Indian and Russian firms awarded management of Sri Lanka airport financed through Chinese bank loan

Colombo (Sri Lanka) – The management of Sri Lanka’s airport, financed through a Chinese bank loan, has been awarded to firms in India and Russia for the next 30 years.

A statement from Sri Lanka’s cabinet announced the approval of the management transfer of the China-funded Mattala Rajapaksa International Airport (MRIA) to Indian and Russian firms for 30 years. ‘Shaurya Aeronautics (Pvt) Limited’ from India and ‘Airports of Regions Management’ from Russia have been entrusted with the responsibility of managing the airport. The decision aims to mitigate losses incurred by Government enterprises.

The construction of the Mattala Rajapakse International Airport, funded by the EXIM Bank of China and inaugurated in 2013, has sparked controversy due to its low business activity and environmental concerns. Since there are few passengers here, the number of flights is declining. It is being said that President Rajapakse’s family built the airport for no reason. Many experts argue that its construction has left Sri Lanka ensnared in a debt trap orchestrated by China. Interestingly, the Rajapakse family built this airport in their hometown, where it was not needed.