The Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) has questioned the decision to store paddy at the Mattala Rajapaksa International Airport (MRIA).
JVP leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake, speaking in Parliament today, asked if the Government has conducted a study before deciding to store paddy at MRIA.
He said that the study should reveal if the airport cannot be used for anything else other than to store paddy.
The JVP leader said that the Government has no right to use the airport for political purposes as it was built using public funds.
“If the airport cannot be used for any other purpose then there is no issue in using it to store paddy,” he said.
National Freedom Front Leader Wimal Weerawansa also questioned the decision taken by the Government to store paddy at the airport.
Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe later said that the Government will agree to hold a debate in Parliament on the Mattala airport.
The first stock of paddy was brought to MRIA yesterday but it was greeted with protests.
The Paddy Marketing Board had earlier sought approval to store paddy at the MRIA stores. The request was approved and a stock of paddy was taken to the airport today.
Several employees of the airport and some residents in the area protested along the road near the airport against using the MRIA to store paddy.
Objects were placed along the road to prevent the vehicles taking the paddy from reaching the airport. The police however later cleared the objects.
Some protesters later slept across the road refusing to allow the vehicles to enter the airport. The police however spoke to the protesters and cleared the road. (Colombo Gazette)