A request to hear several Fundamental Rights petitions filed in connection with the X-Press Pearl disaster before a fuller bench comprising five judges or more than five judges of the Supreme Court was today referred to the Chief Justice by a Supreme Court three-judge bench.

Accordingly, the Supreme Court’s three-judge bench headed by Justice Murdu Fernando fixed the petitions to be taken up for hearing on July 10.


The Centre for Environmental Justice (CEJ), Rev. Fr. Sarath Iddamalgoda, and fishermen representing Negombo and Chilaw had filed Fundamental Rights petitions seeking an order directing the respondents to award compensation to the fishermen who were severely affected by the X-Press Perl disaster.

The petitioners state that the blazing ship and the chemical spill and plastic pellets have already caused untold, irreversible, and irremediable damage to Sri Lanka’s marine ecosystem, fishing community, and pristine beaches, including popular tourist destinations, which are thickly coated in plastic pellets.