XPress Pearl Disaster: All steps taken to initiate legal action says MEPA

Wednesday, 12 April 2023 04:15 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

The Marine Environment Protection Authority (MEPA) says it has taken all the necessary steps to take legal action against the owners of the Xpress Pearl Vessel and its operators or local agents. Issuing a press release yesterday after environmentalists raised concerns on claiming damages for the marine disaster, the MEPA said the Attorney General’s Department has already filed criminal action before the courts. The MEPA said it provided the AG’s department with the requisite information.

According to the MEPA a second environment impact assessment report was also submitted by the expert committee appointed for the purpose to the AG’s department in January this year. 

The MEPA also revealed that a key meeting was held on 6 April with the participation of the AG’s department, officials of the MEPA and experts in the field on the concerns raised by various groups on the compensation claim for the disaster. The MEPA said at the meeting the AG’s department revealed the Australian legal firm assisting Sri Lanka in initiating legal action has confirmed the case can be filed in Singapore and it has the requisite jurisdiction to hear the case as the owners and operators of the vessel are based in Singapore. The department had also said Singapore is a more important maritime hub than Sri Lanka could be more favourable in obtaining compensation. It also said it plans to challenge the limitation for compensations obtained through a court order obtained by the ship owners.