Member of Parliament Ajith Mannapperuma says that he was the one who told Justice Minister Wijayadasa Rajapaksa that there was some information to the effect that an Englishman had deposited money in the Bahamas to delay the compensation case being filed against the Express Pearl ship accident.
He said this while commenting in today’s debate in Parliament regarding the Express Pearl ship accident, alleging that the Attorney General’s Department, as well as the Minister of Justice, were not working in tandem to get the money due to Sri Lanka for the destruction caused by the Express Pearl ship.
Mr. Mannapperuma mentioned that the Minister of Justice danced like a peacock in front of the media with the news he gave, and everyone knew that his backside was badly exposed.
He alleged that the Environmental Protection Authority conducted investigations regarding the damage caused by the Express Pearl ship and handed over all that information to the Attorney General’s Department, but the Attorney General’s Department was not ready to work with the MIPA in this regard. The MP said that despite the possibility of suing the Sri Lankan shipping company, the Attorney General’s Department took a loan of 4.5 million dollars from Singapore and made arrangements to file a case in Singapore.
“The Minister of Justice says that there are no proper laws in Sri Lanka.” Vijayadasa Rajapaksa served as the Minister of Justice in every government. So didn’t he have the power to make laws? Mannapperuma queried.
Usually, when there is a ship accident, the insurance company comes to take the ship. Then that party should deposit money in the bank to cover the damage. There must be a backbone to say that it cannot be moved without depositing the money equivalent to the damage caused. Otherwise, a letter of undertaking must be obtained and signed by the insurance company. Only when the money is deposited in the bank will they allow the ship to be inspected? No one in Sri Lanka had the backbone to tell this to the insurance company.
Our committee is currently targeting 15 billion dollars, according to the damage caused by the ship. When it is possible to get that much money, the Attorney General’s department is trying to get about 5 million dollars by instituting action in Singapore. We need to find out who the hidden hand that manipulates things from behind the scenes to make matters worse for Sri Lanka.