Myan­mar vi­o­lat­ing airspace, says B’desh

Hindustan Times (Gurgaon) - - World - Let­ters@hin­dus­tan­times.com

DHAKA: Bangladesh has ac­cused Myan­mar of vi­o­lat­ing its air space and warned that any more “provoca­tive acts” could have “un­war­ranted con­se­quences”, rais­ing the risk of a de­te­ri­o­ra­tion in re­la­tions al­ready strained by the Ro­hingya refugee cri­sis.

Nearly 400,000 Ro­hingya Mus­lims from west­ern Myan­mar have crossed into Bangladesh since Au­gust 25, flee­ing a Myan­mar gov­ern­ment of­fen­sive against in­sur­gents that the UN has branded a “text­book ex­am­ple of eth­nic cleans­ing”.

Bangladesh said Myan­mar drones and heli­copters had vi­o­lated its air space three times — on Septem­ber 10, 12 and 14 — and called in a top Myan­mar em­bassy of­fi­cial in Dhaka to com­plain.

“Bangladesh ex­pressed deep con­cern at the rep­e­ti­tion of such acts of provo­ca­tion and de­manded that Myan­mar takes im­me­di­ate mea­sures to en­sure that such vi­o­la­tion of sovereignty does not oc­cur again,” the min­istry said in state­ment. “Th­ese provoca­tive acts may lead to un­war­ranted con­se­quences.”

Myan­mar gov­ern­ment spokesman Zaw Htay said he did not have in­for­ma­tion about the in­ci­dents Bangladesh had com­plained about but Myan­mar had de­nied an ear­lier ac­cu­sa­tion.

He said Myan­mar would check any in­for­ma­tion that Bangladesh pro­vided. “Our two coun­tries are fac­ing the refugee cri­sis. We need to col­lab­o­rate with good un­der­stand­ing,” he told Reuters.

Bangladesh was al­ready home to 400,000 Ro­hingya be­fore the lat­est cri­sis erupted, when Ro­hingya in­sur­gents at­tacked about 30 po­lice posts and an army camp, killing a dozen peo­ple.

The Myan­mar se­cu­rity forces and Rakhine Bud­dhist vig­i­lantes re­sponded with what rights mon­i­tors and flee­ing Ro­hingya say is a cam­paign of vi­o­lence and ar­son aimed at driv­ing out the Mus­lim pop­u­la­tion.

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