Friday, July 20, 2018

Sri Lanka Will Not Allow Military Use of Mattala Airport by India - Minister

New Delhi: Amid stiff resistance from opposition parties, the government of Sri Lanka has clarified that India will not be allowed to use Mattala International Airport for military purposes even if ownership of the airport is transferred to the Airports Authority of India.

Sri Lanka's minister of civil aviation, Nimal Siripala de Silva, has informed Parliament that a joint venture would be formed to operate the debt-ridden airport where 70 percent of its shares would be bought by India while the other 30 percent by the Sri Lankan government.

Silva said that discussions are underway on the nitty-gritty of the proposal and that a technical evaluation committee and a negotiating committee on matters regarding national security and the job security of employees of the airport would recommend the future course of actions.

Earlier, Sri Lanka's opposition leader, Anura Kumara Dissanayake, made strong allegations that the Sirisena government was compromising the sovereignty of the country and national security despite knowing that airports play an important part in domestic and international wars.
20/07/18 Sputnik