Sri Lanka threatens to drag X-Press Pearl before international court

Sri Lanka has threatened to drag the owners of the X-Press Pearl ship before an international court if they refuse to pay the full compensation for the damage caused to the country.

Justice Minister Ali Sabry told Parliament today that Australian expertise has been obtained to assess the full damage caused to the environment as a result of the fire on the ship.

He said that while compensation has been obtained for the damage caused to fishermen and the economy as a result of the fire, a further assessment is being made on the damage to the environment.

Justice Minister Ali Sabry said that if the shipping company refuses to pay the full compensation then Sri Lanka is prepared to take the case before an international court.

The Minister said that 1650 tonnes of plastic pallets washed ashore from the ship have already been collected.

The X-Press Pearl vessel which was carrying cargo with chemicals had caught fire due to an explosion off the coast of Colombo in June.

Eight containers with cargo had fallen into the sea after which debris and packages had washed ashore along the coast from Colombo to Negombo.

The ship eventually sank in Sri Lankan waters. (Colombo Gazette)