Colombo [Sri Lanka], April 22 (ANI): Sri Lankan authorities expelled a China-bound cargo ship that entered the Port of Hambantota on Tuesday without revealing that it had stored radioactive uranium.
The cargo ship that arrived at the port due to a technical fault contained uranium, a radioactive substance, and was ordered to be removed from the port, The Colombo Page reported citing an official from the country's Atomic Energy Regulatory Council.
An Antigua-registered ship entered the port of Hambantota on April 20 at 2100 hours, while en route to China.
According to the port authorities, the agents for the vessel in Sri Lanka had not declared to the port authorities that there was dangerous cargo on board prior to the vessel entering the port.
"The SLPA, Navy, and Customs officials had approved all the necessary documentation prior to berthing of the vessel, based on the declaration made by the agent. The Navy and Customs were present at all times to ensure that there wasn't any cargo unloaded onto the Hambantota International Port premises," said Hambantota International Port Group (HPIG).
Reacting to the incident, Opposition leader Sajith Premadasa has requested the government to clarify the reports that a ship containing radioactive material had arrived at Hambantota.
Sri Lanka has leased Hambantota port to the state-run China Merchant Ports Holdings Ltd for a period of 99 years, a move that has caused concern in neighbouring India. (ANI)