‘TROUBLED WATERS’: MARITIME ISSUES IN PALK STRAIT, INDIAN OCEAN

Troubled Waters’: Maritime Issues in Palk Strait, Indian Ocean,  SAMUDERA – Journal of Maritime and Coastal Studies, Vol. 1(1), September 2019, 35-48. 

India had settled maritime boundary issues with all its neighbours including Sri Lanka. In reality, however, India still has issues to be addressed in Palk Strait with Sri Lanka in the Indian Ocean. In spite of the existence of two maritime agreements of 1974 and 1976, there are certain irritants between the two neighbours. The main issue is the status of Kachchativu, a small barren island in the Palk Bay area and the fishing around it. The contest for marine resources in and around Kachchativu by Indian and Sri Lankan fishermen has not only  heighten the disagreement between stakeholders but also led to demands to reclaim the island by Indian fishermen and Dravidian political parties in Tamil Nadu. The paper examines the historical debates between two countries on the legal claim of the barren island, its settlement and its implication on India’s domestic politics, and the challenges faced at the moment. Particularly, the recurring attack on Indian fishermen in Palk Straits by the Sri Lankan Navy then and now has become a contentious issue between two neighbours, which require comprehensive analysis. Finally, the paper highlights the availability of reasonable options before two countries in strengthening of cooperation and amicable settlement of fishery row.

Authors

M. Mayilvaganan
Associate Professor in the International Strategic and Security Studies Programme (ISSSP) at the National Institute of Advance Studies (NIAS), Bangalore.

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One thought on “‘TROUBLED WATERS’: MARITIME ISSUES IN PALK STRAIT, INDIAN OCEAN

  • Rahul Dev

    If want an edge over our adversaries,we must explore and built some off-shore naval bases for our strategic forces to counter Chinese ‘String of pearls’. As, our policy makers has not advocated the ‘counter value force’ against our adversaries and believes in Universal Brotherhood. As, their will no compromise in defence preparededness. We must collaborate with Russia,US,Japan and Israel. Future military balance of power based on naval coteries in Indian and Pacific Ocean. As China said the Indian ocean is not india’s ocean the same thing applied , South China sea is not China’s Sea.

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