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Thursday, May 30, 2024

Who is holding the President accountable for this colossal waste of public coffers?

Named after the President
Through The Republic Square and other media we learn that Mihin Lanka, the brainchild of Sri Lanka’s current President Mahinda Rajapaksa, lost 2.2 billion over the current financial year. As Colombo Page notes, “Civil Aviation Minister Priyankara Jayaratne made this revelation in response to a question posed by United National Party (UNP) parliamentarian Ravi Karunanayaka. The Minister noted that the losses incurred by Mihin Lanka for the financial year 2011/2012 were Rs. 1.9 billion and Rs. 3.2 billion last year.

Emphasis ours. In 2012, we highlighted what even at the time were mind-boggling losses by the airline. In response, economist Anushka Wijesinha noted,

Note that this also is an airline that perversely increases the pay of its Directors the more losses are made.


To put the airline’s losses over the current financial year alone into perspective (leaving aside the 3.2 billion loss incurred last year), it’s more than the budgetary allocations for the following Ministries over 2013, using data compiled and visualised by The Sunday Times above. In fact, in some cases, Mihin Lanka’s losses are greater than the budgetary allocations for several Ministries combined. 

1.National Heritage 1.5b
2.Co-operatives and Internal Trade 2b
3.Petroleum Industries 132m
4.Re-settlement 437m
5.Child Development and Women’s Affairs 1b
6.Minor Expoert and Crop Promotion 930m
7.Coconut Development and Janatha Estate Development 1.6b
8.Parliamentary Affairs 417m
9.Culture and the Arts 1.6b
10.Indegenous Medicine 1.4b
11.Foreign Employment Promotion and Welfare 325m
12.Disaster Management 1.3b
13.Buddha Sasana and Religious Affairs 1.6b
14.Traditional Industries and Small Enterprise Development 923m
15.State Resources and Enterprise Development 430m
16.Labour and Labour Relations 2b
17.National Languages and Social Integration 531m
18.Public Management Reforms 172m

Mihin Lanka’s losses over the current financial year alone are just shy of the budgetary allocations over 2013 for the following ministries,
1.Sports 2.4b
2.Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Development 2.6b
3.Mass Media and Information 2.7b

We asked two years ago, and reiterate, who is holding the President accountable for this colossal waste of public coffers?


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