Tow New Diamond away from SL Coast - AG | Daily News


Tow New Diamond away from SL Coast - AG

Attorney General Dappula De Livera had yesterday instructed to submit the Government Analyst’s opinion on the possible damage to the seas and marine life arising from the blazing Crude oil tanker ‘MT New Diamond’ in the Eastern seas.

Further, as a precautionary measure to prevent further pollution of the oceans and danger to people and marine life, instructions were given to immediately evacuate the ship to a safe place 200 nautical miles from its location. The Attorney General has decided to issue these orders to the parties to the vessel in question.

Coordinating officer to the Attorney General State Counsel Nishara Jayaratne said that the Marine Environment Protection Authority (MEPA) has sought the Attorney General’s advice on taking legal action under the Prevention of Marine Pollution Ordinance in connection with the fire that broke out on the New Diamond oil tanker off the coast of Sangamankanda, Thirukkovil on September 3.

The request was made to enforce the law in this regard as the vessel’s crude oil and other contaminants could cause serious environmental problems and adverse effects on the Sri Lankan waters if it were to be dumped into the sea, she said.

She stated that in addition to this, the Marine Environment Protection Authority has sought legal advice on the manner in which the provisions of the relevant Act could be implemented.

The Attorney General had discussions with the Chairperson of the Marine Environment Authority and its Director General regarding the incident during the previous two days. During the meeting with the Attorney General yesterday, aquatic samples containing oil taken from the sea and the relevant photographs taken during the spot check were handed over to the Attorney General.

According to the evidence and observations, the incident could have been described as an oil spill under the relevant Act and it was clear that the oil spill was from the vessel, said Jayaratne.

The Attorney General also directed that the relevant samples should be submitted to the Government Analyst immediately yesterday to obtain a report after inspecting the oil samples obtained from the relevant location.


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