Opposition Lawmaker Dr. Harsha de Silva yesterday charged in Parliament that both Mihin Lanka as well as the controversial Mattala Mahinda Rajapaksa International Airport (MRIA) are failures. He said that the Government invested over $ 300 million on MRIA but income during the past six months was Rs. 150,779 and this was mainly from Mihin.
According to Minister of Civil Aviation Piyankara Jayaratne, MRIA received Rs. 16,185 from UAE-based airliner Rotana in May 2014. In response the UNP MP quipped the amount was much less than what an average “curd seller would earn in Hambantota”.
“You were aiming to take MRIA to the London Gatwick level. But at this rate it would take ages to reach there,” opined Dr. de Silva.
In response Minister Jayaratne assured that Government would continue to maintain MIRA rather than allowing the Opposition to convert it into a museum.
“MRIA was built with Sri Lanka aiming towards becoming the aviation hub in Asia under the ‘Mahinda Chinthana’ political manifesto, with the airport having a one million passenger handling capacity and plans of increasing it to nine million by June 2015 with the ultimate goal set at 500 million passengers in the years to come,” the Minister told Parliament.
Original Caption: Harsha tells P’ment Mattala Airport is a failure