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Sri Lankan President orders Navy takeover of floating armoury

INS Vikramaditya, Indian Navy's aircraft carrier, is seen anchored in the Arabian sea as part of Navy Day celebrations off the coast of Mumbai December 3, 2014. The Indian Navy celebrates Navy Day to commemorate the its naval offensive operation at Karachi Harbour during the India-Pakistan war in 1971. REUTERS/Shailesh Andrade (INDIA - Tags: MILITARY MARITIME ANNIVERSARY)

Colombo: Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena today ordered the country’s Naval forces to takeover the running of the controversial floating armory in the southern port of Galle.

“All agreements with Avant Garde are to be cancelled. The Navy will takeover the operations,” Cabinet spokesman and Minister Rajitha Senaratne said.

The President took the decision at a special meeting today, he added.

Sirisena’s decision came after this week’s resignation of Law and Order and Prisons Reform Minister Tilak Marapana Marapana who was under pressure to resign over the controversy involving him.

Avant Garde was allowed to run the floating armory under the previous regime of Mahinda Rajapaksa.

The present government had ordered a probe following the discovery of a ship carrying arms in the Galle harbor.

The company was accused of running an illegal arms operation.