He said this while addressing a recent election rally.
“The Mattala Airport is located in my home district. I cannot lease it out. I told this to the Indian Prime Minister when I met him,” he said.
The airport was constructed during the 2010/2015 government, led by Mr. Rajapaksa when he was the President, with US$ 210 million Chinese loan.
The previous government planned to develop the airport as a joint venture with India.