South Asia and Beyond

Sri Lanka ‘Permits’ Chinese Ship To Dock At Hambantota

 Sri Lanka ‘Permits’ Chinese Ship To Dock At Hambantota

The Sri Lankan government has granted permission for the Chinese tracking vessel Yuang Wang 5 to dock at the Hambantota Port after the Indian and U.S. governments failed to give “concrete reasons” for why they opposed its arrival, the Sunday Times reported. Yuang Wang 5 will now berth at Hambantota on August 16, five days later than scheduled. It was originally due to arrive on August 11. This was delayed after India raised strong concerns citing national security. Sri Lanka requested China to defer the visit until “further consultations” were held on the matter. The vessel abruptly changed track earlier this week. However, it is now heading towards Hambantota again. Concerns about the ship were also raised by U.S. Ambassador to Sri Lanka Julie Chung at a meeting with President Ranil Wickremesinghe on Monday. She was requested to provide firm reasons for opposing its arrival. The same message was conveyed to Indian diplomats by Foreign Minister Ali Sabry on Tuesday. As both parties did not offer “concrete reasons”, the Sri Lankan government granted the go-ahead.

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