Dhaka: Myanmar violated our air space
Alleged incursions risk straining worsening ties
DHAKA: Bangladesh has accused Myanmar of repeatedly 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.
Bangladesh said Myanmar drones and helicopters had violated its air space three times – on Sept 10, 12 and 14 – and it had 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 take immediate measures to ensure such violation of sovereignty does not occur again,” the ministry said in a statement.
A Myanmar government spokesman said he did not have information about the incidents Bangladesh had complained about but Myanmar had denied an earlier accusation.
The spokesman, Zaw Htay, said Myanmar would check any information that Bangladesh provided.
“At this time, our two countries are facing the refugee crisis. We need to collaborate with good understanding,” Zaw Htay said yesterday.
Bangladesh has for decades faced influxes of Rohingya fleeing persecution in Buddhist-majority Myanmar, where the Rohingya are regarded as illegal migrants and denied citizenship.
The conflict has led to a humanitarian crisis on both sides of the border and raised questions about Myanmar’s path under the leadership of Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi after nearly 50 years of strict military rule.
The generals still control national security policy. Nevertheless, Suu Kyi has been widely criticised abroad for not stopping or condemning the violence.
Meanwhile, two children and a woman were killed in a stampede for aid near a Bangladeshi refugee camp, UN agencies said yesterday amid widespread fights among Rohingya for food and clothing thrown from relief trucks.
The incident occurred on Friday at Balukhali in Cox’s Bazar district where tens of thousands of Muslim Rohingya have camped for weeks.
“Despite local regulations and the control room established, private distributions of relief items continue,” it said, highlighting chaotic aid management that has drawn flak from rights workers.
land: Rohingya at a refugee camp in Bangladesh watching Myanmar soldiers patrol on the other side of the border.