Author Topic: Legal action readied against oil pollution vessel  (Read 1359 times)

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Legal action readied against oil pollution vessel
« on: September 27, 2006, 07:29:22 AM »
Hiran H. Senewiratne

SHIP WRECK: The Marine Pollution and Prevention Authority (MPPA) is in the process of framing civil and criminal action against the Bangladesh Ship Amanath Sha, which sunk off the coast of Koggala.

To initiate legal action against the ship, the MPPA is awaiting the damage assessment report and the Criminal Investigation report to pursue the matter, its Legal Advisor Ashwini Kariyawasam told the Daily News.

Under the provision of the Act of No 59 of 1981 of the Marine Pollution and Prevention Act, the MPPA intends to frame Civil and Criminal liabilities from the Shipping line, she said.

At present the NARA Institute, University of Colombo and Ruhuna are now preparing the damage assessment report to institute civil liability while the Criminal Investigation Department is investigating on the matter to indict them to frame criminal liabilities against the shipping line, she said.

It is said that the maximum liability that could be claimed from civil liability is around Rs. 750 million. Once they receive both reports it will be submitted to the Attorney General's Department to pursue the matter, she said.

It is said that certain marine and industry circles are raising questions about certain Government stakeholders in the issue is not reacting fast to undo the damage for the Sri Lankan shore.

When this incident happened at the south coast of the country Master Divers responded with a salvage tug and it was found that the vessel carrying logs sailing for Yangon to Mumbai.

However, certain sections of the marine sector raised questions that an unusually heavy load of logs caused the damage to the hull. Was this an attempt to beach the ship compounding the marine pollution of damage, they queried.

The Director of Merchant Shipping has inquired into the incident and it has exonerated the tug operator. The CID is also investigating the issue.

Secretary General- Indian Ocean Marine Affairs Co-Operation (IOMAC) Dr. Hiran W. Jayewardena said that over 10,000 vessels pass Sri Lanka and emphasised the importance of implementing the traffic specification scheme. Dr. Jayewardena said a traffic specification scheme for vessels will reduce the risk of collision in future.
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