AG advises to consider moving ship out of Sri Lankan waters

Attorney General (AG) Dappula de Livera today focused on the urgent need to reach a decision to move the MT New Diamond oil tanker, that caught fire on Wednesday (03), out of Sri Lankan waters.

The AG’s Coordinating Officer State Counsel Nishara Jayaratne said the issue was brought to the AG’s attention during a meeting with the Chairperson of the Marine Environment Protection Authority (MEPA) and the Chairman of the Trade and Shipping Corporation of Sri Lanka today.

The discussion focused on the measures taken by MEPA so far and future immediate steps to be taken in the event of an oil spill and to contain the fire.

Nishara Jayaratne further said that MEPA had also informed the owner of the vessel on 04th September on three important decisions taken in this regard.

MEPA had informed the vessel owner of the immediate measures taken to contain and douse the fire, measures taken to prevent an oil spill and protect the marine environment, and to move the oil tanker outside Sri Lankan waters.

However, as the owner of the vessel has not responded to MEPA’s letter in this regard, the AG stressed the need to take an urgent decision to move the vessel outside Sri Lankan waters, she added.

The oil tanker caught fire on Wednesday (03) and the fire was completely doused on Sunday (06) by the joint efforts of the Sri Lanka Navy, Coast Guard, and Air Force, Indian Navy and Coast Guard, and other international partners.

However, the fire reignited on the oil tanker last evening (07) and SL Navy is conducting measures to douse the fire. (Colombo Gazette)