Due to the addition of massive chemicals to our marine environment via the Express Pearl ship, significant environmental damage was caused to the environment and fishermen, and prior to this, there was a New Diamond tragedy, and following the tragedy that occurred a few months ago, there is doubt whether the steps to protect the marine environment were taken correctly. According to the opposition leader, there has been a conspiracy based on these events.
The opposition leader further emphasized that although the countries of the world talk about green economy and blue economy, it is only limited to words in our country and it is more clear by the distribution of ministries. The opposition leader, who said that the current president will act without any change like Gotabhaya did then, questioned the decision taken by the government for the future after the New Diamond incident.
Mr. Sajith Premadasa, the leader of the opposition, said this while joining the debate held in Parliament today (10) regarding the damage caused by the Express Pearl ship.
The opposition leader also said that although it is not necessary to assassinate anyone’s character as a public representative, he has a clear objective to protect the country from such a thing again. The opposition leader emphasized that this government has not learned a lesson from the New Diamond tragedy as well as from the Express Pearl tragedy, and that the country has suffered a great loss due to this irregular journey, and even though it is said to be a friendly government, it is now limited to mere words.
Although it was initially discovered that there was a leak in the Express Pearl ship, it should be revealed who allowed it to enter the maritime system of this country, and even though we have a high-quality port in the world, we did not have the necessary equipment to prevent it at the time of this accident, this government tried to save the ship, but the environment. The opposition leader said that there was no protection.
Opposition leader Mr. Sajith Premadasa further emphasized that there was a big conspiracy to stop this debate and that he is not representing the shipping side but the people of the country and the ecosystem.
The complete speech made by Mr. Sajith Premadasa, the leader of the opposition, by joining the adjournment debate held in Parliament today regarding the Express Pearl tragedy.
Today Samagi Jana Balawega Samagi Jana Sandanha opposition is discussing the motion to adjourn the assembly as a public representative, as an environmentalist, as a truth seeker and as a leader of a green party. My aim here is to get a clear understanding without killing anyone’s character and go on a clear journey as a country or in the future.
What happened in the Pearl Express tragedy? Harmful chemicals such as air pollution, marine environment pollution, nitric acid, caustic soda, methanol etc. were added. In this, there was a huge destruction to our marine environment and the entire environment, fishermen, livelihood and biodiversity were damaged.
It was a huge disaster before. That’s New Diamond. It happened in September 2020. The Express Pearl tragedy happened in May 2021. Did the tragedy of a few months ago teach the lessons to protect the marine environment? Were they implemented? Today we also saw that this debate started hours late. I will also reveal the conspiracy behind it.
Many countries in the world are implementing environment-centric plans, green government and green economy concepts. But we call green economy green state just a word. The environment of our country has been given a nominal place. It is more obvious with the distribution of ministries. One is the Environment Minister. Another wildlife minister. The Marine Environment Authority is placed under the Ministry of Urban Development. President Ranil Wickremesinghe is implementing today the way Gota did then. Nothing scientific.
After the New Diamond incident, what steps have been taken for the safety of the maritime environment in this country in the future? What are the lessons learned, what are the strategy changes? No evaluation after that? Did you find where we went wrong? There are questions about this.
Now some people came up with Exxon Valdes. Not only about this, but if we had read about the tragedies that happened in the world including the Torrey Canyon tragedy, we would have found the most beneficial method to get the maximum compensation for the country from the Express Pearl tragedy. But looking at the action of this government, it is tragic and pathetic. A wrong method has been followed.
This government did not learn from the New Diamond tragedy or the Express Pearl tragedy. It was a journey with no informal provisions, no knowledge, no technology. However, a friendly government is a friendly government. Suhuru is just a word now. So is President Gotabhaya and so is President Ranil Wickremesinghe. There is only talk about this, no action.
We all know that this leak is happening. How did the ship that was rejected by 2 international ports come to our country? Who is the traitor who did it? In recent times, patriots and populists say that they love the country. So now tell me who brought this to the region of our country. who We want to know. They tried to stop this debate because it would affect the judicial proceedings. No, it won’t happen.
Even if our port ranks high in the world, was there enough carbon dioxide at the time of the Express Pearl tragedy? If not, whose responsibility is it? This government did not prioritize environmental conservation. Save the ship.
Who authorized the repatriation of parts of this damaged ship in certain cases? Who said it can be carried like this? Who is responsible for it? Meepa does not even know the conditions presented by that insurance company. Not even in Mipa. Why didn’t MPA give permission for that? What are these facts? What are the conditions? At least it has not been given to the Supervisory Committee. I mean something that is good for this country. I am not speaking from the side of the shipper but thinking about the people of the country. This is what they tried to stop. These people tried to stop all of us from talking. Who hid from Meepa about these conditions?
A panel of 42 experts estimated the damage at $6.4 billion. When doing this damage assessment, the ship owners made a rule that they cannot enter the 500 meters around the ship. If we were allowed to enter, this amount would be more for our people. There is a conspiracy here. The ship owner acted as he wanted, no matter whose power he took. This border is ours. Do not put such restrictions on anyone. Reveal this auspicious hand.
And I. T. O. P. Received technical advice from F. The sectoral monitoring committee was told and they did as they were told. Is it with a brain to take technical advice from an organization that has shippers and is fed by the money of shippers?
He also told about how he searched for companies for litigation. I think the minister used procurement. I accept his word. I think he did the right thing. But I don’t agree with one thing. It is a lie that we do not know about marine environmental tragedies. It is a deception of the people of the country. We have that ability. We have resources. Experts of our country and foreign experts could have been connected. But it didn’t.
Even if this is something related to the environment, the justice minister will answer. There is no environment minister. Meepa is also under UDA. Minister Ali Sabri said to give place to experts. I asked them and did this. However, after the 2019 presidential election, this happened to the country after swallowing all 220 lakh pills. The same people who gave those pills now say stories like this. We have doubts about this medicine given by the government. After swallowing the pill from them, the country was devastated. We have the right to question.
Tell whether these things said will affect the case badly. As far as I know, the amount of compensation will only increase due to these facts.
Now, what these people said is that they paid dollars to a man named Suberi in America with the goods and money of the people of this country to make a replica of the country. Anna Suberi is in prison in America. The country’s experts are not convinced by those who talked about localism in the big picture, but we are confident.
What is the best country to transfer this case? There is something that is not being told to the country about this. There is a convention that imposes limits on the demand for compensation when there is a major destruction of our country’s marine system. We have not signed it. Singapore has signed. This case is assigned in such a country. Einstein doesn’t have to be Socrates for this. Think for yourself whether it is advantageous for us to file a case in a country that imposes international maritime compensation restrictions. Even a preschooler understands this.
The shipping company filed a lawsuit in the UK to limit this compensation. They are trying to limit the compensation to 26 to 27 million dollars. In such a situation, everyone understands what the shipping company is doing. This shipping company comes to shape the fishermen by paying them a small amount and giving them a pittance. We are against this. We want to defeat the shipping company conspiracy and raise $6.4 billion.
Even though we are a safe country, the shipping company puts restrictions on the ship. It was from there that a compensation of 6.4 billion dollars was decided. If the test is done correctly, this compensation will increase. This 6.4 billion means I. M. That’s more than the $2.9 billion in debt from F’s 8 quarters. Even if it is 6.4, if all 225 of us had shouted together and told them that they made a mistake, this compensation amount could have been increased. We must fight.
Also, the emails of the local representative of this shipping company were deleted. This is a problem. When questioned about this in the sectoral committee yesterday, they said that they analyze this under 4 parts. There are parts such as fire, sinking of the ship, post evacuation of the ship. But they have not given the opportunity to do the proper investigations. We wanted to present these facts and raise 6.4 billion. There is no prejudice in the case. Due to the despicable cowardice of the ship owner, we are losing our rightful resources.
I will say some main conclusions about this. Accept if you like. Make fun of the usual action if you like. all right.
Institutions like Meepa, Forest Conservation, Wildlife and Environment should be in one place with immediate effect. And when something like this happens, a presidential performance force should be formed. Neither from that president nor from this president.
Also, our former justice minister said that 5 expert committees were appointed. Even though I was invited to the 1st discussion, I was not invited again. I am still saying what I said then. The former president, who had no idea of a presidential task force, created task forces that broke national unity.
We do not have a national environmental protection program. Even a United Nations report says this. If a marine disaster happens to us, there is nothing we can do. If you are telling the truth, you should go for a sincere and correct legal action. We do not call public officials thieves. I hope that every department, including the Governor’s Department, will do the right thing for the country.
At a time when the country has been bankrupted and the Express Pearl tragedy has occurred, it can be a silver lining for us in terms of compensation. Fishermen perished. He tells amazing stories. Small boundaries were destroyed. Wennappuwa Halawata fishermen did not get money.
Fishermen contribute a lot to us. Fishermen from all parts of the country contributed. The damage to the tourism sector has not been assessed. This is a very smart country
Various things are said to support this weak policy of the government. Nalaka contacted Mr. Godaheva and made fake stories. What responsibility did he break in the decision-making process that led to this? They are deceiving the country by telling fake stories. So don’t tell fake stories and go for proper transparent program.