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Case should be filed at International Arbitration Court to recover X-Press Pearl compensation: President

President Ranil Wickremesinghe has instructed Justice Minister Wijedasa Rajapaksa to take the relevant steps to prepare a lawsuit against the shipping company held accountable for the X-Press Pearl disaster to be filed at the International Court of Arbitration in Singapore.

Accordingly, the President has instructed the Justice Minister to prepare a Cabinet paper regarding the filing of such a case before the International Arbitration Court, disclosing the amount of compensation demanded from the shipping company held accountable for the disaster.

The President made this remark during a discussion with the Justice Minister on November 01, 2022 on the event and advised Rajapaksa to expedite the recovery of compensation from the Singapore-based operators of the sunken cargo vessel.

The move comes in in the expectation of retrieving a compensation for the eco disaster caused by the ‘MV X-Press Pearl,’ a cargo vessel carrying hazardous chemicals that caught fire and sank in the Sri Lankan waters on May 20, 2021 near the Colombo Port. The blaze went on for nearly 13 days while at anchorage 9.5 nautical miles off the Colombo Port and caused a severe damage to the Sri Lankan eco systems.

Despite endless promises by the current regime and its predecessor the GR-regime, Sri Lanka is still at uncertainty on the possibility of retrieving a compensation for the eco damage the ship’s fire had caused. A fundamental rights (FR) petition filed by certain aggrieved parties demanding compensation for the damage is also being heard at the Supreme Court.

Meanwhile, Sagala Ratnayake, Senior Advisor and Chief of Staff to the President, has informed that the Attorney General’s Office has also informed that a lawsuit may be filed against the relevant company before an international arbitration court.


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