A china bound cargo ship loaded with nuclear material has been expelled by Sri Lanka. The situation arose when the nuclear cargo-carrying ship reached Hambantota port due to a technical fault.
As soon as the Sri Lankan authorities found out about it, they refused to take it. The ship laden with uranium had to be sent out of port. The ship had an Antigua registration and had arrived from China to Sri Lanka on April 20. The cargo hadn’t been declared to the point authorities by the vessel’s agents in Sri Lanka.
As a result, the ship had been cleared for berth by the Sri Lankan Port Authorities, Navy and Customs all of whom made their judgement based on the documents provided by the ship agents.
When finally, the ship was sent away today, all the 3 department officials were present to ensure that no radioactive substance had been left in the port.
Meanwhile, a clarification had been sought from the Government by the Opposition leader Sajith Premadasa as reports emerged that radioactive material has entered the port.
At present, the Hambantota port is under the lease of the Chinese state-run China Merchant Ports Holdings Ltd.
The port had been leased to this company for 99 years by the Sri Lankan government. This move had been opposed by neighbouring countries like India who are concerned about the region.