Bangladesh should claim its legitimate sea territory
Tuesday, 29 July 2008

Bangladesh has unfortunately failed to stop India and Myanmar encroaching upon its maritime territory. The seismic survey of Bangladesh’s territorial sea line has now become crucial as a UN set deadline for lodging maritime claims is to expire in next three years exposing Bangladesh to risks of losing a vast territory in the Bay of Bengal. Bangladesh signed by the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea called in 2001 and under the law we are obligated to lodge our claim on the maritime boundary by 2011 .But Bangladesh could not make any major headway in lodging its claims through seismic and other studies despite the fact the country could lose an area in the sea which is larger than the mainland Bangladesh. Experts said, Bangladesh needs to start the seismic survey immediately to claim its legitimate sea territory. Under the convention Bangladesh was required to submit necessary documents to the UN to validate its claim of territorial water, Exclusive Economic Zone up to 200 nautical miles and continental shelf up to 350 nm from the baseline. All together, the sea area is approximately 1.1 percent more than that of the mainland and UNICLOS III is the latest instrument that works as the basis of establishing the claim. Bangladesh crucially needs to establish the claim in the sea for the huge resources  the gas, oil, fish and all other aquatic resources. It is also important from national security point of view. The neighbouring India and Myanmar already proceeded a long way in crisscrossing Bangladesh’s legitimate territorial shoreline. While Bangladesh is lagging behind in preparing the required document to claim the maritime boundary near both the adjacent neighbours, India and Myanmar, floated tender for seismic survey.  According to reports, India tended to encroach an area of 19,000 square kilometers and Myanmar 18,000 square kilometers of the territorial sea line of Bangladesh in the Bay of Bengal. But, it is the slow pace lack of coordination and urgency among concerned agencies and perception on the magnitude of the loss that could lead neighbors to encroach Bangladesh’s territorial sea. Hence Bangladesh should pursue vigorously with objectivity of protecting national sovereignty over the maritime boundary.

Comments Add New
Zahid Hossain  - Why agencies are not responding. |2008-07-30 04:15:51
It's not clear why the authorities are not responding, or if doing why we are not aware of the progress.

We want to see them loud & clear about the issue and resolve it with a fixed period of time keeping a wide margin for 2011. It needs to be directly taken care by the chief adviser/prime minister office.

At last the media needs to be vocal and vigilant on the issue.
ifte  - Govt. Must take Nacessary step |2008-09-08 12:21:57
Our govt. must take nacessary step to secure our sea territory. Govt. can get help from UK or France they have special equipment to servey territory and that is UN recognised
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