Lanka to let foreign ships dock for replenishments

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COLOMBO: Sri Lanka has said it will allow foreign offshore research ships for replenishments at its ports despite a one-year ban on such vessels, a senior official said after China protested over Colombo allowing a German survey ship but turning down a similar request it had made.
This is the first time Sri Lanka has officially admitted foreign research vessels will be allowed for replenishments since President Ranil Wickremesinghe‘s govt imposed a one-year ban on offshore research vessels last Dec after strong security concerns raised by India and the US following the visit of two Chinese high-tech research vessels in 14 months.
“The ban on foreign ships is for research purposes, not on replenishment,” Economy Next quoted Niluka Kadurugamuwa, Sri Lanka’s foreign ministry spokesman, as saying. “There was a German research vessel recently for replenishment and Sri Lanka allowed it,” he added.

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Sri Lanka is in the process of introducing SOPs for handling foreign vessels.

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