Publish: 20 Sep 2022, 06:28 pm
Bangladesh has sought support and necessary steps from the international community so that Myanmar does not create instability in the region and avoid the demand for Rohingya repatriation.
“We told them (diplomats) that we seek their help so that Myanmar can’t take advantage – creating instability in the region and refraining from taking Rohingyas back,” acting Foreign Secretary Rear Admiral (retd) Md Khurshed Alam told reporters at state guesthouse Padma today.
Regarding Myanmar blaming the Arakan Army and ARSA for mortar shells landing in Bangladesh, the acting foreign secretary said the Myanmar side always makes the same claims.
Director General (South East Asia wing) at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Md Najmul Huda was also present on the occasion.
Referring to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s position, Khurshed said they are working with a lot of patience, and Bangladesh did not do anything that might cause Myanmar’s mortar shells landing inside its territory, impacting lives and livelihoods of Bangladeshis.
“This can’t continue. We are showing a lot of tolerance and we are not reacting to any provocation from the Myanmar side. We do not want to get involved in it. They (diplomats) appreciated it (Bangladesh position),” he said, adding that Bangladesh does not want to give Myanmar any chance to avoid Rohingya repatriation.
Bangladesh conveyed its concerns over possible instability in the region to diplomats stationed in Dhaka – briefing them on the current situation in bordering areas with Myanmar. The briefing lasted for around 30 minutes this morning.
The diplomats assured Bangladesh of conveying its concerns to their capitals and helping Bangladesh if needed by raising the issue at United Nations.
Explaining all aspects, Khurshed, also Secretary at Maritime Affairs Unit, ruled out Myanmar’s claims. “We briefed them (diplomats) on our Prime Minister’s stance of zero tolerance to terrorism, and that Bangladesh never allows anyone to use its land to destabilize the region.”
Bangladesh also told the Myanmar envoy to take actions so that no mortar shells land in Bangladesh territory.
On Monday, Bangladesh briefed the heads of missions from Southeast Asian countries and apprised them of the prevailing situation at Bangladesh-Myanmar border.
Bangladesh made a similar request to the envoys of ASEAN countries to use their leverage so that mortar shells from Myanmar do not come to Bangladesh.
In two separate briefings, Bangladesh conveyed to the diplomats that not a single Rohingya was taken back over the last five years.
Bangladesh is now hosting over 1.1 million Rohingyas in Cox’s Bazar district and Bhasan Char Island.
On Sunday, Myanmar Ambassador to Bangladesh Aung Kyaw Moe “acknowledged” the firing of multiple mortar shells into Bangladesh territory, but tried to deflect blame by asserting that the insurgents they are engaged in fighting were firing heavy artillery and mortars, some of which landed inside Bangladesh territory.
The envoy was told that the government of Myanmar was responsible for maintaining security inside Myanmar, as well as for respecting the sovereign territory and airspace of Bangladesh.
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