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FR petition filed by CEJ over X-Press Pearl disaster fixed for support

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Law & Order

The Fundamental Rights petition filed by the Center for Environmental Justice (CEJ) and others seeking an order from the authorities to conduct a formal inquiry into the manner in which the X-Press Pearl Vessel entered Sri Lankan waters was yesterday fixed for support on May 24 by the Supreme Court.

The petition was taken up before a three-judge Bench comprising Justices Vijith Malalgoda, Janak de Silva and Mahinda Samayawardhena.

The court issued notices to several parties, including the Attorney General, the Marine Pollution Prevention Authority, the Central Environmental Authority, the Sri Lanka Ports Authority and the local agent of the X-press Pearl Vessel, Sea Consortium Lanka to respond to the petition.

The court also directed the respondents to file their objections to the petition before May 24. The petition was filed by the Center for Environmental Justice, its Executive Director Hemantha Vithanage and a group of fishermen.

The petitioners allege that X-press Pearl vessel had recently entered Sri Lankan waters which caught fire, and spilled a large amount of chemicals to the sea.

As a result, the sea water, the beach was heavily polluted and the sea creatures were also harmed, the petition said.

The petition also points out that due to the great environmental damage caused, the fishing community has lost their livelihood.The Petitioners allege that no formal investigation has been conducted into the burning of the X-press Pearl.

The petition also seeks an order directing the authorities to pay compensation to the people who lost their livelihood due to the damage caused by the burning of the ship and the chemicals in it into the sea. The petition seeks an immediate inquiry into the manner in which the ship entered Sri Lankan waters.

The petitioners also request the court to direct the authorities to set up a proper mechanism to prevent such accidents in Sri Lankan waters or beyond.

Wednesday, March 9, 2022 – 01:13

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