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International relations

Sri Lanka plays its India hand with airport upgrade as poll nears

Pro-China opposition decries pork-barrel politics ahead of presidential election

An aircraft from India's Alliance Air touches down at Jaffna International Airport on Oct. 17. The flight was part of a ceremony inaugurating the country's third international airport. (Photo by Ishara S. Kodikara)

COLOMBO -- Sri Lanka's former war-torn northern province has become entangled in the geopolitical power plays between China and India following the opening of the country's third international airport in Jaffna, 400 km north of Colombo.

Since its inauguration on Oct. 17, Jaffna International Airport has been alleged to be just another pork barrel project to buy votes in the run-up to the presidential election, which will have an impact on relations between Colombo and two of its major benefactors.

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