K Line's HYPERION HIGHWAY freed by Sri Lanka Navy
Sri Lanka Navy thankfully interfered into a situation which was defined as “act of piracy”, and freed car carrier HYPERION HIGHWAY by force:
Dec 11 news:
Sri Lankan naval troops fired warning shots to break up a protest by striking dock workers who have held up a Japanese vessel for four days at the island's southern international port.
Troops entered Hambantota port from the sea Saturday and fired warning shots to disperse the crowd, considering their action an "act of piracy," navy spokesman Akram Alavi said.
The protesters had prevented the Japanese vehicle carrier Hyperion Highway from leaving the port.
No casualties were reported. After the navy's intervention, the Japanese ship sailed Saturday afternoon toward its next destination, Oman, Alavi said.
Maybe next time trade unions will think twice before seizing ships and crews which have absolutely nothing to do with port problems, disrupting shipping, and putting at risk crews.
December 11, 2016
Car carrier HYPERION HIGHWAY berthed at Sri Lanka’s Hambantota harbor on December 6, completed operations on December 7, and was to leave Hambantota, bound for Sohar Port in Oman, but was blocked by trade union dockers, and as of Dec 10, was still stranded in port, said national media. Tugs and pilot can’t reach the vessel, dockers surrounded vessel with barbed wire, threw stones at her, and on Dec 9 tried to climb aboard, their intentions unknown. Protesters want to seize vessel and crew, and hold them hostages? Navy had to intervene, in order to protect vessel.
Dockers are protesting against Chinese firm, which is to take port over, including all staff. Dockers are afraid they’ll lose their jobs, though they’ve been specifically assured no one is to be fired. There are rumors, that the protest was staged by some political or whatever else forces, which presumably, don’t want Chinese intrusion.
Vessel’s operator already suffered some $200,000 loss caused by delay and disrupted schedule, two other ships bound for Hambantota, are said to be rerouted to Singapore or Indian ports.
Vessel and crew, for all purposes, are taken as hostages, by protesting dockers. Meanwhile, Ministry of Ports and Shipping is said to hold aloof, doing nothing to stop the mess.
Protests are strictly inner business of Sri Lanka workers, trade unionists and whoever else, but why should suffer innocent vessels, with their crews being put at risk of violence? Why Sri Lanka Navy can’t provide vessel’s leave, is also unclear.
On a photo besieged HYPERION HIGHWAY.
December 10, 2016