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X-Press Pearl disaster: Environment damages to be finalized by year end – Minister Ali Sabry

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The process of assessing the damage caused by the X-Press Pearl disaster to the environment of the country would be finalized by the end of this year or beginning of the next, Justice Minister Ali Sabry informed the House yesterday (11).

“Compensation for the environment damage would be claimed separately,” Minister Sabry said.

“Demanding compensation for environmental damage is an extremely complex process. We need to have proper international legal expertise to decide on the compensation.

We have presently received the expert knowledge of an Australian organization to calculate the damages.” Sabry observed.

Minister Sabry also noted that Sri Lanka received the first interim claim of Rs.720 million and action has already been taken to claim the second interim claim as well. The Minister said that these interim claims have been assessed only for the economic damages as of yet.

Minister Sabry also said that necessary steps would be taken to recover compensation from the owners of the ship.

Sabry made these observations responding to a question raised by National Peoples’ Power (NPP) Leader MP Anura Dissanayake.

According to the Justice Minister, the interim claims have been done for economic expenses such as for cleaning the debris. “We have removed 1,650 tons of plastic pellets and used more than 3,500 man-days for this purpose,” he observed.

Minister Sabry also said after assessing the environmental damages, steps would be taken to recover damages through discussion with the relevant parties. Legal action would be considered if the responsible parties are not ready to compensate, Sabry added.

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