- Qadir Kallol
- BBC Bangla, Dhaka
3 hours ago
The Foreign Ministry in Dhaka said that the explanation given by that country regarding the recent tension on the border by calling the ambassador of Bangladesh in Yangon, Myanmar, is not acceptable.
For the first time, Myanmar explained its position to the ambassador of Bangladesh last Monday.
Bangladeshi officials say Bangladesh believes that Myanmar is deliberately inciting a destabilizing situation by not taking back the Rohingya refugees.
The officials mentioned that Bangladesh is trying to solve the issue diplomatically without stepping into that provocation.
On Tuesday, the officials of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs held a meeting with the ambassadors or high commissioners of all foreign missions and highlighted this position of Bangladesh.
Bangladesh has protested by summoning the country’s ambassador posted in Dhaka four times to the Foreign Ministry against the background of Myanmar’s mortar shelling and continued tension on the border.
In response to this, Myanmar’s foreign ministry called Manjurul Karim Khan Chowdhury, the ambassador of Bangladesh in Yangon, and explained them.
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What Myanmar said in explanation
Foreign Ministry sources in Dhaka said the Myanmar government blamed the shelling and mortar attacks along the border on the insurgent groups Arakan Army and Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army, or Arsa.
In support of this statement, Myanmar said that the Arakan Army and Arsa attacked a Myanmar Border Guard police post and three mortar shells landed in Bangladesh.
At the same time, Myanmar has accused Bangladesh of having bases of Arkan Army and Arsa inside Bangladesh and requested Bangladesh to investigate them.
Explanation not acceptable: Bangladesh
However, acting foreign secretary of Bangladesh and retired rear admiral Khurshed Alam says, Myanmar’s explanation and complaints are not acceptable.
“The explanation given by them (Myanmar) that Arakan Army or Arsa fired mortars on the border is not acceptable.”
“We have told them, Bangladesh has a zero tolerance policy against terrorism. We do not give shelter to anyone. You can ask India (Myanmar) about this,” he said.
“Using our (Bangladesh) land to harm anyone else or any country – this our honorable Prime Minister has never approved and will never do.”
He also said that Myanmar had given information about the Arakan Army bunkers on the border of Bangladesh. But after looking into them, no truth of these information was ever found.
‘Rohingya camp on zero line aimed at Miramar’
Khurshed Alam’s statement is that Myanmar is trying to put its own blame on others with these statements.
In the explanation of Mr. Alam said that the camp of Rohingyas in Konapara area on the zero line of the border, where they (Myanmar) are being shelled, half of this camp is inside Myanmar. The other half is near the border of Bangladesh.
“We say, the Rohingyas of this camp were not allowed to enter Bangladesh. They are inside Myanmar.
“That’s why they (Myanmar) have tried to remove this camp several times before. Now they (Myanmar) are systematically shelling this camp along with other areas of the border,” said Bangladesh’s Acting Foreign Secretary.
This Rohingya camp is located in the Tumbru area of Naikshyongchari, Bandarban district, on the zero line of the border with Myanmar. One person was killed and several others injured when a mortar shell from Myanmar exploded in this camp last Friday.
Despite protests by Bangladesh, shelling continues on the Myanmar border.
‘Bangladesh will not step into Myanmar’s trap’
Bangladesh believes that Myanmar is trying to involve Bangladesh in creating a destabilizing situation by systematically inciting them not to take back the Rohingyas.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Bangladesh presented its position to the diplomats of the ASEAN countries in Dhaka last Monday.
Foreign Ministry officials also held a meeting with the heads of missions of other countries outside the alliance on Tuesday.
After that meeting, Acting Foreign Secretary Khurshed Alam said that Bangladesh is seeking a diplomatic solution to the issue without stepping into Myanmar’s provocation or trap.
He said, “Foreign diplomats have appreciated Bangladesh’s patience in the face of border provocations by Myanmar.
“A couple of (foreign diplomats) have also asked us why we are not taking strong action – but we said, if we take strong action, they (Myanmar) will say that we are supporting the Arakan Army.
“Furthermore, our main objective of repatriating the Rohingyas will be hampered, which we do not want. That is why we have not taken a strong stand,” said Khurshed Alam.
‘Foreign diplomats will stand by Bangladesh’
He also said that after hearing their speech or knowing the position of Bangladesh, foreign diplomats have assured that each of their countries will stand by Bangladesh.
On the other hand, Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan said a few days ago that Bangladesh will raise the issue of border tension with Myanmar at the United Nations.
Now Acting Foreign Secretary Khurshed Alam has said that foreign diplomats have assured Bangladesh of cooperation in the matter that Bangladesh is going to the United Nations regarding this border issue of Myanmar.
Analysts believe that Bangladesh is trying to create international pressure on Myanmar from a diplomatic point of view.
A former ambassador, Humayun Kabir, told the BBC that Myanmar’s internal problems have complicated the situation.
“Internal issues in Myanmar’s Rakhine State appear to have complicated the situation.”
Meanwhile, the residents of Tumbru border area of Naikxyongchari upazila of Bandarban said that they are hearing intermittent gunshots from Myanmar 24 hours a day.
A Rohingya leader in a camp at the Line of Zero has reportedly written a letter to the UN Secretary-General expressing concern about their safety.