(English) Press Notice No: HRC/P/i/E/18/05/23
The HRCSL as part of its ongoing inquiry into the X-Press Pearl ship disaster has today, 17.05.23, submitted an interim report to the President of Sri Lanka. The report is predicated on a careful evaluation of the evidence presented thus far.
The Constitution of Sri Lanka guarantees the Fundamental Right to Equality and Equal Protection of the Law under Article 12(1) of the Constitution, and the freedom to engage in any lawful occupation under Article 14(i)g. The petitioners who raised the complaint related to the X-Press Pearl ship disaster have identified the infringement of the above rights as a consequence of the failure of the government of Sri Lanka to take adequate measures to prosecute, initiate civil action and file for indemnity about the damage caused to the environment, national economy and livelihoods of the communities affected. Furthermore, the fundamental rights are supported by the Fundamental Duties in the Directive Principles of State Policy, in particular, Article 27 (14) – “The State shall protect, preserve and improve the environment for the benefit of the community”, and 27(2)(c) the realization by all citizens of an adequate standard of living.