Sri Lanka: Yuan Wang 5 – Dossier of Immaturity and Unprofessionalism

The crisis is domestic; external manipulators are just seizing opportunities. India puts its national interests first under any circumstances, but in Sri Lanka chooses personal desires over national interests.

2 mins read

Tere was a project that was first awarded through tender procedures to a Chinese company and then scrapped without any prior notice and agreed to do with an Indian company. The renewable project was to implement on three islands in the North, which angered India. India had informed the government by quoting their “intelligence inputs” that China was conspiring to spy on South India in the name of this project. Bowing to India’s concerns, the government kicked out the Chinese company. In cancelling the project, the answerable authorities behaved in a most disgraceful manner. This is the shameful reality of the rooted immaturity and unprofessionalism of the state machinery and political leadership of this country.  

What happened to the importation of petroleum? China supplied oil at the lowest prices and the room for fraud was limited. But, the former minister and the team in charge of the relevant subject, the scheme of supplying petroleum was manipulated to prioritize the Indian companies and stooges of local politicians. Consequently, the country suffered the worst fuel crisis in its history. It is a man-made crisis. Eventually, the Indian market amplified and the supply of petroleum became a highly profitable business for third parties. Amidst the crisis, Indian fishermen are destroying the northern sea, intimidating the local fishermen in those areas and looting its harvest. On the other hand, India has captured the country’s domestic market like never before. This is the harsh reality of humanitarian aid. This is just an example of deep-rooted fraud and corruption in public institutions. Whose desires demarcate our true borders?  

It is in this context, we believe, that we should scrutinize the case of the Chinese research vessel Yuan Wang 5, which was scheduled for a port call in Sri Lanka for replenishment. Many Chinese research vessels have called Sri Lankan ports and availed their services on many occasions. But concerning this ship, India used national security as a tool. Unofficial sources say that India is paying substantial sums of money to media organizations and so-called social media influencers in Sri Lanka to publish anything against China.  Isn’t the behaviour of the local media unusual in this event? However, there is no point in blaming India. The crisis is domestic; external manipulators are just seizing opportunities. India puts its national interests first under any circumstances, but in Sri Lanka chooses personal desires over national interests. Not only the bureaucracy in India but all the media organizations throughout the country consider China as the absolute enemy. 

Due to the unprofessional and immature nature of the structure of the Sri Lankan state, any external force can use this country immorally to expand its power. It is there that not only India but any other party can play the game of this island nation as per their wish. How the Sri Lankan authorities handled the Yuan Wang 5 research ship reflects the collapse of the state structure. No prior research has been conducted regarding the granting of diplomatic clearances for the ship. At least they could have gone online and looked up the ship in question and if there were any problems they could have been resolved. After that, the necessary permission should be given. But, truth is that there is no coordination between responsible institutions for such exploration. No one knows who to coordinate with whom, therefore everyone plays the individual games at the cost of national interests. The lack of national coordination among the officers working in these institutions left an indelible scar and disgrace on the entire country. This is the weak and immature nature of our diplomacy. This is the obliteration that has to be faced because the responsible institutions, including the Foreign Service, are filled with political appointments and filled with various relatives and friends. There is no action plan to remove these stem worms and clean these institutions. So if this is the ground reality, is it possible to even dream that a miracle will happen other than the destruction of Sri Lanka as a nation? 

The Sri Lanka Guardian is an online web portal founded in August 2007 by a group of concerned Sri Lankan citizens including journalists, activists, academics and retired civil servants. We are independent and non-profit. Email:

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