Written by Staff Writer
22 Jul, 2014 | 9:29 pm
Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe sought clarification from the government in parliament on July 22 on permission being granted for the establishment of a aircraft maintenance centre in Trincomalee.
Wickremesinghe further queried as to why Trincomalee had been selected as the location for this centre.
Minister of External Affairs Prof. G.L. Peiris explained:
“This project is a good thing. We intend to go ahead with this. However, it has not been mentioned anywhere that it will be established in Trincomalee. There has been no statement regarding the location. Honourable Speaker, when selecting a location, we have to pick an area where jets can land. There are only three such location in our country. Katunayake, Mattala and Trincomalee. The government will have to consider these three locations and select the most suitable one.”
The opposition leader made following comments:
“Sri Lanka has a small airforce. We only have 44 Chinese aircraft. We have the Chendu 5 F-7 Airguard fighters and we have the MiG 21s. China stopped production of this aircraft in 2013. What more do we have to take from them? There are about 12 Y-12 aircraft. We have repaired about 30 Y-12 aircraft in Sri Lanka. We only bring down the engines from there. Therefore, I do not know what advantages we can gain from this. Usually, it does not even cost us a million dollars annually to maintain these.”
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