Aviation Minister says US jets did not violate Sri Lankan airspace

Aug 10, Colombo: The earlier media reports that the United Stated fighter aircraft intruded into Sri Lankan airspace are not true, Civil Aviation Minister Priyankara Jayaratne said Wednesday.

Making a special statement in the Parliament the Minister refuted all reports to that effect and added that he was making a statement with responsibility on the factual situation on the matter.

Sri Lankan local media reports said Sunday that at least 10 U.S. fighter jets had intruded into Sri Lanka’s airspace but the intrusion was not believed to have been intentional.

The reports cited Sri Lanka Air Force spokesman Wing Commander Andrew Wijesuriya as saying that the US aircraft were on a training mission and they were in violation of the country’s air space.

However, the US Embassy in Colombo issuing a statement said yesterday that the Sri Lanka Air Force has monitored a space that extends beyond its territorial skies and observed the routine flight operations that US aircraft carrier USS RONALD REAGAN conducted in the Indian Ocean.

The Embassy assured that at no time did the USS RONALD REAGAN or its aircraft approach Sri Lanka’s territorial sea or airspace.

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