Sri Lanka’s international obligations do not prevent the filing of the case to seek compensation from the X-Press Pearl maritime disaster in a local court, said the Centre for Environment and Nature Studies (CENS).
CENS coordinator Ravindra Kariyawasam accused the government of intentionally delaying the filing of the compensation case to seek an estimated 6.2 billion US dollars in damages.
Taking the matter to a court in Singapore is unnecessary, unprofitable and suspicious, he said.
The CENS coordinator urged speedy legal action in a local court with all parties extending the maximum support.
The assistance of the International Maritime Organization and the Convention on Biological Diversity can be obtained as well, he said.
Kariyawasam raised justice minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe’s serious claim that a powerful politician had received a 250 million US dollar bribe to prevent court action.
Either the minister or the government should reveal the identity of that bribe-taker, said Kariyawasam.
The government of Singapore and the owner of the ship that caught fire and sank with toxic chemicals in Sri Lankan waters on May 19, 2021 should take full responsibility and restore the grave harm caused to the environment, he said.
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