Sri Lanka Faces Challenges in Seeking Compensation for Express Pearl Shipwreck: Parliamentary Committee Reveals

Sri Lanka may face challenges in seeking compensation for the environmental damage caused by the shipwrecked Express Pearl due to the inability to approach the ship and assess the extent of the damage, according to the Parliament's Sectoral Oversight Committee on the Environment.

Environmentalists and lawyers have informed the committee that there are only 45 days left to file a lawsuit, and it may not be advantageous to file the case in Singapore where the ship belongs.

The expert committee appointed to assess the damage has pointed out that it is hazardous to approach the ship, making it difficult to evaluate the environmental damage both inside and near the ship.

As a result, Ajith Mannapperuma, Chairman of the Sectoral Monitoring Committee on Environment, has urged the Maritime Environment Protection Authority (MEPA) and the National Water Resources Research and Development Institute (NARA) to assist the expert committee members in collecting samples from the remaining parts of the ship to calculate the damage.

The Chairman of the Maritime Safety Authority, Asela Rekawa, has stated that the expert committee's report on the accident has been submitted to the Attorney General's Department, which will take legal action to seek compensation based on the report.

The Sectoral Monitoring Committee on Environment is scheduled to reconvene on April 25 to further discuss the matter.

In 2021, the Express Pearl shipwreck in Sri Lankan waters caused significant damage to the marine environment.