Sajith demands independent inquiry into MV X-Press Pearl issue

Sajith Premadasa

Opposition Leader Sajith Premadasa yesterday (28) demanded an independent inquiry on granting permission to the MV X-Press Pearl container ship to enter Sri Lankan waters off the vicinity of Colombo Port. Premadasa said that it is also important to determine as to how much Sri Lanka should claim as damages from the owners of the ship.

Premadasa made these observations by issuing a special statement regarding the tragedy yesterday.

Premadasa also questioned whether Sri Lanka had received compensation for the damages caused by the ‘New Diamond’ vessel which caught fire within the Sri Lankan waters on a previous occasion.

“MV X-press Pearl was carrying 25 MT of Nitric Acid and freighting 1486 containers in total. It has been reported that there was a leak from one of the containers where Nitric acid was stored, when the ship was sailing in Arabian Sea. The danger was spotted by the crew. The ship was denied entry to Port Hamad in Doha, Qatar due to the leakage. Therefore it is important to determine as to who had given permission to the freighter to enter Sri Lankan waters,” Premadasa questioned.

“Sri Lankan waters have been severely polluted by the burnt ship. The environment has been severely affected. Water species have died due to the chemical emissions into the sea from the burning ship. Fish within Sri Lankan waters are no longer consumable and it was reported that there is an emission of Nitrogen Oxide to the environment as well,” he alleged.

(Source: Daily News – By Amali Mallawaarachchi)