Dhaka, Bangladesh: Bangladesh maritime territory in the Bay of Bengal is constantly being encroached upon by both India and Burma to explore natural resources, mainly oil and gas, according to an official report.
 
Both Bangladesh's neighbors have on several occasions 'intruded' into Bangladesh's maritime area despite Dhaka formally protesting against it in May this year. This despite both countries' officially informing the Foreign Ministry that they would not violate international laws as the areas had not been demarcated.
 
During the BIMSTEC (Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation) Ministerial meeting in New Delhi early this month, Burma as the lead country on energy submitted a report with a clear claim on two blocks - A-1 (5.9 TCF reserve) and A-3 (6.6 TCF reserve), which clearly fall within Bangladesh territory. Later, a portion of the claim was dropped following opposition by Bangladeshi officials.
 
At present, there is no demarcation of a maritime zone either between Burma and Bangladesh or between Bangladesh and India to trigger any bitter dispute.
 
Bangladesh must accept that there is no alternative to across the table negotiations in settling such issues of maritime boundary. But definitely non-delineation of maritime boundary, either with India or with Burma, simply prevents Bangladesh from drawing any solace that the issues are going to be solved, if not immediately, then in the near future and more importantly in Bangladesh’s favour, according the statement of Commodore Mohd.Khurshed Alam ndc, psc (Retd) under title of “Urgency of demarcating maritime boundary with Burma.”
 
Besides living resources, there is immense possibility of discovering non-living resources, mainly minerals, in the maritime zones that Bangladesh should have control of as per the United Nations Convention on the Laws of the Sea (LoS), according to experts.