Sri Lanka Snubs India, Says Have No Intention of Handing Over Strategic Palaly Airport
Posted on September 19th, 2018

Aishwarya Kumar  Courtesy News 18

Sri Lankan civil aviation minister said that the airport would be developed in partnership with the Tourism Development Fund and the Civil Aviation Authority.

 New Delhi: Sri Lanka has decided against giving control of Palaly Airport to India just days after the state-run Airport Authority of India made a move to develop it.

Sri Lankan civil aviation minister Nirmal Sripala De Silva told the parliament that the government had no intention of handing over the airport to Indian authorities.

He further said that the airport would be developed in partnership with the Tourism Development Fund and the Civil Aviation Authority.

His statement comes as the AAI, in a statement issued on Monday, said that it has signed an agreement with External Affairs Ministry for “preparation of a Detailed Project Report for development of Palaly airport in Sri Lanka”. This would have been the first project for the AAI in the island nation. Sri Lanka Snubs India, Says Have No Intention of Handing Over Strategic Palaly Airport

Image for representation. (Reuters)

Silva, in Parliament, junked the statement and said that not just Palaly, but the government had no intention of handing over Higurakgoda, Baticaloa, Koggala, Digana and Trincomlee airports to other countries and that all the airports would be developed as domestic airports.

AAI’s bid to develop the airport was being seen as a strategic move as Palaly is in Jaffna, a predominantly Tamil territory. It was also dubbed as a move to counter China’s growing presence in the region by developing critical infrastructure.

The handover of the Palaly airport is the latest in the issues that Sri Lanka and India face.
Last month, Silva had told Lankan parliament that the country’s government had asked the Airports Authority of India (AAI) to submit its business plan to operate the loss-making Mattala Rajapaksa International Airport.

However, De Silva’s Indian counterpart Jayant Sinha earlier told Parliament that there was no proposal under consideration for the AAI to buy a controlling stake in the airport. Sinha also clarified that there were no plans for the AAI to build a flying school and a maintenance, repair and overhaul unit at the airport.

However, the confusion refused to die down as just days later, the Ministry of External Affairs said New Delhi was considering Sri Lanka’s proposal

2 Responses to “Sri Lanka Snubs India, Says Have No Intention of Handing Over Strategic Palaly Airport”

  1. Christie Says:

    Palai is in Eelam.

  2. ranjit Says:

    Mr. Nimal Siripala take my advise ” resign from your posts and go home and do some charity work with all your ill gotten money before you close your eyes for ever. You ask from yourself what you have done to the country as a politician? You are still there because of our stupid people who vote for you again and again foolishly. This will be your last chance to stay there as a people’s representative because people are fed up of you and your government there for god’s sake just resign and leave. You and your evil government is giving away our lands and properties to foreigners for nothing and now our very important palaly airport and Trincomalee fuel tanks etc. Aren’t you or your stupid government have any feelings for your own motherland? How can you live with all this behind? Don’t you have any brains? Take individual decisions and say “NO” to your leaders at least once in your lifetime. Be reasonable and think of our future generations. Enough is enough. Its high time you and Ali Baba and forty thieves quit and hand over the government to someone who can govern,who loves this land, who loves the Sinhala people and the Buddhist religion etc. Mr. Siripala be strong and say “No”to your spinless two leaders when they prepare to sell our properties to foreigners and escape from going to hell when you die. People’s anger getting hot and hotter day by day so just take care Mister.

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