President advises to file a case at International Court of Arbitration in Singapore to recover X-Press Pearl compensation

(LANKAPUVATH | COLOMBO) – President Ranil Wickramasinghe has instructed Justice Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe to take steps to file a case against the relevant shipping company before the International Court of Arbitration in Singapore to get compensation for the damages caused by the destruction of the MV X-Press Pearl cargo ship.

President Ranil Wickremesinghe, in a discussion held with the Justice Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe on November 01 regarding the MV X-Press Pearl has advised the Minister to expedite the recovery of compensation from the Singapore-based operators of the ship X-Press Feeders.

The Singapore-registered MV X-Press Pearl container ship carrying a hazardous chemical cargo caught fire on 20 May 2021 while at anchorage 9.5 nm off Colombo Harbor due to a chemical leak in a container and burned for 13 days before the fire was put out on 2nd June. The ship along with its hazardous cargo sank afterwards.

Nearly a year and a half after the sinking of the cargo ship, Sri Lanka is still trying to claim compensation for the environmental damage created by the ship’s fire.

A group of people affected by the incident have also filed a fundamental rights petition before the Supreme Court demanding compensation for the damage caused by the fire on the ship.

Chief of Staff to the President and Senior Advisor to the President Sagala Ratnayake has informed the President that Attorney General Sanjay Rajaratnam has also informed that a lawsuit may be filed against the shipping company before an international arbitration court.

The President instructed the Minister of Justice to prepare a cabinet paper regarding the filing of a case before the International Arbitration Court, stating the amount of compensation demanded from the shipping company.


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