Former President of Sri Lanka Gotabaya Rajapaksa had given permission to a Chinese ship to dock in a port of the island country on 12 July, a day before fleeing his nation. Following pressure from India, Sri Lanka has postponed the arrival of the Chinese spy ship Yuan Wang 5 at the Hambantota port. On 11 August, this ship was about to arrive at the Hambantota port of Sri Lanka. Getting a whiff of the goings-on, India had lodged its protest and it worked.
Sri Lanka's foreign ministry, in a note to the Chinese embassy dated 5 August, said, “The ministry wishes to request that the arrival of the vessel Yuan Wang 5 in Hambantota be deferred until further consultations are made on the matter.”
Gotabaya Rajapaksa ignored Indian concerns and helped China, which is greatly responsible for Sri Lankan impoverishment
The former president was so sold out that he had no qualms about keeping aside his nation's interest to serve a power whose tough repayment terms against loans primarily led to the impoverishment of Sri Lanka and especially the transfer of control of the Hambantota port to China.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Sri Lanka had given this permission under instruction from the then-president. His resignation was expected on 13 July, but he fled the country before that.
On 5 August, the foreign ministry of Sri Lanka sent a message to the Chinese Embassy in Colombo, requesting that the arrival of Yuan Wang 5 be postponed until further consultations. India had raised questions about the intention of Sri Lanka when the Chinese spy ship arrived in Sri Lanka.
India said it carefully monitored any development having a bearing on its security and economic interests. New Delhi is concerned about the possibility of the ship's tracking systems attempting to snoop on Indian installations while on the way to the Sri Lankan port.
The vessel is in control of the People's Liberation Army (PLA) under its Strategic Support Force(SSF) unit. The SSF focuses on space, cyber, and electronic warfare.
Sri Lanka Prime Minister Dinesh Gunawardena last week said the country was looking forward to settling the issue with an "approach of friendship".
Sri Lanka is going through a terrible economic situation. India has given financial assistance of $ 4 billion to Sri Lanka since January. Sri Lankan Prime Minister Dinesh Gunawardene has also said that India stood by his country during the crisis. But when the Chinese spy ship was allowed to come to the port of Sri Lanka, it was a surprise for India. When the news of this came to light, India told Sri Lanka about its concerns several times. Sri Lanka said during this time that the Chinese ship is only for research and will stay for a week from 11 to 17 August.
India had clearly said that even if it's a matter of six days, it remains a cause for concern because it's a spy ship. The Chinese People's Liberation Army tracks satellites and intercontinental ballistic missiles using equipment installed in the said ship.
Ranil Wickremesinghe government clarifies
The government of President Ranil Wickremesinghe told India that this permission did not come from the current dispensation of Sri Lanka but from the Gotabaya Rajapaksa regime. The Chinese embassy has also been told that the situation in Sri Lanka was not stable during the time the permission was granted.
Wickremesinghe held a closed-door meeting with China's Ambassador Qi Zhenhong after Colombo sought a deferment of the planned docking. But the President's Office denied the reports.
China sent the request in June. The East Asia Division of the Ministry of External Affairs had given permission without any talks.