May 06, 2009 (LBO) – Sri Lanka is set to formally submit its claim for sovereignty over a bigger area of the ocean floor surrounding the island under international law, officials said.
“The survey confirmed the assumptions made by Sri Lanka’s Law of the Sea delegation in 1970s and 1980s regarding the location of 1km isopach sediment thickness contour below the seabed,” he said.
“It also revealed the character of sediment in the further end of the Bay of Bengal fan which Sri Lanka is claiming.”
But Jayawardene said any pronouncement on the potential for oil and gas will have to await a phase of prospecting which may not happen in the immediate future as deepwater exploration is once more on the back burner given the fall in oil prices.
The original deadline for submitting Sri Lanka’s claim was May 13 2009 but the time limit has been relaxed.
Shavindra Fernando, legal adviser to Sri Lanka’s foreign ministry, through which the claim must be submitted, said the deadline was taken off to enable more time for UN member countries to submit their claims.
“But we’re working towards the previous deadline,” he said. “We’re hopeful of making the submission before the