A Chinese vessel, carrying radioactive material which entered a port in southern Sri Lanka without declaring the cargo, has been ordered to leave immediately, a senior government official said on Wednesday.
The vessel, MV BBC Naples, sailing under the flag of Antigua and Barbados entered the Mahinda Rajapaksa Port, in Hambantota, late on Tuesday while en route from Rotterdam to China.
The vessel reportedly entered the harbour due to a technical issue, a port official said.
Rajapaksa Port is under long-term lease to a Chinese company, Hambantota International Port Group Pvt Ltd.
The company said the Sri Lankan agent had failed to declare that it was carrying dangerous cargo on board.
Investigations revealed that the ship was carrying a cargo of uranium hexafluoride, the company said in a statement.
The Director-General of the Sri Lanka Atomic Energy Regulatory Council, Anil Ranjith said a directive was issued to the Chinese vessel to leave the harbour.
The move came as the country’s legislature was due to debate another major Chinese project, known as Port City.
The project was being constructed by reclaiming part of the sea near Colombo.