Sri Lanka asks Chinese ship to leave Hambantota port; radioactive material found

Anil Ranjith, chief officer of the Sri Lankan Atomic Energy Authority (SLAEA), said the ship was en route to China from the port of Rotterdam when it developed technical difficulties and entered the Port of Hambantota.

PTI |

PUBLIC ON April 21, 2021 08:16 PM IST

Sri Lanka has asked a Chinese ship to leave the southern port of Hambantota after discovering it was carrying radioactive material, officials said Wednesday.

Anil Ranjith, chief officer of the Sri Lankan Atomic Energy Authority (SLAEA), said the ship was en route to China from the port of Rotterdam when it developed technical difficulties and entered the Port of Hambantota.

The SLAEA said the ship failed to reveal its radioactive cargo when it docked at the port.

The ship was managed by China Merchants Port Holding Company.

Opposition chief Sajith Premadasa said in parliament that the Sri Lankan Navy, in charge of the security of Hambantota port, had not been allowed to carry out inspections on the ship.

“The ship’s local agent had not notified the presence of dangerous cargo on board cargo when they asked for the Harbor Master’s permission to enter the port.”

Ranjith said it was a commercial vessel, which carried radioactive material – the specific material served as fuel for nuclear power plants.

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