Despite the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ announcement three days ago that the Chinese research ship “Shi Yan 6” had been granted entry to Colombo port solely for the purpose of obtaining necessary supplies, today (29), its research team is slated to commence inspection activities alongside the ship. The National Aquatic Resources Research and Development Institute (Nara Institute) confirmed this development.
The “Shi Yan 6” arrived at Colombo port on the 25th. However, just three days prior, a foreign ministry spokesperson had informed the media that the ship had been permitted to anchor at Colombo port only until the 28th, with the stated intention of receiving supplies. The ship had initially sought approval to conduct a research project in the Indian Ocean, but this request had been denied when the vessel approached the port.
Now, it has come to light that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has granted permission for research activities for a period of two days, starting today, the 29th.
According to reports, four researchers from the Nara Institute and two from the Navy are set to join the research team collaborating with the “Shi Yan 6” ship. Consequently, the ship is scheduled to be within the western part of Sri Lanka’s territorial waters on the 30th and the 31st, where it will engage in research activities.
The research will involve tests on the salinity and temperature of seawater, and these tests are set to resume after a hiatus from 2010 to 2019. The Nara Institute emphasized that this marks the first time such investigations have taken place since the Easter attack in 2019.
It’s worth noting that India has expressed diplomatic concerns regarding the arrival of the “Shi Yan 6” ship due to its advanced seabed mapping capabilities, with concerns raised over the potential threat it may pose to the internal security network of the Indian Ocean.