Government aims to make Mattala Airport the best in South Asia: Namal | Daily News


 

Government aims to make Mattala Airport the best in South Asia: Namal

If an airport was set up at Weerawila according to the proposal submitted by former minister Mangala Samaraweera, the Rajapaksas in Gairuwapattu would not have been able to engage in politics any further; Minister of Irrigation, Internal Security, Home Affairs and Disaster Management, Chamal Rajapaksa, said.

He was addressing a meeting at the Mattala Rajapaksa International Airport, recently. He expressed these sentiments after conducting an inspection tour, accompanied by Ministers Prasanna Ranatunga, D.V. Chanaka, and Namal Rajapaksa.

Continuing further, the minister said he was glad that he was able to pay a visit to the Mattala International Airport after several years. He said he was once the Minister of Ports and Shipping for three years, and that during that period, he set up two ports and an international airport. Minister Rajapaksa said that the Mattala Rajapaksa International Airport was set up in the most ideal location.

There was an era when paddy was stored at this airport, and that was one of the main reasons for the defeat of former United National Party (UNP) Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe. He said that a new lease of life will be given to this airport under the guidance of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa.

Ven. Devalegama Dhammasena Thera, Chief Incumbent of the Tissamaharama Raja Maha Viharaya, said that the Mattala Rajapaksa International Airport was inaugurated on March 13, 2013, after the foundation stone for it was laid back in 2009. However, the Good Governance Government brought disrepute to it when they started storing paddy in it, he added.

Minister of Sports, Namal Rajapaksa, said that they aim to make the Mattala Rajapaksa International Airport the best in South Asia, adding that it is targeted to attract around 30% of tourists arriving in Sri Lanka to it. State Minister of Aviation Services and Export Zones Development, D.V. Chanaka, said that the Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa was the driving force behind the setting up of this airport. He added that if not for him, the airport would not have been a reality.

Minister of Tourism, Prasanna Ranatunga, said that under the new Constitution the government aims to formulate that anybody above the age of 35 would be able to be a candidate at a Presidential Election. Hambantota District Parliamentarians Ajith Rajapaksa and Upul Galappatty, as well as Tourism Ministry Secretary S. Hettiarachchi were also present at the event.


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