Home » SL enforces moratorium on foreign research vessels: German ship ‘Sonne’ granted port access for replenishment

SL enforces moratorium on foreign research vessels: German ship ‘Sonne’ granted port access for replenishment

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March 21, Colombo (LNW): Sri Lanka has imposed restrictions on research operations for the German vessel ‘Sonne’ as part of a one-year moratorium on such activities involving foreign ships within its Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).

However, a report by Daily Mirror disclosed that the vessel will be permitted to undergo replenishment activities at the Colombo port.

The decision to implement a moratorium on foreign research vessels entering Sri Lankan waters for a duration of one year stems from concerns raised by neighbouring India regarding the presence of Chinese research vessels in the region.

This move follows China’s request for the deployment of another research vessel, prompting heightened vigilance in the Indian Ocean, according to report.

Notably, Chinese research ship Shi Yan 6 made port calls at the Colombo port for an extended period in October of the previous year.

Additionally, in 2022, the navy vessel Yuan Wang 5 was docked at Hambantota in southern Sri Lanka. Subsequently, China sought permission for its scientific research vessel Xiang Yang Hong 3 to conduct “deep water exploration” in the south Indian Ocean from January 5, 2024.

However, the Sri Lankan government declined the request in adherence to the newly established regulations, leading to expressions of discontent from China.

It is worth mentioning that Germany had sought permission for its vessel even before Sri Lanka announced the imposition of new regulations.

Nevertheless, with the moratorium now in effect, the Sri Lankan government has prohibited research activities for foreign vessels, including the German vessel ‘Sonne.’

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