Bangladesh-Myanmar border tension: ASEAN envoys to relay Dhaka's concerns



The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) envoys stationed in Dhaka have said they will relay Bangladesh's concerns over the situation along the Bangladesh-Myanmar border to their capitals.

Acting Foreign Secretary Rear Admiral Md Khorshed Alam (retired) briefed the heads of missions from the southeast Asian countries in Dhaka Monday and informed them about the current situation in the bordering areas of Bangladesh and Myanmar.

The acting foreign secretary conveyed the deep concerns of Bangladesh about the recent incidents as mortar shells from Myanmar fell and exploded inside Bangladesh territory. Also, there were indiscriminate aerial firings, human fatalities and serious injuries, and damage to the properties and livelihood of the people in the bordering areas with Myanmar.

Director General (South East Asia wing) at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) Md Najmul Huda was also present.

However, no diplomat from Myanmar was there at the briefing but diplomats from other ASEAN countries – Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam – were present.

MoFA is likely to brief the other foreign diplomats stationed in Dhaka Tuesday to highlight recent incidents, including Myanmar's repeated space and land violations.

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 the insurgents they are engaged in the fighting were firing heavy artillery and mortars, some of which landed inside Bangladesh.

Bangladesh urged Myanmar to refrain from activities that inflict damage to the lives and livelihoods of people, noting that the ongoing situation is creating an atmosphere of "fear' among the innocent people living in the bordering areas with Myanmar.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs yesterday summoned the Myanmar envoy for the fourth time since August and lodged a strong protest against the incidents of shelling from Myanmar.