September 20, 2022
DHAKA – ASEAN diplomats in Dhaka have assured Bangladesh of raising Myanmar’s unlawful actions on the border at the UN General Assembly strongly as Dhaka sought their cooperation in preventing escalation of violence in the Myanmar-Bangladesh border area, foreign ministry officials said.
At a briefing by the foreign ministry at the state guesthouse Padma today (September 19, 2022), they said they were also frustrated about the way Myanmar junta has been handling the country’s situation, especially since it took control of the country, overthrowing the elected government, in February last year.
Acting Foreign Secretary Admiral (Retd) Khurshed Alam and foreign ministry’s Southeast Asia wing director general Najmul Huda briefed the envoys of ASEAN on the escalation of violence in the Bangladesh-Myanmar border between Myanmar military and insurgent group Arakan Army.
Except Myanmar, diplomats of all the ASEAN countries — Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam — were present at today’s briefing.
The foreign ministry will today brief the rest of the foreign diplomats posted in Dhaka about Myanmar’s repeated space and land violations.
“We have told the ASEAN diplomats that mortar shells and firing of bullets from the Myanmar side to the Bangladesh side is a serious concern for us. On Friday night, a Rohingya youth was killed and several others were injured,” Najmul Huda told The Daily Star.
Also, people along the border areas in Cox’s Bazar and Bandarban are living in fear and some of them were ordered to move. Life, livelihood and assets of Bangladesh are under threat, he said.
Since the middle of August, the foreign ministry summoned Myanmar Ambassador to Bangladesh, Aung Kyaw Moe, four times but the situation has not changed. The government has ordered the Border Guard of Bangladesh and Coastguard to remain on high alert, but not mobilise troops yet.
ASEAN diplomats said they were frustrated that there was no progress on the five-point consensus reached at an ASEAN meeting early last year.
The consensus includes an immediate end to violence in the country; dialogue among all parties; the appointment of a special envoy; humanitarian assistance by ASEAN; and the special envoy’s visit to Myanmar to meet with all parties.
“We hope our ASEAN friends will use their influence on their member state Myanmar to stop escalation of violence and violation of international rules,” said Najmul Huda.