telecom – Trade Union Collective” to launch TU action against Sirisena who was appointed soon after his brother’s appointment as the President.

Since his appointment as SLT Chairman, Kumarasinghe Sirisena has run into many controversies including a decision to increase his own salary through a board paper. Sirisena, in March 2015, sought a salary increase that gave him a monthly income of approximately 2.4 million rupees (from SLT and Mobitel) while many SLT workers had issues relating to their salaries and bonuses.

There are also questions about Sirisena’s suitability to run the government’s biggest telecommunications company. At the time he was appointed the SLT Chairman, Sirisena had no experience in the telecommunication sector or any related field.