AG not approved decision to allow MT New Diamond to leave

Attorney General Dapula de Livera has not approved a decision to allow the MT New Diamond oil tanker to leave Sri Lankan waters.

State Counsel Nishara Jayaratne said that the ship was being towed away defying a directive by the Marine Environment Protection Authority (MEPA) and advise from the Attorney General.

The Maritime Rescue Coordinating Centre (MRCC) had allowed the MT New Diamond to leave Sri Lankan waters despite MEPA saying earlier the ship cannot leave.

MEPA had earlier informed the Attorney General that MT New Diamond will be permitted to leave only after ongoing negotiations over oil pollution are completed.

Jayaratne had said that the AG had informed MEPA that negotiations pertaining to claims for marine pollution caused by MT New Diamond are pending and other claims have not been settled.

Owners of the oil tanker, MT New Diamond, had earlier agreed to settle a claim of Rs 442 Million made by Sri Lanka.

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

Meanwhile, a panel of scientists appointed by MEPA submitted an interim report to the Attorney General and confirmed there was marine pollution as a result of the oil leak from MT New Diamond.

The Colombo Magistrate’s Court had also imposed a travel ban on the captain of the MT New Diamond oil tanker. (Colombo Gazette) 



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