Can Sri Lanka act to remove the X-Press Pearl wreckage?

Can Sri Lanka act to remove the X-Press Pearl wreckage?

Can Sri Lanka act to remove the X-Press Pearl wreckage?

Written by Staff Writer

23 Jul, 2021 | 9:13 pm

COLOMBO (News1st): A maritime law expert has disputed claims that the government is unable to take action over the oil leak from the wreckage of the X-Press Pearl vessel.

Environment minister Mahinda Amaraweera had recently said that the government cannot intervene as the ship’s owners might abandon the vessel.

“As a Government, we have informed them about this. If we interfere into this, they might abandon the vessel by shifting the responsibility onto our hands,” Amaraweera said.

But Professor Dan Malika Gunasekara, a maritime law expert, has disputed such claims. “We have ample legal provisions in our merchant shipping act,” Gunasekara said.

He added that Sri Lanka can appoint a receiver to remove the wreck, and the cost incurred for the process, can be incurred from the ship’s owner or insurance firm.

“It’s very important to remove the wreck because it’s blocking a very important navigational route,” Gunasekara noted.

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