Cabinet-appointed Delegation Holds Positive Talks on X-Press Pearl Incident with Ship-Owner, Insurers in Singapore

(LANKAPUVATH | COLOMBO) – In a significant development regarding the X-Press Pearl Incident, a nine-member Sri Lankan delegation led by the Attorney General engaged in fruitful discussions with lawyers representing the ship-owner interests and their insurers on the 18th and 19th of July 2023 in Singapore.

The meeting was convened in response to a request made by the lawyers on behalf of their clients following the Government of Sri Lanka’s claims action filed in Singapore back in April. During the course of these discussions, both parties addressed several critical aspects related to the incident and its aftermath.

A key focus of the talks was to assess the outstanding interim claims put forth by the Marine Environment Authority and the Ministry of Fisheries from the Government of Sri Lanka. In response to their concerns, the Sri Lankan delegation received assurance from the ship-owner interests’ insurers that the assessment of these claims would be conducted promptly and efficiently.

Furthermore, the Attorney General, representing the Government of Sri Lanka, emphasized the urgency of concluding the ongoing wreck decommissioning and debris recovery works within Sri Lankan waters. In response to this plea, the insurers of the ship-owner interests responded positively, indicating their cooperation in addressing this issue.

Notably, the ship-owner interests also expressed their willingness to consider the claims made by the Sri Lankan government concerning the damage caused to the marine environment. They showed openness to further discussions with the Government of Sri Lanka in the near future.
It is important to clarify that these discussions will have no bearing on the ongoing legal proceedings initiated by the Government of Sri Lanka in Singapore, which are already underway.

The talks mark a significant step in resolving the aftermath of the X-Press Pearl Incident and indicate a cooperative approach by all parties involved. As the assessment of outstanding claims and environmental damage claims progresses, both the Sri Lankan government and the ship-owner interests hope to reach a fair resolution that takes into account the environmental impact and the interests of all stakeholders.

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