Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka President orders burnt container vessel X-Press Pearl to be towed to the deep sea

Colombo, June 1 ( Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has ordered the concerned authorities to tow the wrecked X-PRESS PEARL Container ship into the deep seas off the coast of Colombo. 

The Minister of Ports and Shipping Rohitha Abeygunawardena revealed details about the ill-fated vessel including its journey from the United Arab Emirates on May 09 to its arrival near the Port of Colombo on May 19.

Representatives from a number of fields, including shipping and environment, pointed out that the vessel was at risk of sinking. Their suggestion, then, was to take the vessel to the deep seas to minimize possible damage to the marine environment.

Accordingly, the President gave instructions to issue an immediate order to tow the vessel into the deep seas based on the powers vested with the Chairman of the Marine Environment Protection Authority and based on technical facts as well as the advice of the Attorney General.

The President stated that the decision taken should be based solely on technical facts and not on the basis of politics.

Ministers Douglas Devananda, Mahinda Amaraweera, State Minister Kanchana Wijesekera, Nalaka Godahewa, Attorney General Sanjaya Rajaratnam, Secretary to the President P. B. Jayasundera, Defence Secretary, Gen. (Retired) Kamal Gunaratne, Commanders of the Navy and Air Force and the officials of Ports Authority, Marine Environment Protection Authority, NARA and other line institutions were also present.

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