No political involvement in Chinese ship docking decision: Lankan envoy

Image credit: Outlook India

India highlighted the ship’s technical prowess and expressed concern over the visit’s objectives.

Sri Lanka’s High Commissioner Milinda Moragoda stated that his nation was working on a framework for cooperation with India to prevent problems like those caused by the Chinese research ship docking at the island’s southern port of Hambantota last month.

During a press conference at the Indian Women’s Press Corps (IWPC), Mr. Moragoda said that the decision to allow the docking of the Chinese ship “Yuan Wang 5” was made at the level of “officials” during the tumultuous time when former president Gotabaya Rajapaksa was fleeing the country.

The High Commissioner stated that there was no political role in the decision and claimed that it was approved, although there was turmoil on the ground.

The lesson we have learned, in my opinion, is that India and we need to work closely together. We also need a framework for cooperation, which is something we are currently talking about.

India, according to him, serves as the region’s security bulwark.

From August 16 to August 22, the Chinese ballistic missile and satellite tracking ship was berthed at the Chinese-run Hambantota port.

On August 13, the Sri Lankan government agreed to allow the ship port access for the period of August 16 to August 22 in exchange for keeping the Automatic Identification System (AIS) activated inside the nation’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) and refraining from conducting any scientific research in its territorial waters.

India raised concerns about the visit’s aim and flagged the ship’s technical capabilities.

The likelihood that the ship’s tracking systems would try to snoop on Indian sites worried New Delhi.

Mr. Moragoda praised India for supporting Sri Lanka during times of need and expressed the hope that it would be instrumental in the island nation’s economic recovery.