Watch Out

Sri Lanka warned Thursday it may resort to legal action against neighbouring India over its plan to dredge the shallow sea dividing the two nations, but hoped to settle the issue amicably. Sri Lanka warned Thursday it may resort to legal action against neighbouring India over its plan to dredge the shallow sea dividing the two nations, but hoped to settle the issue amicably. Sri Lanka’s Foreign Minister Lakshman Kadirgamar said Colombo could take India’s Sethusamudram Ship Canal Project to an international court but added that this would be a “last resort.”

“This is obviously a measure of last resort in the event of failure to resolve any issue through bilateral consultations and friendly cooperation,” the minister told parliament.

Sri Lanka has expressed fears that the Indian project could take away shipping from Colombo’s main port and also pose a security threat to the island republic.

Indian Premier Manmohan Singh inaugurated the project five days ago. The 560 million dollar venture aims to upgrade India’s maritime infrastructure to cope with rapid economic growth.

The dredging of the sea bed and clearing channel for shipping along the narrow Palk Straits will sl