Dhaka: Myanmar vi­o­lated our air space

Al­leged in­cur­sions risk strain­ing wors­en­ing ties

The Star Malaysia - - World -

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.

— AFP

No man’s

land: Ro­hingya at a refugee camp in Bangladesh watch­ing Myanmar sol­diers pa­trol on the other side of the bor­der.

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