Transferring the Mattala International Airport to India was a threat to the national security and the sovereignty of the country as airports played an important part in domestic and international wars, Chief Opposition Whip and JVP leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake said today.
He told Parliament that transferring of the ownership of the airport just because it was a loss-making venture should be thoroughly considered.
"Issues with national interest should be considered than losses or economic benefits of the airport. An airport is important in military affairs in a country. It can pose more threat to national security and sovereignty of the country," he said.
Raising a question, Mr Dissanayake asked whether the Government would present the agreement in Parliament.
Civil Aviation Minister Nimal Siripala De Silva said discussions were in progress to develop Mattala Airport as a Joint Venture with India and that the Government would follow the due procedure before signing the agreement.
He said the agreement would be presented in Parliament before signing it and added that the ownership of the airport could not be transferred to a foreign country completely according to the Civil Aviation Act.
"If the airport is to be transferred to India completely, Civil Aviation Act should be amended in Parliament. Then anyone can object it and defeat it in Parliament," he said.
The Minister said the Government decided to develop the Mattala Airport as a Joint Venture due to its unbearable debt burden and losses and added that Indian Civil Aviation Authority offered to develop it.
"We called for open proposals from local and international businessmen. But only India submitted a feasible proposal," he said.
Mr De Silva said Joint Venture would be formed where 70 per cent of its shares would be bought by India while the other 30 per cent by the Government.
"Discussions were in progress by the Technical Evaluation Committee and a negotiating committee on matters regarding national security and the job security of employees of the airport.
"We have set pre-conditions before transferring the airport. This is only a business venture. We will not allow anyone to use it for any military activities. Its air navigation system is operated by Sri Lankan authorities and security also provided by the Air Force and local partners," he said.(Ajith Siriwardana and Yohan Perera)
Ahmed Thursday, 19 July 2018 23:47
find other ways to monetize the airport. we dont need politicians and arthika osthars in this country if their only solution to an economic problem is selling countries asserts. why do we need leaders if they dont know how to manage things ? its very easy to sell and lease out things
Reply : 5 25
Shehan Friday, 20 July 2018 18:53
Hopefully people not forget what role India played very beginning of civil war in early 80's.
Reply : 0 8
Prakash Thursday, 19 July 2018 23:57
Can JVP give an alternate solution, tomorrow you are the same guys who say cost of living is high, want more free education etc. As a guestute of goodwill can all JVP chaps in parliament forgo your privileges? You have no answers for any problems than being critical. Do your research many airports around the world are not manged by governments. Australia earns 20bn Dollors a year through private universities. We give your comrades everything free, but can you name one area SL is leading?
Reply : 6 24
nick Friday, 20 July 2018 00:11
dont worry this government will sell u too... via DM Android App
Reply : 9 16
Ignorance Friday, 20 July 2018 00:33
This chap's knowledge is crap and babyish. Airports are no threats to national security or sovereignty. If you want to block the runway park three vihicles and planes cannot land. If we declare in our dreams a war against a neighbouring country they can easily invade via sea, modern aircrafts can land in our back gardens, paddy fields , parachutes, cyber war, etc. There should be no worry of leasing Mattala.
Reply : 4 23
Gallery Friday, 20 July 2018 02:06
Getting India's help to end the war wasn't dangerous is it ? This guy is talking nonsence to please the gallery.
Reply : 6 21
raj Friday, 20 July 2018 02:20
is it OK to give it to China?
Reply : 5 20
Ash Friday, 20 July 2018 02:27
Reply : 9 13
Waco Friday, 20 July 2018 04:17
Not a wise move, because national security will be in jeopardy.
Reply : 20 6
George Friday, 20 July 2018 05:35
Also anuman could carry it.....
Reply : 1 5
Pradeepan Mahadevan Friday, 20 July 2018 06:07
Please read the auditor gemeral's report from.2015 which is available on their website. You can Google.and find it. It has been commissioned by the current government. The recommendation is to complete the infrastructure around it for its vision to be achieved
Reply : 0 2
Jude Friday, 20 July 2018 06:51
Hey AKD don't be alarmed !!! This is not Espionage!!!Mind you, India don't need lankan airport!! Remember, India possesses the AGNI series Ballistic Missiles which could reach anywhere in Sri Lanka with a press of a button!!!?? And you remember the "Parrippu" air drop!!!
Reply : 3 18
Donkey talk sence Friday, 20 July 2018 07:03
Give to China, ukrine, Russia, Maldives Island or Say Wi Pallo (JVP).
Reply : 2 8
Observer Friday, 20 July 2018 07:29
70% shares to India is a very dangerous thing. Sovereignty will not work when it comes to a war situation involving a powerful neighbouring country. Do not forget the "dropping of parippu"from the air in 1987 even without any shareholding or airport.
Reply : 14 10
Cobra Friday, 20 July 2018 08:06
Give it to Russia and the JVP would shut up!!!
Reply : 1 14
Arnold Friday, 20 July 2018 08:24
There should be robotic boots connected to a stupido-meter fixed to all the seats in the parliament. When they exceed a limit of stupidity they should be kicked out automatically. JVP should give ideas how to make money out of this white elephant.
Reply : 0 10
Lord Wolfstein Friday, 20 July 2018 11:00
India poses no threat to Sri Lanka. If India wanted to, it would overrun this country in 2 days and force it to surrender, whether with the Mattala airport or not.
Reply : 8 16
Yeti Friday, 20 July 2018 11:16
Just dangerous? Nothing more serious? ane ban rathu ali patiyo get prepared to lose the 6 seats in the next election.
Reply : 3 2
Lanka Shantha Friday, 20 July 2018 12:51
No one will take this airport as it is commercially a failure. World known truth. Only air force will try to fly their flights against the "Peacock Rockets" on the air. On the ground "Elephant Tanks" are there on the runway. Good for training only.
Reply : 1 5
kumar Friday, 20 July 2018 13:37
We have missed the main point. If India is next to China (Air Port to Port) they will be compelled to guard our security on FOC basis.
Reply : 1 6
Sunil Friday, 20 July 2018 17:28
Were you asleep when the port city and the Hambantota harbor were leased to the Chinese for 99 years!!?
Reply : 0 9
Sammy Friday, 20 July 2018 19:36
What about Ports? Isn't giving Hambantota Port to the Chinese also a security threat?
Reply : 1 7
Silva Saturday, 21 July 2018 13:20
Can you also expose why all these Chinese development projects are only importing Chinese labor and denying our Sri Lankan’s these jobs!? No one questioned the Rajapaksas about this and no one questions this Government for continuing to do so!?Development they say but where are the jobs these projects should create for the local workforce!? The Chinese loans go back to China as salaries to imported Chinese workforce. Do other countries do the same when they give us loans or is this the deal Chinese forces on us!? Chinese loans if you hire Chinese workforce!?Why does the media avoid this are that needs to be investigated!?
Reply : 0 3
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