Sri Lanka clears arrival of Chinese vessel
- The Sri Lankan government has allowed the Chinese research ship, Yuan Wang 5, to dock at the southern port of Hambantota.
- The Chinese ship - Yuan Wang 5 - was en route from the Chinese port of Jiangyin to the Lankan port of Hambantota.
- Clearances for the ship to berth at Hambantota port were given by Lanka, a day before Gotabaya Rajapaksa was expected to resign from President post.
- Upon learning that the government in Colombo had given clearances for the Chinese military vessel to berth at Hambantota, India expressed its concern.
- As a result, the Sri Lanka Foreign Ministry asked China to defer the arrival of its military ship until further consultations.
- Sri Lanka has cleared the arrival of the Chinese space and satellite tracking vessel Yuan Wang 5 at the southern Hambantota port.
- Sri Lanka had cleared the scheduled visit of the Chinese ship with conditions which include:
- that the visiting Chinese vessel’s Automatic Identification System (AIS) be kept switched on within the EEZ of Sri Lanka; and
- that no scientific research be conducted in Sri Lankan waters.
- India once again raised its reservation
- While rejecting inferences that Sri Lanka was pressured earlier, India said that it is monitoring the situation closely.
- Earlier, China asked India to not disturb normal exchanges between Sri Lanka and China.
- It termed India’s security concerns over the vessel visit senseless.
India gifts Dornier aircraft
- In the meantime, the Indian Air force has gifted a Dornier 228 Maritime Patrol Aircraft to the Sri Lankan Air Force (SLAF).
- The aircraft is expected to be handed over in a formal ceremony on August 15.
- In March 2022, Sri Lanka signed two maritime pacts with India, through which Sri Lanka was to receive a Floating Dock Facility and a Dornier reconnaissance aircraft at no cost.