Sri Lanka pushing for Indian Ocean code of conduct in navigation: Harsha

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka is pushing for rule based navigation in the Indian Ocean, where there is currently a gap in the global framework, Deputy Economic Policy Minister Harsha de Silva said.

Sri Lanka has historically been a centre for Indian Ocean trade and commerce dating back over to thousand years, but after World War II interest was lost in the region as growth declined and the Asia closed.

But with East Asia opening up, there has been greater interest in the region and the India Ocean.

De Silva said Prime Minister Wickremesinghe last year brought up the subject of devising rules for navigation in the Indian Ocean in Australia.

"We have been having exploratory talks with the major users of the Indian Ocean," de Silva told a meeting form the Australia New Zealand business council of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce in Colombo Tuesday.

Under United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), there were codes of conduct for the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans/

"But there is no code of conduct for the Indian Ocean," he said.

Sri Lanka is straddling the main East West shipping routes, with the Hambantota port closest.

China is due to start managing the port from December, with military activity prohibited. (Colombo/Nov07/2017)





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