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Sri Lanka seeks Rs 340 million as compensation from MT New Diamond

Sri Lanka has sought an initial compensation of Rs 340 million from the MT New Diamond oil tanker.

Attorney General Dappula De Livera presented the request for compensation to the lawyers representing the owners of the ship.

The AG’s Coordinating Officer State Counsel Nishara Jayaratne said that the compensation was sought to cover the cost incurred by the Sri Lanka Navy (SLN), Sri Lanka Air Force (SLAF), Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA), Colombo Dockyard PLC (CDPLC), Marine Environment Protection Authority (MEPA) and the Department of Coast Conservation, to extinguish the fire onboard the oil tanker, and other related matters.

She said the initial compensation of Rs 340 million was based on the estimated cost incurred by Sri Lanka as of yesterday (Tuesday).

Jayaratne said that the total cost, including the cost of the damage caused to the environment, will differ once the ship is moved completely out of Sri Lankan waters.

Meanwhile, she also said that the Attorney General had instructed the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) to file a report in court against the captain of the ship.

The Attorney General was of the opinion that there was sufficient evidence to file charges against the captain of the ship.

The Sri Lanka Navy, Sri Lanka Air Force, Sri Lanka Ports Authority, the Indian Navy and the Indian Coast Guard had been working together to control the fire that erupted after an explosion of a boiler in the main engine room of MT New Diamond, an oil tanker sailing 38 nautical miles off Sangamankanda Point east of Sri Lankan seas on 3rd September.

A missing crew member on the ship had been reported dead while 21 crew members of the distressed oil tanker were taken aboard Sri Lanka Navy ships and were safely isolated adhering to health guidelines.

One crew member who sustained injuries in the explosion was admitted to hospital.

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