Failure to take legal action within next 45 days, SL will face the danger of losing compensation: CEJ | Sri Lanka News

If the Sri Lankan government did not take legal action within 45 days for the X-Press Pearl Disaster, the island nation might not receive the compensation, the Centre for Environmental Justice (CEJ) said today.

CEJ Senior Environmental Scientist Hemantha Withanage told the media that a new research report finds heavy pollution in the marine environment around the Xpress Pearl Shipwreck.

“The CEJ believes that under Sri Lankan law, the case to apply for compensation should be filed within two years of the incident, that is, before May 29, 2023. Now we have only 45 days remaining,” he said.

The marine disaster involving the ill-fated X-Press Pearl,the vessel approached the port of Colombo on May 19, 2021, caught fire on May 25 and sank nine nautical miles off Sri Lankan waters on June 2, and was considered as one of the world's worst marine disasters involving freighting  chemical cargo.

“There were 1,486 containers in the vessel. 81 of them contained extremely hazardous chemicals harmful for the environment, and 349 contained epoxy resin. Also, there were 6700 metric tons of various plastic pellets and other substances, including nitric acid. They were burning for several days, causing marine pollution along the sea area in Negombo, around 750 km sea area around Sri Lanka, in other states located in the Indian Ocean, and in the sea and coastal resources as far as Somalia. Despite several containers were visible and the sea and beach around the Sarakkuwa area were littered with plastic pellets, more than 90% of the total ship submerged underwater. 

Of the 80,000 MT of cargo, only 1762 MT of goods have been recovered,” Withanage said.

Meanwhile, Sri Jayawardenepura University Animal Science Department Senior Professor Pathmalal M. Manage told the media that harmful biotoxins were also found around Dikowita and Sarakkuwa.

“Oil and grease were also found around the ship, along with heavy metals such as lead, zinc, copper and nickel found in these samples. Those heavy metals were found in sea snails, shrimp, sardines, and herrings in amounts exceeding the level approved for human consumption, and the amount of lead found in shrimp was 4.23 μg g-l.

“In Perna virides (green mussels), this chemical was found at a very high level, 68.5 + 0.9 mg kg1 + 7.1 ng kg1. This chemical was found in very high amounts in shellfish, shrimp, sardines, and herring. Even in small amounts, this chemical is harmful. The environmental pollution caused by the ship's sinking has adverse consequences for the neighboring fishing communities through their fish consumption,” Prof. Pathmalal said.

“If immediate action is not taken within the remaining time frame, Sri Lanka might lose their claim for the estimated US$10 billion compensation for this incident. That would be a catastrophic failure on the part of the Attorney General's Department and the Cabinet,” scientist Hemantha Withanage charged. (Chaturanga Pradeep Samarawickrama)





Pix by Nimalsiri Edirisinghe

( Information from was used in this report. ALL RESPECT GOES TO ORIGINAL WRITER OF THIS ARTICLE. | Also if you have any problem of this article or if you need to remove this articles, please email here and we will delete this immediately. [email protected] )

Share to...