Colombo: Refuting reports that Sri Lanka
made any claims over India`s Andaman Islands, Foreign Minister
Rohitha Bogollagama has said the country was only seeking
undersea sediment rights near the Islands.
"On November 4, in response to a question that was raised
(in the House), I never said that we are going to claim
Andaman Islands or any of the Islands belonging to India,"
Bogollagama told the Sri Lankan Parliament.
He was responding to a query from senior UNP opposition
leader Ravi Karunanayake about Sri Lanka`s claim for its sea
bed rights under the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea.
The UN Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf
will decide the Lankan case for extending the outer limit of
legal continental shelf beyond 200 nautical miles, which will
also cover some undersea areas near the Andamans.
"It was categorically stated that our continental shelf
lies below those part but in the event there are overlapping
areas there is the consultation process which I have
reiterated in my statement," he told the House yesterday.
The minister said that five rounds of consultations have
been held with India in this regard since the work commenced
on Sri Lanka`s submission.