Bangladesh helps Myanmar solve sectarian violence

Bangladeshi Border Guard (BGB) soldiers keep watch at a wharf in Taknaf, Bangladesh, Tuesday, June 12, 2012. <AP/NEWSis>

DHAKAㅡ Bangladesh is in close consultations with Myanmar to check the influx of Rohingya refugees following the sectarian violence in Rakhine state of the neighbouring country, Bangladesh foreign ministry officially stated in Dhaka today (June 12).

“Bangladesh and Myanmar are maintaining close consultations to ensure that developments in the Rakhine state do not have any trans-boundary spill-over,” said the foreign ministry statement.

The statement was issued after Bangladesh border forces, coast guards and navy thwarted several attempts of infiltration of Myanmar nationals into Bangladesh through river and sea routes in last few days.

The statement said the local administration and the law enforcing agencies in the border area have been advised to remain alert and increase vigilance.

It added: “Bangladesh was confident that the government of Myanmar would be able to deal the situation in the best possible manner and restore normalcy in the region in the shortest possible time.”

Referring to the ongoing sectarian violence in Rakhine state of Myanmar, the statement said Dhaka has followed recent developments there and was saddened by the loss of lives and property resulting from the incidence of violence.

Bangladesh, however, appreciated the steps taken by Myanmar in containing the unrest and reaffirmed its commitment to stand by the government and people of Myanmar in their efforts to restore peace and stability in Rakhine state

Bangladesh and Myanmar generally enjoy good relations, but the influx of tens of thousands of Myanmar nationals since early 1990s have put a blockade to the relationship between the two neighbours.

Bangladesh still hosts 25,000 documented Myanmar refugees and their 4,000 children in the country’s southern Cox’s Bazar district.  But, according to official sources, undocumented number of Myanmar nationals, who have fled into Bangladesh since 1991 would be around half a million. The refugees have not only posed a serious threat to food and environment, but also security of Bangladesh, sources said.

Myanmar’s present tensions were inflamed last month when a non-Rohingya girl was murdered and raped, allegedly by Rohingyas in Rakhine state. As a retaliation, 10 members of Rohingya community were lynched by non-Rohingyans on June 3 while the sectarian violence still continues. The Myanmar government declared a state of emergency in the region on Sunday (June 10) to stop the violence.

Myanmar is a country of ethnic population where 135 distinct ethnic groups recognized by the government lives. However, there are number of ethnic minority groups including Rohingyas exist in Myanmar which have not yet been officially recognized.

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