Chinese vessel at Hambantota port: TN police to beef up security in coastal areas

The Tamil Nadu police headquarters has communicated to all the police superintendents in the coastal districts of the state to beef up security as a Chinese vessel is intended to reach Hambantota port in Sri Lanka on August 11.

The arrival of the Chinese vessel Yuan Wang 5, which is a research-oriented vessel, at Hambantota port in Sri Lanka was announced by the Sri Lankan Defense Ministry, Spokesman, Col Nalin Hareth. According to the Lankan defense official, the vessel will reach Hambantota port on August 11 and continue till August 17.

While it is announced that the arrival of the vessel is mainly for replenishment of fuel, the Indian defense establishment and the Tamil Nadu security system are viewing it sceptically.

Tamil Nadu has a coastal area of 1,076 km and the presence of seaports and nuclear power reactors is a major issue that requires high-security surveillance. Sources in Tamil Nadu state police told IANS that the Central agencies have warned of a possible demonstration by pro-LTTE elements in Tamil Nadu against the Sri Lankan government for allowing the Chinese vessel to reach that country. Some Tamil extremist groups showing allegiance to the LTTE cause can also create minor disruptions along the Tamil coast.

The state police have already stepped up surveillance over the coastal areas of Tamil Nadu after the economic breakdown in Sri Lanka leading to a refugee crisis and a possible entry of certain highly trained and motivated Sri Lankan Tamils into the Indian soil through the Tamil coastal line.

The presence of Chinese military on Sri Lankan soil is against the Indian defense interests and the Speaker of Tamil Nadu assembly, M. Appavu had already come out against the proposed Spent Fuel storage facility at Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant (KKNPP) citing the Chinese presence in neighbouring Sri Lanka as a danger to it.

The Tamil Nadu assembly Speaker who is also a legislator from Radhapuram assembly constituency which houses KKNPP had once said that as long as Sri Lanka was a friendly nation the situation was different and with the Chinese presence increasing in the island nation, there is danger to KKNPP.

Tamil Nadu police DGP C. Sylendrababu had in the mean time held a meeting with the state ADGP, Coastal Security Group, Sandeep Mittal on Tuesday over rising speculation in security circles on the possibilities of increasing security along the coastal areas of the state.




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