- Justice Minister says compensation sought for expenses incurred by Govt. institutions, damage caused to the country, from Singapore-flagged cargo ship company
- 5 committees appointed to investigate main claims on damage caused by fire and chemicals
- Establishes separate system to report on damages caused by fire and chemicals to third parties
- Says 3 foreign experts due to visit Sri Lanka following discussions with UN envoy
On the instructions of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, Justice Minister Ali Sabry yesterday chaired a high-powered special meeting seeking compensation and legal action covering all sectors, regarding the impact and damage caused to Sri Lanka by the burnt cargo ship, the MV X-Press Pearl.
Ports and Shipping Minister Rohitha Abeygunawardena, Coast Conservation State Minister Dr. Nalaka Godahewa, Ornamental Fish, Inland Fish and Prawn Farming, Fishery Harbour Development, Multiday Fishing Activities and Fish Exports State Minister Kanchana Wijesekara, President’s Counsel Sanjaya Rajaratnam, Justice Ministry Secretary M.M.P.K. Mayadunne, Ports and Shipping Ministry Secretary U.D.C. Jayalal, Coast Conservation and Waste Disposal State Ministry Secretary Nimal Perera, Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) Chairman General (Retd) Daya Ratnayake and other Government officials participated at the meeting.
The Justice Minister said compensation has been sought from the Singapore-flagged MV X-Press Pearl-owning company, for expenses incurred by Government institutions, as well as for the damage caused to the country from 23 May to 3 June as a result of the now-sunken ship.
He also said that five committees have been appointed to look into the main claims regarding the damage caused to the country by the fire, as well as the chemical impact to the ocean.
“The evaluation will begin in the immediate future,” Sabry said.
Sabry also said that a separate system has been set up to report on the damages caused to third parties. “This unit will be headed by an Additional Secretary of the Ports and Shipping Ministry. Necessary arrangements will be made to ensure the same conditions prior to this unfortunate incident to those affected.” Minister Sabry asserted that steps have also been taken to get assistance from international experts in terms of seeking compensation, and that three experts are due to visit Sri Lanka as a result of discussions with the UN envoy.
The committees appointed on the discussion held on 6 June submitted their observations on the economic cost, ecosystem, fisheries and various other sectors during the meeting.