UNP accuses Rajapaksa of ‘duplicity’ over Mattala deal
September 14, 2018 08:10 am
The United National Party (UNP) has accused former president Mahinda Rajapaksa with “duplicity” over a contentious airport deal.
“This is their duplicity. They tell locals something and tell India something else completely,” UNP MP Thushara Indunil Amarasena said, referring to Rajapaksa’s party.
Amarasena was reacting to Rajapaksa’s meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi on Wednesday.
“He (Rajapaksa) has said that he was not opposed to Mattala (the airport deal in southern Sri Lanka where India’s airport authority is to enter a joint venture),” Amarasena said.
Rajapaksa in an interview in New Delhi had said that he was not opposed to the airport deal but was only opposed to the privatisation programme of his successor Maithripala Sirisena’s government.
However, Rajapaksa’s joint opposition has earlier led public agitations against the proposed deal to operate the Mattala Rajapaksa International Airport. They dubbed it a sell-out of a national asset to India.
In 2017, a public demonstration by the opposition saw Rajapaksa’s son Namal, who is also currently in New Delhi with his father, being arrested when they demonstrated near the Indian consulate at Hambantota near the Mattala airport.
The Mattala airport has been dubbed “the world’s emptiest international airport” due to its low number of flights despite its large size.