Sri Lankan air to test staff for drugs

Following last weekend’s arrest and remanding of an airhostess, attached to Sri Lankan Airlines, for possessing 27 packets of heroin, the national carrier has decided to conduct regular blood tests on all its employees to check for substance abuse, the Island newspaper reported today.

The newspaper quoted a high ranking Sri Lankan airlines official as saying that they would finalise a blood testing scheme for all employees in consultation with the relevant medical experts.

He said that as a responsible airline they could not tolerate employees experimenting with drugs.

Recently, the now remanded stewardess had absented herself from work for several weeks, but had informed the employer that it was due to her having to attend a training course.

The arrest and remanding of the airhostess have aroused suspicion, in the minds of the Airline management, that other employees, who had been closely associated with her, too, could be hooked onto narcotics, the official said.

The arrested airhostess hasrevealed to the police that she was introduced to drugs by her boyfriend, who has since ditched her for another girl. She had been so down and out that she borrowed Rs 7,000 from a trainee stewardess saying that it was to pay the gardener and she would return it later.

According to information gathered from other employees, she had been observed undergoing shivering spells. At such times she would go out and return looking normal. In recent times she had been observed getting unusually thin and even her behaviour had changed, sources said

The Government Analyst’s report on the substance found in her possess is now expected to be submitted to Court on August 21.