India has requested Sri Lanka to back its claims for compensation /damages from the insurers and owners of MT New Diamond and MV X-Press Pearl.
In line with ‘Polluter Pay Principle’, as per international norms, India has raised a claim for deployment, salvage activities and items/stores undertaken by their ships and has requested Colombo to join their claims with that of the Sri Lankan side in the respective forum
The IHC issued the following statement: “High Commission of India has come across media reports which suggest that Government of India has demanded compensation/damages from Government of Sri Lanka towards the assistance provided during the fire incidents onboard MT New Diamond and MV X-Press Pearl in September 2020 and May-June 2021. Such reports are completely false and incorrect.
It may be recalled that the Government of India immediately deployed ships of the Indian Coast Guard (ICG) in response to specific requests from Sri Lanka Navy for providing expeditious assistance to fight the fire incidents onboard MT New Diamond and MV X-Press Pearl. Rescue operations conducted by these ships were instrumental in curtailing the hazardous effects of the two fire incidents and thereby limiting the damage on the maritime and marine environment of Sri Lanka.
In line with ‘Polluter Pay Principle’ as per international norms, we have raised a claim for deployment, salvage activities and items/stores undertaken by these ships. The Government of Sri Lanka has been requested to join our claims with that of the Sri Lankan side in the respective forum. It is emphasized that the request has been for presenting these claims to the Insurer/Owner for settlement and reimbursing the compensation received through established channels.
It is reiterated that India has not demanded any damages/compensation from the Government of Sri Lanka and Government of India’s immediate deployment of ships are in line with ‘Neighbourhood First’ policy and Security And Growth for All (S.A.G.A.R) doctrine.”