Maritime Boundary Issues: Bangladesh, Mayanmar And India

Category: General
Posted on: Tuesday, September 19, 2017



Over the maritime boundary and Exclusive Economic Zone in the Bay of bangle, a dispute has been going on among Bangladesh, India and Myanmar for long. But, dispute between Bangladesh and India is still hanging on the string (undecided) through India has already claimed major areas of Bangladesh maritime territory in their submissions to UNO. Of causes, of Bangladesh has not remained sitting idle. Bangladesh prepared to fight a lawful against Indian claim in the international court. Bangladeshi effort to settle the disputes with neighbors through negotiation failed to reach the minds of them. For example, India and Myanmar encroached Bangladesh territory to carry out surveys collecting useful information to include in their submission. But a few days ago June 2012, Bangladesh, through a verdict of the international Court, won party against the illegitimate claim of Myanmar. The verdict indicates that Buy is partly ours.

What is the maritime boundary?

Maritime boundary is a conceptual means of division of the water surface of the plant into maritime areas that are defined through surrounding physical geography or by human geography. As such it usefully include areas of exclusive national rights over the mineral and biological resources encompassing maritime features, limits and zones.

Bangladesh & India:

It may be recalled that during the tenure of the then Caretaker Government, Bangladesh had a non-conclusive talk with India from 15th 18thSeptember, 2008 on maritime boundary issue. Bangladesh team was led by the then additional foreign secretary M.K. Mahmud While rear Admiral B. R. Rao led Indian delegation. The discussion featured discussion on ownership of South Telepathy Island, initial starting point for demarcation maritime boundary, Exclusive Economic Zone in the deep sea and other technical issues. There were heated argument, but Bangladesh and India failed of come to an agreement on the starting point. India delegation was insisting that main current of Hariabhanga River is following along east of South Talpatty. But Bangladesh with proper justification reiterated for claiming ownership of South Talportty. Bangladesh with proper justification reiterated that South Talorty is formed from the combined current of Hariabhanga, Raimongol ans Jamuna river. This legitimizes Bangladesh claim that India has on justifiable logic to claim South Talpartty as the main current of the Hariabhanga flows on the west of south Talpatty. It is relevant to quote here that the present controversy Redcliff, the British surveyor, engaged in demarcating the boundary between Pakistan and India, can be held responsible. He feft only a cross at about 15 km upstream of south Talpartty in the Bay-of- Bengal. Dhaka proposed to ignore this cross or consider the middle point as the starting point ot demareate the Exclusive Zone of the two countries. But Delhi did not agree. Bangladesh, considered South Talpatty as the starting point to its maritime boundary and map its Exclusive Zone.

Here it is relevantly notable that the island Talportty is virtually nonexistent at this moment deposit the running deposit between Bangladesh and India. India set up its flag in 1980s and included it in its map. But Bangladesh must be its legitimate owner as the current of Hariabhanga river flows along the west of this island. South Talportty is it the confluence of Hariabhanga river off Satkhira. But due to failures of our foreign ministry and different related divisions. Bangladesh is facing an acute crisis regarding this. Our neighbor, especially India, is taking a chance of the crisis. On the other hand, in spite of Bangladesh lack of preparedness, India has completed its work and submitted to UN with detail facts and figures. Of course, Bangladesh has done the same later.

However, Bangladesh signed UN Convention of UNLOS in 2001. According to it, maritime boundary of the countries along the sea-coast will extend 200 nautical miles from the shore. The Exclusive Economic Zone will extend another 150 lm in length and breadth into the deep sea. All disputes, claims of neighbors are also required to be settled within, 10 years of signing. But the result is Zone still today regarding India and Bangladesh dispute.

Bangladesh & Myanmar:

Now comes the question of disputes between Bangladesh and Myanmar which also claimed like India significant areas in their submission which actually belong to Bangladesh. In the introduction of this composition it has been already mentioned that Bangladesh has shown somewhat success in gaining some blocks of Exclusive Economic Zone in the deep sea. So this side should be focused relevantly. The landmark verdict at the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS) in Hamburg has established legal territorial rights of Bangladesh in the Bay-of-Bengal. The court sustained Bangladesh's claim to settle maritime boundary with Myanmar. The verdict cannot be appealed against and has already been effective. It is expected that the dispute with India over maritime boundary will also settled with this consecution by 2014.

Records show that the first step was taken by Sheikh Mujibur Rhaman who enacted the Territorial Water and Maritime Zone Act, 1974. Soon after of regret is the Myanmar changed its stance later. In February, 2008, the then Caretaker Government invited bids for sea exploration, but India and Myanmar opposed jointly because of objections of almost all the blocks bordering their maritime boundaries Myanmar even claimed right for a part of Bangladesh. In the severe strain of tension in 2008, both the countries sent their Navy to disputed area. In this situation, Bangladesh was forced to file cases against India and Myanmar with two separate UN courts, and after a hearing of the case between Bangladesh and Myanmar, Bangladesh has got 1,11,631sq km of the 1,07,000sq km in the Bay. We have also been awarded a full12 mile territorial sea around St. Martin's Island. According to the United Nations connection on the law of the sea any such dispute should be resolved on the basis of equity and on the light of relevant circumstances. This makes Bangladesh demand for equity based demarcation justified. The Un court judgment is important in many fields. Firstly, it is the first dispute concerning maritime boundary delimitation decided by the ITLOS. Secondly, it is the judgment of International Court which directly addresses the delimitation of the continental beyond 200 nautical miles. The judgment will also be an important point of reference in the ongoing dispute between India and Bangladesh.


On the light of above discussion, it may be said that settlement between Bangladesh and Myanmar is somehow satisfactory because we have not got our right back totally. But in most cases, the result is in favor of us. However Bangladesh's win over Myanmar, in relation to meantime Boundary, will help the country have a larger deep sea oil and gas exploration area in the estern Bay-of Bengal. ITLOS verdict means ensuring full control over our sea area. To sustain the control Bangladesh Navy must be able to coordinate with maritime forced. The maritime domain is the most promoting way for Bangladesh to pursue its national interests of well-being of the nation. Given he current global and regional security environment, comprehensive maritime security is required. That is why; the government should take stringent measures to safeguard the country's maritime territory. The government must not allow the dispute between Bangladesh and India to go in hibernation anyhow.