Sri Lanka seeks Rs 340 million as compensation from MT New Diamond

Sri Lanka has sought an initial compensation of Rs 340 million from the MT New Diamond oil tanker.

Attorney General Dappula De Livera presented the request for compensation to the lawyers representing the owners of the ship.

The AG’s Coordinating Officer State Counsel Nishara Jayaratne said that the compensation was sought to cover the cost incurred by the Sri Lanka Navy (SLN), Sri Lanka Air Force (SLAF), Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA), Colombo Dockyard PLC (CDPLC), Marine Environment Protection Authority (MEPA) and the Department of Coast Conservation, to extinguish the fire onboard the oil tanker, and other related matters.

She said the initial compensation of Rs 340 million was based on the estimated cost incurred by Sri Lanka as of yesterday (Tuesday).

Jayaratne said that the total cost, including the cost of the damage caused to the environment, will differ once the ship is moved completely out of Sri Lankan waters.

Meanwhile, she also said that the Attorney General had instructed the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) to file a report in court against the captain of the ship.

The Attorney General was of the opinion that there was sufficient evidence to file charges against the captain of the ship.

The Sri Lanka Navy, Sri Lanka Air Force, Sri Lanka Ports Authority, the Indian Navy and the Indian Coast Guard had been working together to control the fire that erupted after an explosion of a boiler in the main engine room of MT New Diamond, an oil tanker sailing 38 nautical miles off Sangamankanda Point east of Sri Lankan seas on 3rd September.

A missing crew member on the ship had been reported dead while 21 crew members of the distressed oil tanker were taken aboard Sri Lanka Navy ships and were safely isolated adhering to health guidelines.

One crew member who sustained injuries in the explosion was admitted to hospital. (Colombo Gazette)


  1. Most effective ways is take hold of the oil in the oil tanker. The oil tanker registered in Panama and I don’t think it would have proper insurance to cover the cost. Plus it is not easy to get money from Panama. Legal proceedings will take too long and you will be wasting your time and money, because the captain and owners will claim bankruptcy, if you take a legal action against them to cover the cost. Nobody is going to pay millions for a sinking oil tanker.

  2. The law of salvage is a principle of Maritime Law whereby any person who helps recover another person’s ship or cargo in peril at sea is entitled to a reward commensurate with the value of the property salved. Maritime law is inherently international, and although salvage laws vary from one country to another, generally there are established conditions to be met to allow a claim of salvage. The Government of Sri Lanka and or it’s authorities responsible for this should register the “claim of salvage” immediately. The Attorney General have now done it wisely. The owners of this Oil Tanker handing over this ship to an international Salvage Company may be a “LEGAL MODUS-OPERANDI” to evade making the legitimate dues to the Government of Sri Lanka, The Sri Lankan Navy, Air Force and the Ports Authority for “SALVAGING” this vessel from the begining till now. Over to you Your Excellency President Mahinda Rajapaksa and Hon. PM Mahinda Rajapaksa for necessary action please.
    Why are the Sri Lankan authorities dogging the questions about the claim of Salvage Right in accordence with the IMO, International Convention On Salvage, 1989 to take over at least 25% of the oil in the tanker or it’s value + the total cost incured in Sri Lanka being the 1st., Volunteer to get to the distressed tanker to help bring the fire under control. MEPA and Merchant Shipping Secretariat Director General A.W. Seneviratne DG Maritime are trying to evade this question. HE President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and PM Mahinda Rajapaksa has to look into this.
    Noor Nizam – Concerned Citizen.

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