The Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) today urged the government to initiate an independent investigation into allowing the MV X-press Pearl vessel that caught fire in Sri Lankan waters, claiming that the whole episode involving the ship was suspicious.
JVP Leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake told a news conference that the government should reveal all the facts with regard to this whole incident involving the ship to the people and take proper action against the political authority and the officials responsible for the disaster, one of the worst the country had faced.
“It is reported that there was some smoke in the ship when it reached Sri Lankan waters. The ship has been denied entry to two other ports. It is suspicious that who gave permission to the ship to enter Sri Lankan marine territory. What are the reasons for making such a decision,” he asked.
MP Dissanayake said it was suspicious that why the authorities failed to douse the fire or tow it to deep seas before it sank and added that all these issues should not be allowed to submerge with the ship.
“There was a time when ships carrying hazardous substances and waste were sunk in African seas with the support of corrupt rulers of some African countries. People raise doubts whether the same thing is happening in Sri Lanka. We heard one minister saying that Sri Lanka would receive compensation. We doubt if the government has made it a source to earn dollars by sinking ships. The government should give a clear response to this issue,” he said.
He said a huge damage has been caused to the marine environment that could not be restored or repaired for decades and the fishery industry is also in deep crisis due to this disaster.(Ajith Siriwardana)