• Saturday, Oct 16, 2021
  • Last Update : 09:01 pm

Bangladesh objects to Indian claims on continental shelf

  • Published at 08:02 pm September 18th, 2021
Bay-of-Bengal-Dhaka-Tribune
File photo of Bhola fishermen out in the Bay of Bengal in their trawlers Dhaka Tribune

In a letter to the UN secretary-general, Dhaka made it clear that maritime boundary with India was determined by the Permanent Court of Attribution in its verdict on July 7, 2014

Bangladesh has objected to Indian claims on the continental shelf of the Bay of Bengal, completely disregarding the assertion made by New Delhi.

In a letter to the United Nations secretary-general on September 13, Bangladesh made it clear that the maritime boundary with India was determined by the Permanent Court of Arbitration in its verdict on July 7, 2014.

In April, India made some claims with the Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf (CLCS) on Bangladesh’s assertion on the continental shelf. New Delhi said that some of the areas claimed by Bangladesh belonged to India.

At that time, Bangladesh objected to the Indian claims, saying that there was no legal basis on the assertion made by India.

Reminding that the boundary was determined by the verdict on July 7, 2014, the letter to the UN chief said, “The Government of the Republic of India published gazette notifications (Ministry of External affairs Notification, New Delhi, G.S.R. 334(E) dated 23rd March 2016 & GSR 381 (E) dated 29 Mar 2016, respectively) reflecting the Award of the arbitral tribunal related to the single maritime boundary line between Bangladesh and India, including the intersection point of the two maritime boundary lines at precisely the same coordinates as identified by Bangladesh in its amended submission.

“There is therefore no dispute between Bangladesh and India as to the limits of Bangladesh’s entitlement to the continental shelf beyond 200 M in the Bay of Bengal.”

The Commission (CLCS) has no role to play in the determination of the extent of the so-called “Grey area” where the Exclusive Economic Zone of India overlaps with the continental shelf beyond 200 M of Bangladesh. The Commission’s role is limited to determining that Bangladesh has an entitlement in the continental shelf beyond 200 M and the limit(s) of that entitlement,” stated the letter.

“In its original submission to the Commission dated 25 February 2011, Bangladesh defined the limits of the continental shelf beyond 200 M by reference to the depth formula (2500 m isobath + 100 M), which limit was substantially beyond the limit defined by the tripoint where its maritime boundaries with India and Myanmar intersect,” it reads.

“The Commission therefore needs only to determine that Bangladesh’s entitlement in the continental shelf beyond 200M extends at least as far as the tripoint based on the Award of the Annex VII tribunal and the Judgment of ITLOS and take notice of the fact that its potential entitlement has already been greatly curtailed by the decisions of those tribunals,” it added.

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