How can this happen?
Posted on September 13th, 2020

By Noor Nizam, September 12th., 2020.

The Sunday Morning says that Sri Lanka stands to lose the opportunity of claiming one-fourth the value of the MT New Diamond and one-fourth the crude oil on board (67,500 metric tonnes) due to an oversight by Sri Lanka’s maritime authorities. 

The Undersigned had published this article/content and had forwarded it to the Attorney General’s Office, Chairman MEPA and the Office of the Secretary to the President as shown below. An immediate inquiry regarding this has to take has to be launched by the President immediately regarding the failure of the political and administrative officials to have allowed this to happen, even when a”citizen” of Sri Lanka had requested for immediate action citing “The International Convention On Salvage, IMO 1989” to make the claim as early as September 7th., 2020 

Noor Nizam.


The emails sent attached below:

Noor Nizam <>




Mon., Sep. 7 at 12:51 a.m.

Dear Sirs,

Please kindly find below an article published regarding salvaging the burning oil tanker MT. New Diamond of the shores of Ampara in the Eastern Province for your kind information and necessary action please.


Noor Nizam.


The article/content attached below:


By Noor Nizam – Peace and Political Activist, Political Communication Researcher & SLFP/SLPP Stalwart, September 6th., 2020.

The law of salvage is a principle of Maritime Law whereby any person who helps recover another person’s ship or cargo in peril at sea is entitled to a reward commensurate with the value of the property salved. Maritime law is inherently international, and although salvage laws vary from one country to another, generally there are established conditions to be met to allow a claim of salvage. The law of salvage is the result of the Latin negotiorum gestio concept. In the circumstances of the “SALVAGING” the Super Oil Tanker MT. New Diamond off the coast of Ampara in the Eastern Province, Sri Lanka is fully qualified to make this legitimate claim.

Sri Lanka should make the best of this great achievement in maritime history where the Sri Lankan authorities (Government, Sri Lankan Navy, Air Force and the Ports Authority ) took control of dosing the fire under tremendous stress and averted a great world disaster to maritime environment in the Indian Ocean, which was expressed by Dharshani Lahandapura, the chair of Sri Lanka’s Marine Environmental Protection Authority (MEPA), that an oil spill from the ship would be “one of the biggest environmental disasters not only in the region but in the world”. 

Dosing this fire and bringing it under control, as it is now by the Sri Lankan team is being praised by many developed nations in the region. It is only correct that Sri Lanka which has the “FIRST CALL” on the salvage of this Oil Tanker MT New Diamond  owned by Liberia-based Porto Emporios Shipping Inc., for being the first “VOLUNTEER” to go to it’s rescue, in accordance with “The International Convention On Salvage, IMO 1989”, should pursue a course of action deemed proper to buy the 2700 MT of the crude oil and the 1700 MT of diesel in the tanker, once it is fully salvaged and anchored in a safe point. The ship was chartered for the voyage by the Indian Oil Corporation which will try to claim the crude oil and the diesel without giving an option to Sri Lanka to buy the salvage cargo.

With the ongoing new developments of this crisis and the intervention of International players and high profile business and technical experts arriving in Sri Lanka and moving to the disaster zone where the Oil tanker is floating, held by a tugboat, many proposition are being suggested to make sure that there will “NOT” be further losses to the owners of the vessel, even at the cost of great loss to Sri Lanka and our eastern coastal environment threatened by oil spills. Because Sri Lanka has never experienced such a disaster in the past and Sri Lankan officials have not much “ON-THE-JOB TRAINING” in this area, they can be “DUPED” by these so-called international experts to agree to terms and conditions of the “Salvage” claims “DETRIMENTAL” to Sri Lanka’s benefits of “GAINS”. Therefore Sri Lankan Officials should move forward in this matter very cautiously and carefully to get the maximum benefits for our “MAATHRUBOOMIYA”. This does not undermine the ability and capabilities of our officials, but only just to ring a bell of warning.

Immediately the fire was announced and the Sri Lankan Navy, Air Force and the Ports Authority took control of dosing the fire under tremendous stress, while the Indian coast guard, the 2 Russian ships docked at the Hambantota habour joined and later a tug boat hired by the owners came into the scene, the undersigned with farsighted thought made comments in this medium that the the Government of Sri Lanka and or it’s authorities responsible for this should register the claim of salvage” immediately with the owners of the Oil tanker. This was because The Sri Lankan government (Navy, Air Force and the Ports Authority) were incurring a lot of expenses and engagement of manpower resources to save this great valuable oil tanker and the crude oil in it from a great environmental disaster as was stated by the Sri Lanka Navy on Sept. 4th, 2020.

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