The JVP says a Parliamentary Select Committee must be appointed immediately to resolve a number of unresolved issues pertaining to the X-Press Pearl vessel that sank off the coast of Colombo.
The Leader of the Party Parliamentarian Anura Kumara Dissanayake moved a motion in this regard in Parliament today.
MP Dissanayake said justice has not been served to the victims of the X-Press Pearl incident.
He said a Select Committee is required due to certain laws and technology being insufficient to deal with the matter.
The Parliamentarian said experts from all relevant fields must be added to the Select Committee in order to identify ways to ensure such incidents do not occur in future causing environmental damage.
Responding to MP Dissanayake’s statement, Minister of Ports & Shipping Rohitha Abegunawardhana said as a port within an export hub, it is common for vessels coming in to contain various toxic material and hazardous chemicals used around the world.
Minister Abegunawardhana said the leak in the container containing Nitric Acid was reported while anchored in the Colombo Port adding the control tower was informed of the fire aboard the vessel on the night of May 20th.
The Minister said firefighting tug boats belonging to the Fire Department of the Ports Authority proceeded to douse the fire adding the weather conditions were not favourable at the time which resulted in the vessel sinking.
Minister of Justice Ali Sabry joining the debate said a number of committees have already been appointed to look into various matters including compensation as a result of the shipwreck.
The Minister said the legal committee and the compensation committee convene at the Ministry of Justice every two weeks to calculate the damages to the environment, fishing community and the economy.
Minister Sabry said 41 top experts are voluntarily work in the environment committee.