Chinese authorities are seeking permission to explore Sri Lanka's coastline for possible Chinese ship wrecks from the ancient Silk Route era, an official said Wednesday.
Sri Lanka, an Indian Ocean island, was a key trading post along the ancient Silk Route which saw silk, spices and handicrafts travel by road and sea between Asia and Europe.
The seas around the island's southern port of Galle are known to have at least 75 ancient ship wrecks, of which 25 have been well documented.
The unsolicited offer by Science Foundation of China to deploy experts to look for vessels along Sri Lanka's coast was under consideration, Director General of Archaeology Senarath Disanayake told AFP.
He said, however, that the Chinese had asked to keep half of all antiquities brought up from the ocean bed -- a condition Sri Lanka could not agree to.
"They also want us to pay for a vessel to carry out the exploration and that is something we can't afford," Disanayake said.
China is increasing its presence in Sri Lanka with the construction of a deep-sea port in the island's south as well as several other key infrastructure projects.
Sri Lanka's immediate neighbour India has become sensitive about increasing Chinese influence on the island. (Source: AFP)
Some what fishy????? where have they been for a long time?
VJ Wednesday, 18 January 2012 09:15 AM
We cant say No to chinese now - can we? They are not after Treasure - they are more interested in exploring oil and making naval base.
Guru Wednesday, 18 January 2012 09:18 AM
China!!!! they are interested in something else!!!!!
buffaloa citizen Wednesday, 18 January 2012 09:21 AM
In the name of archaelogy, they are surveying the topography of our coastal areas for the security of their future. Our puppet leaders will not be able to refuse as we are certainly under obligation. Flush soveriegnity down the commode. In time to come, it would have been much cheaper to give autonomy to the tamils in the north than what all these big powers are now demanding.
Vimal Carlos Wednesday, 18 January 2012 10:00 AM
They wants to look after oil
Ironman Wednesday, 18 January 2012 10:57 AM
It is a great exploration and restores our history unlike Chola,Pandi,Chera burn down our great civilization in ashes. When people comment on a National News paper Like Dailymirror.lk it is vital that you maintain unbiased and refrain from lunatic comment like the few above.
kumaraya Wednesday, 18 January 2012 11:28 AM
Its Chinese military build-up, stupid! Like it or not, we are right in the path of Chinese expansionism and our leaders who do not care about our nation have played well and truly into their hands! Read todays BBC.com and you will see expert opinions of the Chinese military advances.
Calistus Jayatilleke Wednesday, 18 January 2012 11:29 AM
What? Keep half of the antiquities and also to pay for the vessels? Do the Chinese actually think that all Sri Lankans are "Konde Bandapu Cheennu"?
achtung Wednesday, 18 January 2012 11:22 AM
something tells me they are not really after sunken ships...
Cynic Wednesday, 18 January 2012 11:50 AM
Whoa, Whoa Whoa!
RajasH Wednesday, 18 January 2012 01:58 PM
slippery as silk
zorro Wednesday, 18 January 2012 01:59 PM
there is no OILand there are no elections around the corner, Vimal...
Shai Wednesday, 18 January 2012 03:17 PM
Chinees u r the only remaing frnd of our govment, u can proceed any time
Roy Lawrance Thursday, 19 January 2012 01:27 AM
Chinese have started building the tallest tower ( Lotus Tower ) in Sri Lanka to take care of the air and now wants to take care of the sea by requesting SL to check on the ship wrecks. India should take care of their movements. These are all to attack India. Smart Chinese. What do we Sri Lankans care, let the Chinese rule. That's all we want.
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