The Fundamental Rights petition filed by environmental scientist Dr. Ajantha Perera and a social activist seeking an order directing the authorities to set up a Restoration and Conservation Fund for the environmental degradation due to the pollution caused by the X-Press Perl vessel was today fixed for support by the Supreme Court.

A three -judge-bench of the Supreme Court comprising Justice L.T.B. Dehideniya, Justice Preethi Padman Surasena and Justice Mahinda Samayawardena fixed the petition to be taken up for support on December 1.

Meanwhile, four other petitions including the Fundamental Rights petition  filed by Archbishop of Colombo Malcolm  Cardinal Ranjith were also fixed for support on December 1.

The petitioners, Dr Ajantha Perera and Jeran Jegatheesan are seeking an order to allocate not less than 70% of all compensation received, for the restoration the of oceanic environment.

The petitioners had named the Marine Environment Protection Authority and its Chairman Dharshani Lahandapura,  Sri Lanka Ports Authority, State Minister of Urban Development Nalaka Godahewa and several others as respondents.

The petitioners are further seeking an order to take immediate steps for the prosecution of all those responsible in connection with the X-Press Pearl disaster.

The petitioners stated that according to maritime information available it has been revealed that this vessel carried 1486 cargos in its last mission and half of the containers had 42 different chemicals including Lithium- Iron batteries, lead ingots, copper slags, Nitric Acid, Lubricating oil, Gear oil, Epoxy resin, urea, Sodium Methoxide, Aluminium processing byproducts, sulphur and some unknown inorganic materials as well as 439 containers ( least 46,960 bags) of LDPE and HDPE plastic nurdles ( Pellets) and furthermore, the necessary fuel and other types of oil ordinarily carried on a vessel together with another 300 metric tons of bunker oil and the lubricating oil containers which were in this consignment.

The petitioners state that they reasonably believe that massive quantity of the aforesaid toxic and dangerous substances are now mixed into the territorial waters and have resulted in destroying and contaminating the marine environment including the coral environment, the sea bed and rich fishing habitats located off Colombo Harbor and  the surrounding coastal stretch.

The petitioners state they are in possession of verified information as appearing in the public media that this container ship had transported at least 46,960 bags of LDPE and HDPE plastic nurdles (Pellets) packed in 20 containers and this incident has caused the spilling of at least 70-75 billion plastic nurdles to the marine environment.


The Petitioner state that 439 containers of Plastics and another more than thousand containers of chemicals and dangerous goods made up more than a one third of the ship’s cargo and it is predicted that some of the chemicals found in the ship will have massive adverse impact to the marine eco system.



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