News Bulletin – 28 July 2018

1. Sri Lanka, China, India jointly invest to develop Lankan ports.

27 July 2018 : Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA), China and India are jointly investing over US$ 700 million to develop three key ports in Sri Lanka in the next three years. The Minister of Ports and Shipping Mahinda Samarasinghe said that China would invest between US$ 400 to 600 million to commence the third phase of the Hambantota Development project. The project will commence at the end of the year and would be completed in three years.”

Speaking at the first SLPA, JCT, SAGT and CICT jointly organised ‘Port of Colombo Awards Night’ in Colombo on Monday he said besides, the Indian government has pledged US$ 40 million to upgrade the Kankesanthurai Port. “This development project is now in the process and would be completed early next year.” He said that the Treasury has received the total lease payment of US$ 974 million for Hambantota port project from the Chinese counterparts and China has already invested US$ 146 million for the development work in the Hambantota Port. The Minister said that a lot of planning and talking had been going on to develop the East Container Terminal (ECT) and finally the SLPA has decided to invest US$ 100 million to construct it. “The SLPA has a record Rs. 13.3 billion profit last year and we will invest this money for the development of ECT as delaying this project would cost more money to SLPA. We will also redevelop the West Container Terminal in Colombo and a feasibility study will begin soon.”

2. Crew of Indian vessel detained at UAE port will abandon ship on July 31, says captain.

27 July 2018 : The captain of an Indian merchant ship, Maharshi Vamadeva, detained at the Fujairah port in the United Arab Emirates, has said that the 18-member crew will abandon ship on July 31, PTI reported.

Fujairah port authorities detained the vessel, a gas carrier, in June 2017 for alleged non-payment of dues by the ship’s owner Varun Global, a company under liquidation due to bankruptcy. The 18-member crew joined the vessel in February after the previous crew was evacuated following protests.

We have decided to abandon the ship on July 31, 2018, early morning,” Captain Kumar Krishna told PTI over a mail. “By July 31, it will be a complete month living in blackout condition. Also, by this date we will be left with no food and even drinking water,” he said. The mail has also been marked to various ministries in the government, PTI reported.

In June, Krishna said that the health of crew members were deteriorating with rapid weight loss, high stress and multiple ailments. The crew members, who are managed by Gurgaon-based Darya Shipping Agency, alleged that they had limited access to food and water and have not been paid their full wages.

Darya Shipping Agency’s Chief Executive Officer Rajesh Deshwal said it was impossible to retain any crew on board under the present circumstances. “All crew will sign off and we will not be responsible for this vessel under these dangerous conditions and no support from the stakeholders,” Deshwal told PTI. “The UAE authorities have given their consent to evacuate the ship completely.”

3. COSCO Shipping Lines Falls Victim to Cyber Attack.

26 July 2018 : COSCO Shipping Lines confirmed that it has been hit by a cyber attack impacting its internet connection within its offices in America. The incident that took place on Tuesday, July 24, was described as a ransomware attack.

As such, local email and network telephone weren’t working properly and the company decided to shut down the connections with other regions for more investigation.

The Chinese shipping and logistics company said that its vessels were not impacted and that its main business operation systems were performing stably. However, COSCO’s terminal at the Port of long beach was affected.

We are glad to inform you that we have taken effective measures. Except for above regions affected by the network problem, the business operation within all other regions will be recovered very soon. The business operations in the affected regions are still being carried out, and we are trying best to make a full and quick recovery. We will keep you updated of the latest progress through various channels,” the company said.

The latest attack is a stark reminder of the ever growing threat from cyber attacks in the maritime world which is becoming increasingly dependent on digital technology.





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