After India & US concerns, Sri Lanka says won’t ban foreign ships from ports | India News

COLOMBO: Sri Lanka has decided to lift from next year a ban on the visit of foreign research ships imposed after strong security concerns raised by India and the US following frequent docking requests from hi-tech Chinese surveillance vessels, the Japanese media reported. The change in position was conveyed by visiting Sri Lankan foreign minister Ali Sabry to the NHK World Japan.
With the increased movement of Chinese research vessels in the Indian Ocean, New Delhi had expressed concern that those might be spy ships and urged Colombo not to allow such vessels to dock at its ports After India raised concern, Sri Lanka banned the entry of foreign research vessels from docking at its port in Jan.Earlier this year, it had made an exception for a Chinese vessel but said the ban would continue otherwise.
Sabry said his government cannot have different rules for different countries and only block China. He added that his country will not take sides in a dispute between others, the NHK World Japan said in a report on Friday. The moratorium is till Jan next year. Sri Lanka will then no longer ban foreign research ships from its ports next year, Sabry said.
Two Chinese spy ships were allowed to dock in Sri Lanka ports within 14 months through Nov 2023, with one called for replenishment and the other for research.


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