BD-Burma Relations

Discussion in 'Bangladesh Defence Forum' started by leonblack08, Jul 3, 2009.

  1. leonblack08

    leonblack08 SENIOR MEMBER

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    While many of us here are crying over possible Indian attack and India's "treacherous" policies which are causing "slow poisoning" to our beloved country,we are forgetting one enemy in our backyard.Its Myanmar.

    Its because of them we have to house so many Rohingya refugee,when we can't even properly feed our own population.These refugees on the other hand are actively involved in terrorist activities.But we can only pity these people,as they are executed in their own country.

    After last years' Naval standoff,Myanmar has significantly increased its military presence in bordering states.While our BDR is crippled,they have reinforced their military in nearby Rakhain state.

    Our govt. as always continues to consider Myanmar a "Friendly" nation,but the Burmese Generals consider Bangladesh as a "Hostile" neighbour.

    So it is time that our foreign policy be changed while "Dealing with the Generals".
     
  2. leonblack08

    leonblack08 SENIOR MEMBER

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    Dealing with the Generals ​




    Bangladesh's foreign policy on its eastern neighbour needs to be changed

    Ahmede Hussain

    For the last 47 years, since General Ne Win usurped power in a bloodless coup, Myanmar (Burma) has remained an epitome of dictatorship. The country is run by a clique of Generals who, armed with the money generated from lucrative timber and rice trade, has completely disregarded the plight of their poor subjects. Under their rule Myanmar has become a prison for different nationalities, the diversity of which once made the country famous in the world. In the most brutal instance, in 1988, the regime forcibly evicted 300,000 of the country's minority Rohingya Muslims who fled to Bangladesh, creating a humanitarian catastrophe.

    The story refuses to stop there: in November last year some Myanmarese naval ships illegally entered into Bangladesh territory, which is thought to be rich in oil, gas and other mineral resources. Even though the Bangladesh Navy repulsed the Myanmarese intruders, the country, it seems, is bent on making its western neighbour's life difficult. A few weeks ago, the Myanmar army has turned up in Mongdu and Alitanjo to evict ethnic Muslim Rohingyas from their ancestral homeland. They forcibly acquired around 1,000 acres of arable land and distributed it among the Buddhist citizens of Mongdu town. The authority has also told the Rohingyas of the country's Sectors 6 and 7 to go to the hills or to take refuge in Bangladesh.

    While the recent carnage at the BDR headquarters has brought the country's border guards on its knees, in the recent weeks, more and more Rohingyas are trying to enter into Bangladesh on different points at the border such as Palongkhali and Ghundhum. Most of these refugees have stories of inhuman tortures and tribulations that they have gone through at the hands of their own security forces. More such exodus may be in the offing as the Myanmarese authority is reported to have been planning to build a new cluster of villages near the border. In fact, recent history of the Southeast Asian nation suggests that its government has been systematically pursuing a policy to change the demography of its Rakhine State.

    Bangladesh's experience with the Myanmarese refugees has never been pleasant. Some of these refugee organisations heavily depend on arms and drug trafficking to fund themselves. To make it even worse, some of these groups maintain a strong relationship with Bangladeshi extremist groups.

    There are signs that the diplomatic and military defeat that the country has suffered last winter over the oil and gas rigs at the Bay is not being taken lightly by the Generals in Naypyidaw. Recently Myanmar has started to fence its border with Bangladesh, and it has strengthened its military presence in the Rakhine state, which borders Bangladesh. The most notable addition in the junta's armoury is a few missiles, which the country has deployed near Bangladesh border. In the Arakan region alone, with the new deployment, the Myanmar army's strength stands at 500,000. A continuous supply of military hardware is pouring in; along with it the junta is improving the infrastructural facilities. Everything, in fact, indicates that the Generals in Myanmar are again planning to lay claim to the disputed waters of the Bay.

    And they could not have got a time better than now. Our national border has never been so unguarded before. The Pilkhana massacre has left Bangladesh's border guards in tatters, because of which smuggling in Bangladesh-Myanmar border has increased. Taking its advantage, says intelligence officials, Bangladesh's eastern neighbour is nowadays sending more spies into Bangladesh territory.

    How prepared are we then to thwart a second Myanmarese intrusion? Our military presence in the area, compared to new Myanmarese build up, is shabby. Take Kaptai power station, which, should the border skirmishes turn into a large-scale conflict, will become a natural target of the enemy fire. No step has so far been taken to create a defence shield around it.

    Our Navy needs to be armed with the newest military gadgets; new soldiers need to be recruited into the army. Given that a huge number of our men and women in the army work abroad in different UN missions, the number of soldiers that remain in the country is inadequate to fend off any adventurous threat of an invading force. It is time the government takes the matter seriously; in the changed global scenario, where energy security has become important, Bangladesh quickly needs build a million-man army. The government must also make military training compulsory for every able-bodied citizens, a six-months course on military study should be incorporated into Higher Secondary syllabus. On top of it all, Bangladesh must also equip its armed forces with the state of the art arsenals. A strong army, as the old saying goes, is the best deterrent. Bangladesh also has to make joint patrols and exercises with friendly countries such as the US, UK and Australia.

    On the diplomatic front, China is Myanmar's only trusted ally. It has been told by the western media that the Myanmarese Generals have houses in China, in case a mass upsurge forces them to flee the country. China has also long been Bangladesh's friend; the country may seek Chinese help to dissuade the Myanmarese junta from carrying out a second misadventure into Bangladeshi waters.

    After the fall of Saddam Hussein in Iraq, the Myanmarese junta is perhaps one of the most brutal regimes in this part of the world. While the world's media is preoccupied with Iraq, Afghanistan and North Korea, the Myanmarese government unleashes a reign of terror on its own citizens. After the cyclone Nargis hit the country's Irrawaddy delta last year, killing 200,000, the Myanmarese Generals deliberately dilly-dallied in issuing the UN the permission to work in the densely populated Irrawaddy Division, a move that prompted the UN to call the situation unprecedented. Imposition of an economic and diplomatic sanction on such a vile regime has long been overdue.

    As a nation that loves democracy, freedom and rule of law, Bangladesh cannot remain an apathetic observer in Myanmarese affairs. It is time we take the western capitals into confidence. Myanmar's last four-decade-old treacherous history shows us that to deal with the country's Generals one needs both a carrot and a stick. The sooner our foreign office realises it the better.

    ::: Star Weekend Magazine :::
     
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  3. leonblack08

    leonblack08 SENIOR MEMBER

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    Beware of Bangladesh​



    30 January, New Delhi (Mizzima) – Burma's military generals in a secret meeting warned commanders and officers to beware of Bangladesh in the wake of a maritime dispute between the two countries in November.

    Maj-Gen Soe Win, commander of the Northern Military Command, during a meeting held recently said that Burma considers Bangladesh a hostile neighbour, and warned commanders and officers to keep an eye on Bangladesh's military movements.

    The minutes of the meeting held in Naypyitaw, a copy of which is in Mizzima's possession, said while Burma was exploring for gas in its territorial waters and in its economic zone, Bangladesh had strongly opposed the activity that led Burma to withdraw.

    "In other words," Soe Win said, "Bangladesh is provoking us." Soe Win also accused the United States, which has imposed financial sanctions on the generals, of backing and inciting Bangladesh to oppose the exploration.

    Besides, Soe Win, voicing the general's paranoia, said the army has received information of movements of US Navy fleets using Thai and Bangladesh waters as a base.

    "Therefore, all must understand that there is a likelihood of foreign invasion and we must carefully observe military movements," Soe Win added.

    During the meeting, attended by several field officers and commanders, Soe Win reminded them of the need to maintain vigilance along the border areas as a preparation for any possible intrusion from foreign countries.

    Though there seems to be no other verification for Soe Win's fears, the Generals, however, are reportedly intensifying military presence in Arakan state, which borders Bangladesh.

    According to a Bangladesh-Burma border based Burmese journalist, the junta is stepping up its military presence, particularly the artillery battalion in the border township of Maungdaw in Burma's western Arakan state.

    "The junta is shifting several of its battalions to a new military base in Maungdaw. Particularly the artillery battalion," the journalist, who requested not to be named, told Mizzima.

    The journalist, citing local sources in the area said the Burmese Army is being stationed in a long stretch of valley behind the cover of mountains to conceal their presence.

    "It looks to me that the army is preparing for an impending war or some kind of conflict. But we don't know against whom," he added.

    Similarly, an Editor of the Dhaka based Burmese News Agency Narinjara told Mizzima that in recent months, at least 13 battalions of the Burmese Army have moved up to northern Arakan state in Maungdaw Township.

    "We also can confirmed that the army is building an airbase in Maungdaw Township,"
    Narinjara's editor Khaing Mrat Kyaw said.

    He added that Burma's military leaders including Vice Snr. Gen. Maung Aye, the junta's second strongman, and Prime Minister Thein Sein have paid visits to Arakan state in recent weeks to check on the progress.

    "Obviously it is some kind of preparation. And I think the junta wants to make a come back in the Bay of Bengal to continue the gas exploration,"
    Khaing Mrat Kyaw said.

    "They seem to be really sore with Bangladesh over the last dispute,"
    Khaing Mrat Kyaw remarked.

    In early November, Bangladesh and Burma had a face off, when Bangladesh objected to the exploration work of a South Korean company Daewoo, which was accompanied by Burmese naval vessels in the Bay of Bengal.

    Bangladesh said the block in which the Burmese vessel and Daewoo were test drilling comes under its maritime boundary and immediately sent two Navy vessels to the spot.

    Burmese generals, though saying that the area belongs to the Burmese economic zone, later moved out of the area.

    During the stand off Bangladesh deployed two naval vessels in the Bay of Bengal and reinforced its border security, but Burma was unable to bring in timely reinforcements, Khaing Mrat Kyaw said.

    "I think that's why they are now building their bases and even constructing roads and railways, so that they can move their army anytime quickly," Khaing Mrat Kyaw observed.


    Source:www.mizzima.com
    Also in New Nation online edition.

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  4. leonblack08

    leonblack08 SENIOR MEMBER

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    While they are completely preparing for a major war,we are watching and are only watching.Steps to counter a very possible Myanmar offensive is not visible at all.Our army,Navy,BDR all are in poor shape to counter any type of major offensive.

    And yet our leaders call them "A Friendly Neighbour".
     
  5. sob

    sob FULL MEMBER

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    With the current state of Mynamar the strife going on inside with Karen rebels, and the sanctions, I do not see that they possess the necessary infrastructure to have a major battle with Bangladesh. The relative strenght of Bangaldesh armay and Navy will also act as a deterrent.

    Also with their survival dependent on China, it will be difficult for the Generals to undertake any action without the tacit approval from China, which definitely will not be forthcoming.

    Some border skirmishes may take place but beyond that the situation will not escalate.
     
  6. leonblack08

    leonblack08 SENIOR MEMBER

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    China will supply both to Bangladesh and Myanmar if there is any war,like the Iraq-Iran war.
    Their military spending is way more than Bangladesh.We never know what they have in their hands.The way they are spending the status quo will soon change.So we need to spend accordingly to keep up.And that's what we are not doing.


    The Burmese will soon come for the disputed waters again,and I fear this time they will be better prepared and with hostile intent.
     
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2009
  7. third eye

    third eye ELITE MEMBER

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    What changes do you suggest to the foreign policy of BD in dealing with Myanmar ?
     
  8. leonblack08

    leonblack08 SENIOR MEMBER

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    It cannot just only be Diplomacy.Because the Burmese Generals hardly understands it.So our foreign policy should be a mix of both.First try with diplomacy and at the same time be prepared with military.If diplomacy fails then talk to them in the language they understand.

    But for that there is an urgent need to modernise the military,so that it can act as a deterrent.Right now,the way our troops are positioned,we are in very poor position.Just a few days back,the Burmese border guards arrested some Bangladeshi fishermen in economic water.Our coast guards could not do anything to protect them.Its not a new phenomena.Thousands of Bangladeshi fishermen are living like insects in notorious Burmese jails.

    Our Navy needs frigates immediately.Border Guards or BDR needs better weapon.Our infrastructure at the border areas needs to be improved for quick response to any threat.Plans for modernisation has been laid,but we need quick execution.

    After the BDR mutiny,many Burmese nationals were caught spying in Bangladesh.They beefed up their military presence.So they are up to something definitely.I just hope we are not too late before they start claiming Bangladeshi Territory as theirs.
     
  9. HK-47

    HK-47 FULL MEMBER

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    China won't back us up.Nor will any other nation no matter who the hell the prime minister is right now.we gotta do our own thing by ourselves.and I think we need to poke the UN and the EU and the US a bit about this issue.

    They sent over some 1 million plus Rohingyas here.They did not migrate they were removed forcibly.

    But yes it's time we built our own fence and created an entire border dedicated force.
     
  10. TopCat

    TopCat ELITE MEMBER

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    Bangladesh is the only muslim country withing 1000s miles and practically we dont have a ally in the whole world. BD needs to seriously thinking of creating some sort of military ally with bigger nations. I always suggest to have a US base in St. Martin. Why Not?
     
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  11. HK-47

    HK-47 FULL MEMBER

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    err no if those Marines or soldiers commit crimes they can get away with it.It's bad.More like some sort of a treaty.we should join Nato or some alliance.

    we need to change our foreign minister too.She is incapable,period.
     
  12. jatt

    jatt FULL MEMBER

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    To be honest, I think Bangladesh has the military advantage. But they can't afford it economically. China could stop trade. It would depend on which nation means more to China or the world. Bangladesh is probably favored around the world as it works but Burma is lacky no 1 with China. Compromise to make sacrifices for victory. does the end justify the means.
     
  13. third eye

    third eye ELITE MEMBER

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    Leon,

    What we read above are the problems / issues faced by BD with Myanmar.

    Are you suggesting a more aggressive posture viz a viz Myanmar ?

    If so, well it is an option but aggression only worsens things. What may serve better is a calm dialogue on issues like maritime boundries and Rohingyas. What i am getting at is the BD would be well advised not to emulate the mistakes made by others in our region as it leads to hardening of stand which makes dislogue diff.

    We have unfortunately to live & reconclie ourselves with our geography.
     
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  14. leonblack08

    leonblack08 SENIOR MEMBER

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    That sounds good,but are you not aware of incidents in Okinwa,Japan?

    If Myanmar takes any action,US will automatically come to our aid,as they will try to seize the opportunity to set a permanent base in Bangladesh,so that it can keep a check on China.

    Moreover,do you want to trust US?When we will be of no use to them,they will just abandon us.

    They tried it before to set it up in St.Martins before,didn't they?
     
  15. leonblack08

    leonblack08 SENIOR MEMBER

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    I completely agree with you.


    With India,we can probably get things right about territory in the UN.But with Myanmar,that doesn't look too bright.
    We are a defensive nation,and the first thing we do is to negotiate.But the Generals out there hardly understands dialogue.You have seen in Su-Kie's case.For that we need to be prepared for the worst.

    Having said that,our govt. did not take any step to counter the Burmese troop build up yet.Even a minor border skirmish will become disaster for us.From the looks of things,they are preparing and preparing for something major.

    So our Govt. needs to change its "soft-soft" attitude and try to deal "softly and roughly" with rough customers.