Sri Lanka submits seabed claim to UN

May 12, 2009 (LBO) – Sri Lanka formally presented its claim for sovereignty over an extended continental shelf around the island under international law to the United Nations last Friday, government officials said. The claim will be considered at the 24th session of the UN Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf to be held in New York from August 10 to September 11 this year.

The government, in its submission, said it held talks with India concerning its sea bed claim.

The government also said there was no dispute relating to the submission and that Sri Lanka has no pending maritime boundary disputes with neighbouring states.

The submission said Sri Lanka’s continental margin displays the special geological and morphological characteristics described in the ‘Statement of Understanding’ of the UN Commission under which the claim is made.

This refers to the fact that Sri Lanka’s continental margin is characterised by a very narrow shelf, a very steep slope and an extensive rise.

Sri Lanka had requested the UN to consider these disadvantages in its claim for sovereignty over the seabed in the early stages of the talks under the UN Law of the Sea Convention.

As a result, the S