Industry Desk: Acting foreign secretary Rear Admiral (Retd) Md Khurshed Alam yesterday said they had a high-level meeting yesterdaywith all concerned and urged the Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) and Bangladesh Coast Guard to remain on high alert with “reinforcement” if required.
Khurshed Alam, also secretary at Maritime Affairs Unit (MAU) at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said Bangladesh is a “responsible and peace-loving” country and they are “observing and tolerating” the situation along the Bangladesh-Myanmar border with much patience.
Talking to reporters at the Ministry, he said they are in touch with all the relevant agencies and the government remains alert so that no Myanmar national can enter Bangladesh.
Asked who will take the responsibility of the recent death, the acting foreign secretary said they cannot say exactly who had fired the bullet though Myanmar army is written on the bullet.
He said the Myanmar side was telling that these bullets had been stolen by the Arakan Army and they are using these bullets to create distance between Bangladesh and Myanmar. “In such a situation it is difficult to determine who will take the responsibility.”
Khurshed Alam said Bangladesh has asked the Myanmar side to take steps for stopping spillover of Myanmar’s internal conflict into Bangladesh.
Earlier in the morning, the MoFA summoned Myanmar Ambassador to Bangladesh Aung Kyaw Moe for the fourth time and lodged a strong protest over the recent incidents along the Bangladesh-Myanmar border.
The Ambassador was summoned at the office of Md. Najmul Huda, the Director General (South East Asia wing) of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to lodge the protest.
Khurshed Alam said Bangladesh conveyed the Myanmar ambassador that what is happening in Myanmar is their internal issue and the Myanmar side needs to think how they will solve it.
He said Bangladesh strongly conveyed the ambassador to take steps to prevent repetition of such incidents – no death – no further injuries – inside Bangladesh.
The acting foreign secretary said the Myanmar envoy listened to the Bangladesh side with time and assured that he would report to the headquarters.
He said Bangladesh is trying to resolve any problem, including the Rohingya crisis through discussion and peacefully.
The acting foreign secretary hoped that there will be a solution if they (Bangladesh) remain strong.
He said Bangladesh is not demonstrating any weakness, rather it is conveying its message to Myanmar from a very strong position.
Earlier, Dhaka reiterated its “deep concern” over the recent incidents of Myanmar’s mortar shelling, indiscriminate aerial firing in the bordering areas, and air space violations.
On Saturday, Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan said the government is trying to resolve the issues with Myanmar peacefully and diplomatically but a complaint will be lodged to the United Nations regarding mortar shelling at the border if necessary.
He said the Bangladesh Foreign Ministry has warned them (Myanmar) several times but they didn’t keep their promise. “We have lodged a strong protest over casualties from Friday’s mortar shelling by Myanmar at Tombru border,” he added.
“Myanmar’s internal conflicts should remain within its border but their forces are crossing the border time and again and injuring Bangladeshi nationals,” said Asaduzzaman.
He said Myanmar Border Guard Police (BGP) is continuously being contacted about this issue and Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) has remained alert to prevent illegal entry of Rohingyas.
On Friday night, a 17-year-old-Rohingya boy named Mohammad Iqbal was killed and five others were injured as a mortar shell fired by the Myanmar army exploded at the Zero Point Rohingya Camp close to the international border in Tombru, Bandarban.
The deceased and injured were all residents of the Zero Point Rohingya Camp, known as the camp that is closest to the Bangladesh-Myanmar border, in No Man’s Land.
Four mortar shells landed in succession at the Rohingya camp around 8pm.
Earlier, an indigenous youth named Anganthowai Tanchangya was grievously injured in a landmine explosion along the Bangladesh-Myanmar border in Naikhongchhari upazila of Bandarban on Friday noon.
Locals said it is the Myanmar army that has mined the area. Twelve mortar shells have been fired by the Myanmar army on Bangladesh territory so far.
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