The Samagi Jana Balawegaya (SJB) today questioned as to why the case with regard to the X-Press Pearl disaster was filed in a Singapore court when the case could have been filed in a local court.
Chief Opposition Whip Lakshman Kiriella told Parliament that the X-Press Pearl disaster occurred within the Sri Lankan judicial zone and that the case could have been filed in a local court.
“It is clear that the government has no confidence on the Sri Lankan judicial system. Filing the case in a Singapore court is a vote of no-confidence on our judicial system. We should be ashamed of this,” he said.
Justice Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe said it was wrong to make such a statement and said that cases are usually filed within judicial zones where the complainant party had the best advantage.
“The Committee of experts which was appointed to look into securing damages including Ronald Perera PC, Chandaka Jayasundera PC also wanted to file the case in a local court. But,after a discussion with the Attorney General, they agreed to file the case in a Singapore court. It is the AG who takes decisions on legal matters on behalf of the State,” he said.
Meanwhile, Chairman of the Sectorial Oversight Committee on Environment, Natural Resources & Sustainable Development Ajith Mannapperuma said the Justice Minister was misleading the House and added that the expert committee had not agreed to filing the case in a Singapore court and that they still hold the view that the case should have been filed in a local court. (Ajith Siriwardana and Yohan Perera)
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