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‘3 Airports including BIA management to Adani, a lie’

Recent reports which claim that Sri Lanka is likely to entrust India’s Adani Group with the management of three Sri Lankan airports, including the country’s foremost Airport, the Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA) in Katunayake, are false, according to the Airport and Aviation Services (Sri Lanka) (Private) Limited (AASL).

 

“That is a lie. No such talks are underway. As the AASL Chairman, I am not aware of such a discussion and the Ports, Shipping and Aviation Ministry Secretary (K.D.S. Ruwanchandra) has said that no such discussion has taken place,” the AASL Chairperson, engineer Athula Galketiya told The Daily Morning, adding that no entity called the Adani Group has commenced discussions with the relevant authorities including the AASL.

 

 

Recently, Indian media outlets claimed, quoting Tourism and Lands Minister Harin Fernando, that there are plans to between Sri Lanka and India to provide the Adani Group with the power to manage three Sri Lankan Airports, namely the BIA, the Mattala International Airport, and the Colombo International Airport – Ratmalana. The media reports said that negotiations in this regard are currently underway.

 

However, Ports, Shipping and Aviation Ministry Secretary Ruwanchandra told

The Daily Morning that he was not aware of any such discussions or plans. He had further told another media outlet that no discussions were held with the Adani Group regarding the matter.

Regardless of the allegations, there are plans to obtain external support to manage the Jaffna International Airport and the Mattala International Airport, regarding which Galketiya said: “Since we are suffering a huge loss with the Mattala Airport, we are negotiating with other (potential) parties to get their involvement. We seek this involvement not to sell anything, but to manage the operations (of airports). Regarding the Jaffna Airport, we have called for expressions of interest (EOI) to run it as a build-operate-transfer (BOT) arrangement. All these activities take place in accordance with the relevant bidding processes.”

Noting that no plans have even been considered about giving the management of the BIA to another party, Galketiya added that if the management of a certain airport is being given to another party, it will be done through the normal tender procedure.

He further emphasised that despite the said bidding processes, for the time being, no definite decision has been taken to hand over the management of any local airport to an external party.

Source: the morning

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