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Concerns raised over US using BIA to transfer military cargo

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Updated: 00:00 GMT, Jan 1, 1970 | Published: 22:05 GMT, Jan 24, 2019 |
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Concerns were raised in Parliament today over the United States using the Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA) to transfer military cargo.

Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) Parliamentarian Bimal Ratnayake asked the Government if there was an agreement with the US to conduct such transfers.

He also asked if the Government was taking steps to ensure there is no threat to Sri Lanka by the US using a commercial airport to transfer military goods.

Leader of the House Lakshman Kiriella said that he will raise the matter with the Government.

A US Embassy statement issued yesterday said that US Navy aircraft will land at the Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA) to perform a transfer operation to move cargo between planes from January 21 to 29.

This is part of a larger temporary cargo transfer initiative that promotes Sri Lanka’s efforts to become a regional hub for logistics and commerce.

The January transfers will contribute approximately 25 million Sri Lankan Rupees to the country’s economy. This is the third iteration of the temporary cargo transfer initiative. It follows two successful transfers that took place in August 2018 at Bandaranaike International Airport and Trincomalee and in December 2018 at Bandaranaike International Airport.

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