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Friday June 18th, 2021
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Sri Lanka okays towing X-Press Pearl to deeper waters

BOARDED: Salvors in protective gear on board the twisted metal hulk of the X-Press Pearl

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s President Gotabaya Rajapaksa had given the go ahead for salvors to tow X-Press Pearl, a burnt out container vessel anchored in the outer harbhour of Colombo port, to deeper waters, while investigators questioned the crew.

“The President gave instructions to issue an order to tow the vessel into the deep seas based on the powers vested with the Chairman of the Marine Environment Protection Authority and based on technical facts as well as the advice of the Attorney General,” a statement from his office said.

“The President stated that the decision taken should be based solely on technical facts and not on politics.”

The move came amid reports that authorities were probing whether the vessel was taking in water.

Sri Lanka has questioned the captain of X-Press Pearl and courts have issued an order barring them from leaving the country.

Salvors boarded the vessel on June 01.

Sri Lanka’s National Aquatic Resources Agency said it had taken water and soil samples from the waters and seabed below the wreck.

The acid level around the waters was no unusually high and soil samples would be tested.

Clean-up of beaches are continuing. (Colombo/June03/2021)

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