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SriLankan crew oppose Kimarli’s “callous” request to remove PPEs

In a recent letter addressed to the Chairperson of Sri Lanka Tourism Kimarli Fernando, The President of the Flight Attendants Union (FAU) Sidath Dedigama has requested to recall the suggestion made by Fernando on the removal of Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) worn by flight crew.

Dedigama clearly stated that as the representative body of SriLankan Airlines cabin crew, the donning of PPE is done only due to genuine necessity for the safety and security of the crew and the people aboard the flight and that such PPE for long flight durations are tedious and nonetheless a lifesaving measure to endure during a pandemic.

“As a responsible Union, we will take all measures lawfully available to protect the crew, the general public and specifically the passengers and the children under the age of 12 who are not vaccinated that you are callously attempting to place in grave danger,” he stated.

Furthermore, Dedigama emphasised on the responsibility they have as citizens to ensure the safety and security of the country and not jeopardise the citizens with such promotions of tourism.

“We remind you that Sri Lanka is currently under lockdown due to the potent variant of the SARS-CoV-2 Virus, and should the lockdown be successful, all of us in the travel industry have to act with great responsibility to our Nation whilst it recuperates until the deadly virus is overcome by all of us. It is mainly inside an aircraft (where we are frontline staff) that new viruses enter our island nation,” Dedigama said.

In conclusion, Dedigama requested Fernando to adhere to the Buddhist values of the nation and teachings of Gautama Buddha’s doctrine of being truthful and genuine in the course of action.

This letter was in reply to the suggestion made by Kimarli Fernando, addressed to Dr Asela Gunawardena, Director General of Health Services in regards to the relaxation of PPE regulations for crew members enroute from Russia to Sri Lanka to supposedly promote tourism.