Sri Lanka Makes Diplomatic Move Welcoming Indian-Sub, Blocks Entry Of Chinese Vessel

Sri Lanka made a big diplomatic move just before commemorating its 76th Independence Day. It blocked entry to its ports for a Chinese submarine and research vessel and warmly welcomed the Indian Navy submarine, INS Karanj.

INS Karanj arrived at Colombo Port before the People Liberation Army (PLA) Navy’s “research vessel,” Xiang Yang Hong 3, scheduled to arrive at Malé on February 8. On January 23, Maldives President Mohamed Muizzu’s administration approved China’s diplomatic request, allowing the research vessel’ to land at Malé’s main port despite India’s expressed security concerns.

The Sri Lankan government, headed by President Ranil Wickremesinghe, has decided that Chinese research vessels would not be allowed to operate in the country’s exclusive economic zone or dock at Sri Lankan ports for a year.

Submarine
Image Credits: Sri Lanka Navy

India seeks to highlight its crucial role as the leading security supplier in the Indian Ocean region by allowing INS Karanj to dock in Sri Lanka. This action also sends a strong message to the PLA Navy in China, which has recently increased its maritime operations near India.

The recent port call of INS Karanj to Colombo occurred when Sri Lanka banned foreign research vessels from entering its waters for a year on January 1. India views this action as a significant diplomatic and geopolitical win, drawing attention to Chinese spy ships surveying the Indian Ocean while posing as scientists.

INS Karanj
Image Credits: Sri Lanka Navy

India is quite concerned about the valuable information that Chinese submarines gather while navigating the shallow waters of the Malacca Strait and the East Indian Ocean Region. The Chinese PLA Navy uses “research vessels” to monitor missile and satellite tests, design underwater routes for submarines, carry out hydrographic surveys, and keep an eye on military installations in neighbouring nations.

China has put pressure on Sri Lanka after 99 years of port leasing. Due to Sri Lanka’s inability to pay back Chinese companies, the relocation occurred close to India. The situation in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR) is getting worse since the new president of the Maldives is against India and has allowed a Chinese surveillance ship that Sri Lanka had forbidden to dock in Malé.

INS Karanj
Image Credits: Sri Lanka Navy

India is concerned about possible espionage by China using its research ships and approved ballistic missile monitors. Concerns are also raised about China constructing an ocean observatory in the Maldives’ Makunudhoo.

The Indian Navy’s INS Karanj, a diesel-electric Kalvari-class submarine, participated in a submarine awareness program in Sri Lanka. During a visit to the submarine, India’s envoy to Colombo, Santosh Jha, interacted with the crew, Commander Arunabh, the commanding officer, and Rear Admiral Saman Perera. Built in Mumbai by Mazagon Dock Limited, the INS Karanj is a Scorpene-class submarine designed by the French naval unit DCNS.

Reference: Eurasiantimes, Deccan Herald

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About Author

Marine Insight News Network is a premier source for up-to-date, comprehensive, and insightful coverage of the maritime industry. Dedicated to offering the latest news, trends, and analyses in shipping, marine technology, regulations, and global maritime affairs, Marine Insight News Network prides itself on delivering accurate, engaging, and relevant information.

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