SriLankan Airlines assets used in Rajapaksa’s presidential campaign

ECONOMYNEXT- Security officers and vehicles of the state-run airline had been used in the 2015 presidential campaign of Mahinda Rajapaksa, a witness said at the Presidential Commission of Inquiry investigating irregularities at the national carrier.

“Security officers and vehicles were used for election work. This was for the campaign of Mahinda Rajapaksa,” SriLankan Airlines Security Officer Hasantha Yasaratne said.

He said that these were used for campaigning in the Kolonnawa Electorate. Group Head of Security P. Chandrawansa had authorized the use of company resources, the witness said.

Yasaratne said that company rules and regulations prohibit SriLankan employees from taking part in political activities. Only trade union activities are allowed.

Nishantha Wickramasinghe, a brother-in-law of then President Rajapaksa, was Chairman of SriLankan Airlines until Rajapaksa lost the presidential election in 2015.

Independent observers had raised concerns over the use of state resources during Rajapaksa’s campaign.

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