Fri, 12 Apr 2024 Today's Paper

Ship was carrying US toxic waste to Sri Lanka: Report

1 April 2024 09:59 am - 67     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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The Singapore cargo ship Dali chartered by Maersk, which crashed into the Baltimore, US bridge on Tuesday 26 March, was carrying 764 tons of hazardous materials to Sri Lanka,

US media reported. The waste included mostly corrosives, flammables, miscellaneous hazardous materials, and Class-9 hazardous materials, including explosives & lithium-ion batteries – in 56 containers. So says the US National Transportation Safety Board, still ‘analyzing the ship’s manifest to determine what was onboard’ in its other 4,644 containers. 

Prior to Baltimore, the Dali called at New York and Norfolk, Virginia, which has the world’s largest naval base. Colombo was to be its next scheduled call, going around South Africa’s Cape of Good Hope, taking 27 days, scheduled to land just after our New Year.The US National Transportation Safety Board has reported that the ship had been carrying 764 tons of hazardous materials including explosives to SL in 56 containers The ship is being analysed to determine what was aboard its other 4,644 containers US Department of Homeland Security has also deemed the waters near the crash site as ‘unsafe for divers’ According to ee, who exactly the toxic materials and fuel were destined for in Sri Lanka is unclear

The bridge is a ‘designated hazmat route’ for US trucks carrying hazardous materials With wars in West Asia and East Africa, Sri Lanka has become an even more important transit for shipping According to ee, ‘the extremely opaque nature of global shipowning makes finding the ultimate owners and holding them accountable for any violations dif­ficult’. The Singapore cargo ship Dali chartered by Maersk, which collapsed the Baltimore, US bridge on March 26, was carrying 764 tons of hazardous materials to Sri Lanka–mostly
corrosives, flammables, miscellaneous hazardous materials, and Class9 hazardous materials, including explosives and lithium-ion batteries–in 56 containers. So says the US National Transportation Safety Board, still ‘analysing the ship’s manifest to determine what was onboard’ in its other 4,644 containers.

The e-con e-news (ee) reports that prior to Baltimore, the Dali called at New York and Norfolk, Virginia, which has the world’s largest naval base. Colombo was to be its next scheduled call, going around South Africa’s Cape of Good Hope, taking 27 days, scheduled to land just after our New Year.

According to ee, Denmark’s Maersk, transporter for the US Department of War, is integral to US military logistics, carrying up to 20% of the world’s merchandise trade annually on a fleet of about 600 vessels, including some of the world’s largest ships.

The US Department of Homeland Security has also now deemed the waters near the crash site as ‘unsafe for divers’. An ‘unclassified memo’ from the US Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) says a US Coast Guard team is examining 13 damaged containers, ‘some with Centers for Disease Control & Prevention [CDC] and/or hazardous materials [HAZMAT] contents. The team is also analysing the ship’s manifest to determine if any materials could pose a health risk’. CISA says, officials are also monitoring about 1.8 million gallons of fuel inside Dali for its ‘spill potential’.

The ship had a total of 4,700 containers onboard. Who exactly the toxic materials and fuel were destined for in Sri Lanka is not being reported. Also, it is a rather long way for such Hazmat, let alone fuel, to be exported, at least given all the media blather about ‘carbon footprint’, ‘green sustainability’ etc. We can expect only squeaky silence from the usual eco-freaks, who are heavily funded by the US and EU. It also adds to the intrigue of how Sri Lanka was so easily blocked in 2022 from receiving more neighbourly fuel, etc., which led
to the present ‘regime change’ machinations.

ee has analysed dozens of news stories on the Baltimore crash. No reports in the Sri Lanka media highlight the hazardous materials being carried on the ship. No media reports about who is exporting such toxic waste to Sri Lanka, and who is importing. Instead the US media is attempting to divert attention from Maersk’s involvement. Then again, the media dare not criticise the colonial import-export plantation oligarchy. Yet, there was endless media outragification at alleged contamination in a Chinese ship bringing organic fertiliser to Sri Lanka in May 2021–outrage promoted by English chemical importers to Sri Lanka like ICICIC! According to ee, Maersk’s business partner in Colombo, South Asia Gateway Terminal Ltd. is owned by colonial conglomerate John Keells. Last November 2023, the US International Development Finance Corporation (IDFC) promised a $553 million investment in the Adani Ports-led West Container Terminal port project in Colombo, to be jointly developed with the Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) and John Keells.

This week saw the US State Department training SL Ports Authority senior staff. In February, Maersk Managing Director Biju Ravi called for Colombo ‘to up its game in terms of swift cargo clearance to increase its transhipment business’! Due to the US and its allies waging wars on West Asia and East Africa, Sri Lanka has become an even more important transit for shipping. The more expensive and longer diversions are blamed by the white media on Yemen–which by ‘international law’–controls access through the Red Sea, and
Somalia which has Africa’s largest coastline, and could control eastern access to the large continent.

Maersk also links to Israeli carrier Zim’s ZBA Service through its 2M Alliance with Italy’s Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC), sharing 185 vessels deployed on their Asiaeurope, trans-pacific and trans-atlantic trades. Singapore-flagged Dali is deployed on Maersk’s Asia-us east coast TP12 loop and MSC’S Empire Service.

US media are also diverting attention from Dali’s cargo by insinuating that dirty fuel may have played a role in the ship losing power and hitting Francis Scott Key Bridge, closing the USA’S 5th-busiest East Coast container port. The bridge is named after the composer of the US National Anthem, ‘Star-spangled Banner’, which begins ‘O say, can you see…’ It is unclear, however, given the massive costs involved, O say, who is allowed to see what!? ee states that it is more unclear which Maersk-linked US companies export toxic materials
to Sri Lanka. 

Maersk’s Biju, who wishes ‘swift clearance’, was speaking at an Indian Ocean Strategic Research Centre (IOSRC) collaboration on February 1, to ‘address ensuing challenges and opportunities evolving in the maritime region of the Indian Ocean’. The ‘collaboration’ also included Harikrishshan Sundaram (CEO Colombo West International Terminal), Fredrik Haag (International Maritime Organisation/imo Head of London Convention, Protocol & Ocean Affairs), Chevaan Daniel (Executive Group Director Capital Maharaja Group), and Ruchira Cumaratunga (Professor of Microbiology, Founding Dean, Faculty of Fisheries & Marine Science & Technology).

US trucks carrying Hazmat use this Baltimore bridge, designated as a ‘designated hazmat route’. Meanwhile, US media were also blaming the Baltimore Bridge collapse on a foreign cyber-attack causing the ship to suddenly change course to hit the bridge. Other US media blame ‘immigration’ for the ship’s totally ‘Hindu’ crew, even as it was Baltimore pilots who operate within the harbour. Yet, Asians are used on ships carrying toxic materials over long voyages.

However, the 6 workers killed beneath the collapsing metal, part of a construction crew fixing potholes on the bridge were from Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador employed by US construction company Brawner Builders. The Dali distress signal provided enough time for traffic to be stopped entering the bridge. However, this road repair crew had to remain on the bridge and was not evacuated.

Meanwhile, US politicians in both major parties are ramping up rhetoric against migrants, often fleeing economic and political instability caused by US government action, and encouraged by US industrial recruiting agencies. US President Biden’s recent State of the Union address, included an anti-migrant rant, lamenting the “thousands of people being killed by illegals.”

However, undocumented immigrants are less likely to engage in violent crime than US residents. Baltimore also made other headlines this week as its new $1billion jail for Africans and non-anglo Americans will be Maryland’s ‘most expensive statefunded project in history’ Bloomberg Intelligence says, Maersk may not be liable as the Danish company had no crew onboard and the ship was operated by a charter company. 

‘Maritime insurance will likely cover some of the costs, yet uncertainty around the total liabilities and who will pay for them will likely weigh on Maersk’s spreads in the near term.’ The New York Times adds: ‘Ship ownership structures’ are ‘designed to maximize opacity and minimize accountability. While global companies such as Maersk charter the vessels, the owners and the ship managers are generally responsible for managing the crew and maintaining the ships.

The extremely opaque nature of global ship-owning makes finding the ultimate owners and holding them accountable for any violations dif­ficult. Shipping is the Wild West from a compliance and accountabilit perspective. And when compliance & accountability aren’t priorities, issues like environmental standards, labour practices and health and safety often aren’t either.’

The ship is insured by the Britannia Protection & Indemnity Club, a mutual insurance association, owned by shipping companies. Protection & Indemnity (P&I) clubs are mutual insurance organizations that insure & pool liability for the global shipping industry. About 90% of the world’s ocean-bound cargo is insured by an arm of these International Group of Protection & Indemnity Clubs, which oversee the 12 major mutual insurance associations for ship owners. These International Group of P&I Associations will be hit the hardest, with the group having significant reinsurance coverage, led by Us-owned AXA XL.

The ship’s namesake artist, the fascist Salvador Dali, would have been inspired by this truly surreal example of real capitalist ‘globalisation’.


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  Comments - 67

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  • Chryshan Monday, 01 April 2024 10:14 AM

    These are junk that comes to Sri Lanka with blessings and assistance from so called highly influenced dual citizens. Dump all here make billions of dollars and kill all your fellow citizens in sri lanka so that you can own this land one day. Express pearl is a good example where bribes are taken to delay request compensation.

    For every dual citizen crook there are 1000 Sri Lankan only worse crooks Monday, 01 April 2024 08:01 PM

    Trying to blame other nationality holders is typical scam by MPs. Look at police records and there is 1000 plus times more Sri Lankan national carrying out scams, crooked activity or other wrong doing than people with overseas citizenship.

    More women in power will make the country better, in the minds of fools Monday, 01 April 2024 08:06 PM

    Problem is men, they cause these problems. Take the mens jobs and give them to woman, who are more honest than Sri Lankan and dual citizen men. Everything will be solved.

    Roy B Monday, 01 April 2024 10:16 AM

    Now what our government will do..? Put a invoice for not bringing the materials to SL. Or finding out who and how is bringing and receiving these hazards materials to SL.

    Vipin B Monday, 01 April 2024 05:48 PM

    Appoint a committee consisting of those responsible for this. This way, it will be swept under the carpet in few weeks. The nature of SL is people will talk of this for the next few weeks, after that new stories of corrupt politicians will capture the headlines and np-one will remember this anymore. Welcome to bananaland.

    Lk Monday, 01 April 2024 10:40 AM

    Sri Lanka is not dumping ground for any toxic waste . It is good then all toxicity stayed in USA sea. It is called Karama..you want to dump it in sri Lanka God made it in your country... USA may a superpower in money ; wealth and military but it is morally and ethically poor country than Sri Lanka. If not why do they want to send us this rubbish to us ?

    Sokrates Monday, 01 April 2024 10:41 AM

    It's unbelievable what's happening here. This is not possible without corrupt Sri Lankan politicians. With this quantity and dangerous nature of the goods, the corrupt politicians must come from the highest levels. As long as the current political establishment is still in power, this incident cannot be solved and it is certain that this is not the first incident of its kind. It is not even certain that this shipment will not reach Sri Lanka.

    visnu Monday, 01 April 2024 10:47 AM

    Ports Authority and SL Government must identify the persons behind this shipment to Sri Lanka.

    Copy and paste article doesn't change narrative about Xpress Pearl Monday, 01 April 2024 10:48 AM

    Sri Lanka can try to blame other countries, but fault with Express Pearl is with Sri Lanka poor intellect in decision making. Time and time again in UN HCR that's showing through, with all talk just about 2500 culture. Talk about contents of containers does nothing to blame Singapore for Xpress Pearl, and internationally Sri Lanka known only for tourist destination with poor education system.

    Fool’s Paradise Monday, 01 April 2024 10:57 AM

    Good article. Today is April 1. Cheers

    Gonsta Monday, 01 April 2024 11:13 AM

    Johnston would have paid 6.7 million dollars for this crap again. Aluthgamage would have justified this is good stuff for our agriculture

    Jayampathi Monday, 01 April 2024 05:45 PM

    Johnson would have paid Rs 6.9 Million because it is a lucky number for them that brought success and failure

    Ruwan Monday, 01 April 2024 11:16 AM

    Sri Lanka escaped.

    FredSnR Monday, 01 April 2024 11:17 AM

    Hazardous waste to SL from US who is the importer and these are the same countries promoting renewable energy lower carbon emissions and greening the planet. Ambassador Chung please help

    M Fernando Monday, 01 April 2024 04:23 PM

    These are probably deals arranged as part of continuing IMF support, agreed to by our President to satisfy Western Friends.

    Ranjit Wijesinha Monday, 01 April 2024 11:18 AM

    shocking and sad. Sri lanka has become the dumping ground for toxic waste. Who is behind this toxic waste dumping?

    Premkumar Monday, 01 April 2024 11:18 AM

    Earlier Dammika Perera ‘imported’ UK waste, now who is the culprit behind this hazardous waste dumping plan?

    Tissa Fernando Monday, 01 April 2024 03:57 PM

    Dhammika Perera did not import any garbage, it was imported by another party but they rented the container yard owned by Dhammika Perera's company. The courts found that Dhammika Perera's company had nothing to do with such imports.

    Dinesh Monday, 01 April 2024 11:34 AM

    a hair-raising revelation of accounts for an immediate start of an impartial and comprehensive investigation.

    BuffaloaCitizen Monday, 01 April 2024 11:40 AM

    Definitely this Cargo of Toxic Waste was arriving fully aware by a Minister or a few of them. This is similar to the Fertilizer fiasco where the responsible Ministers are still unpunished, alive and kicking.

    Ganesh Monday, 01 April 2024 11:43 AM

    Question is who is importing this crap in SL? is it the same group that brought the Pearl Disaster not so long ago? then again this is arshikland we will never know the truth.

    nadarajah Monday, 01 April 2024 11:44 AM

    GOD save srilanka

    Chams Monday, 01 April 2024 11:51 AM

    Who imports garbage to Sri Lanka?

    saman Monday, 01 April 2024 12:10 PM

    The Nature saved Sri Lanka. Please take it up in parliament and make an inquiry about who ordered these containers. Another 2019 had been planned?

    Lakmal Kahawela Monday, 01 April 2024 12:22 PM

    Politicians and officials could get a massive bribes by covering up this importation. PLEASE investigate who opened the Letter of Credit (LC) with this shipment

    Bandu Monday, 01 April 2024 12:31 PM

    Good investigative journalism. Find out who ordered the material and what they wanted to do with the material in SL. Some crook in SL probably, tried to make some money by dumping hazard waste in the country.

    Jayantha Silva Monday, 01 April 2024 07:42 PM

    Ruling party MPs probably have a hand in on the commission. Why don't you look at the elephant in the room that government MPs provide the most protection to crooks to do these dastardly deeds. Or you part of those who think the Parliamentarians in power are deserving more respect and benefits. I'm part of the majority who want to see UNP and SLPP gone altogether from this country.

    Part of IMF deal Monday, 01 April 2024 09:46 PM

    Must be part of the deal for IMF loan.

    Tom jones Monday, 01 April 2024 01:08 PM

    Sri Lanka the dumpling ground for all hazardous materials.All the hazardous stuff from USA and European countries is dumped courtesy President Wickremesinghe and Medamulana Clan.

    Sanje Monday, 01 April 2024 01:18 PM

    Hope the issue will be investigated by SL Govt and independent body consigning Hazmat material to SL. This could be verified by the MAERSK line Packing list I believe. Narrow escape SL.. We are still lucky.

    They will cry Monday, 01 April 2024 09:52 PM

    What do you mean by narrow escape. This had been going on for sometime now. The accident was a blessing in disguise that brought the truth to light. If not the SL public would not have learnt about it. Still, this is not the end of the story. These wastes will continue to be dumped in SL. Majority of SL public are naive and will do nothing preventive. Only after a disaster they will cry.

    Gt Monday, 01 April 2024 01:20 PM

    What a joke, sri lanka doesn't have rhe ability to process these dangerous materials, did they balan on dumping it in the ocean? Or land fill? This is a crime against sri lanka, the importer must be imprisoned and containers from the companies involved should be banned from our waters, harmful materials should not be sent to other countries for disposal, its like taking a crap in a bag and throwing it into ur neighbours house, wtf

    Sam Monday, 01 April 2024 01:27 PM

    Peaceful Protest in front of JKH and US Embassy for few weeks will give you the answer to this problem

    M Fernando Monday, 01 April 2024 03:44 PM

    Tear gas, water cannon and baton charge.. that will be your answer. RW doesn't like if Western Friends are offended.

    M Fernando Monday, 01 April 2024 03:44 PM

    Tear gas, water cannon and baton charge.. that will be your answer. RW doesn't like if Western Friends are offended.

    Tissa Fernando Monday, 01 April 2024 04:01 PM

    NPP will never protest in front of the US embassy because their leader is now waiting to be crowned. They will not protest against John Kheels , the powerful company just before the election.

    Wiraj Monday, 01 April 2024 01:31 PM

    We have enough of toxic politicians, bureaucrats and some venomous religious leaders. So no need for extra toxic material from US. Trump will need it anyway, if he is elected.

    Concerned Monday, 01 April 2024 01:47 PM

    Two questions 1. Who is the Consignee ? and Who is the Consignor ? Of the 56 containers.

    Gihan Monday, 01 April 2024 02:25 PM

    Is this being investigated thoroughly? Who are the minister's in charge of environment and customs?

    Rohan Monday, 01 April 2024 02:28 PM

    Is this how the so called 'advanced countries' deal with their toxic waste? By shipping it off to other vulnerable third world countries? An then have the audacity to set other countries various environmental targets!!

    Yohan Monday, 01 April 2024 02:29 PM

    Last time Hayley's name came into the equation... this time who is it?

    Rip Winkle Monday, 01 April 2024 02:39 PM

    I wouldn't object if this load of hazardous materials were dumped in parliament.

    wickrama Wijayasiri Monday, 01 April 2024 02:58 PM

    Poetic justice. Expose the names please, or would they ever get exposed? Where is Julie Chung? Need a statement from her

    wickrama wijayasiri Monday, 01 April 2024 03:00 PM

    Singapore has become the hub for many crooks. What does the Singaporean Government has to say?

    roobarbie Monday, 01 April 2024 03:08 PM

    So, which damn greedy traitor was importing this garbage. Time the people take action and fill his mansion with all the garbage of Sri Lanka.

    Colombo Sam Monday, 01 April 2024 03:40 PM

    imported by the same garbage importer like last time - Dhammika Perera.

    M Fernando Monday, 01 April 2024 03:42 PM

    Our president's "new economic miracle" at work! On behalf of Western Friends, anything goes. This is why SL is suddenly interested in "keeping sea lanes free" ... And facilitating "red tape cutting" This waste would have been dumped in SL, destroying whatever environment we have left.. Customs would have been bribed ahead of time to allow this in. Maybe this is why IMF so easy going ... Fantastic!!!

    M Fernando Monday, 01 April 2024 03:51 PM

    Foolish reporter!!!!.. talking of "eco freaks" in a clear attempt to divert attention and blame to civilians instead of to where the blame REALLY lies... In our corrupt government, ministers, politicians and businessmen who are willing to do anything to make a buck. Do you honestly think "eco freaks" are aware of corrupt deals struck between ministers and vested interests ?

    Gamini Monday, 01 April 2024 03:59 PM

    we don't have money to import essentials but import toxic waste

    SINHALE patriot Weerawanse the great Monday, 01 April 2024 04:18 PM

    Today toxic waste and very soon nuclear waste will be dumped on Srilankan soil.

    Banda Iya Monday, 01 April 2024 04:25 PM

    Modern day Dutugemunu will get US pr. after the election is over. A secret deal

    Joe Monday, 01 April 2024 04:53 PM

    This is how fake patriotic do business.. no conscience..

    DJ Monday, 01 April 2024 05:04 PM

    Very easy to know who is behind this importation. Ask the thugs who run the country.

    GOD WORKS in mysterious ways to open the eyes of the VOTERS Monday, 01 April 2024 06:08 PM

    Would be interesting to know, who approved, who ordered, who the consignment is addressed to in Sri Lanka and where did they plan to dump and or store this consignment?. Hope we get the details before the Presidential Elections .

    Mr FERNANO Monday, 01 April 2024 06:56 PM

    we have already paid the bribe for customs

    Inshi Monday, 01 April 2024 07:13 PM

    What a sad state of affairs. Shouldn't the authorities get to the bottom of this and charge them. Why pollute our beautiful island with rubbish. Are the dollars greater than the health of her people? Time to object to all the nonsense taking place.

    Citizen Monday, 01 April 2024 07:14 PM

    Somebody is making millions and we the citizens have the right to know who....

    Ashley Monday, 01 April 2024 07:45 PM

    It’s good opportunity to opposition and YouTubers to go to the bottom of this disgusting incident,who are involved in this importation,how long he/they doing this,once Dhammika Perera did it, is it the same person by different name what are the companies involved and their link to rajapaksha family so on

    Best Monday, 01 April 2024 08:06 PM

    Our great leaders made this the toxic hub of indian ocean, anybody can dump anything anytime with impunity

    Mahesh Monday, 01 April 2024 08:25 PM

    We need an answer from the responsible ministers on this saga. We can’t manage the households waste and plastics waste but wanted to import all toxic waste from international countries. Can someone explain why we have higher kidney disease and higher cancer rates in Sri Lanka?

    ANNECUNT Tuesday, 02 April 2024 12:56 PM

    the responsible minister is in hospital with a extended headache

    Penalise John Keels Monday, 01 April 2024 09:05 PM

    John Keels colonial group at it.In connivance with Adani group this Tamil group importing waste to our country.

    AJ Tuesday, 02 April 2024 06:59 AM

    If it is done by JKH,we stop dealing with them forever

    melville perera Monday, 01 April 2024 10:27 PM

    still remember the UK hospital waste imported and secretly unloaded and hidden in the port for years tilll a whistleblower acted on it and it was ordered to be shipped back to the exporter. Luckily for sri lanka the ship crashed into the boston bridge Had it reached sri lanka it would have been unloaded as transhipment cargo and ended up like the UK hospital waste. Investigation s should commence immediately to trace the importer amd expose him

    M LAFIR Monday, 01 April 2024 10:46 PM

    This is a serious issue than just toxic waste or dual nationality blaming, I really can't understand why these Sri Lankan people are so naive and stupid at the same time. The mere reason I don't like India is simply because of their bullying and tactical nature to subdue the state of Sri Lanka into submission. My suspicion was, India trying something similar to what happened in Beirut, Lebanon? That explosion was the final nail on the coffin for Lebanon. Was India planning something similar in Colombo, then take over the already ailing country into their orbit to control this ever so vital geographical location? Some of the important terminals have been sold off to Adani, depriving the Sri Lankan state much needed foreign exchange influx. Who on earth would sell a profit making entity? Greedy, gullible, political eunuchs who destroyed this beautiful country should hang their heads in shame.

    Sambo Tuesday, 02 April 2024 07:50 AM

    The people of this country demands to know which politician authorized this for his personal gain. He or she must be taken into custody asap.

    Rohangooneratne@gmail.comlllllll Tuesday, 02 April 2024 01:07 PM

    God is with our nation


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