Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Bangladesh-Myanmar relations on collision course?

From Burma News Network:

Construction work on the barbed-wire fencing was suddenly stopped yesterday at Maungdaw in Arakan State, as the authorities received information that about 16,000 army personnel from Bangladesh were ready to penetrate into Arakan North from Chittagong Hill Tracts, a close aide of the Nasaka from Maungdaw said.

The Burmese army personnel immediately left the work site, after hearing the rumor regarding the Bangladesh Army planning to enter North Arakan. After leaving some soldiers in the Nasaka camp, all the rest went to the nearby mountains to observe the situation, after taking shelter in the forest.

Meanwhile, on the Burmese side, recently, at least eleven Burmese army battalions have been deployed along the Burma-Bangladesh border to raise barbed-wire fences. They are LIB, No. 536, 535, 564, 353, 538, 263, 234, 344, 289, 20 and 55.

Burma has planned to deploy at least 30,000 army personnel on the Burma-Bangladesh border, for the security of the barbed-wire fence, according to a Nasaka source.

The Burmese authority has deployed soldiers along the border from Maungdaw Township to Paletwa in Chin State.

The border situation between the two countries has been increasingly tense, with several army battalions being sent to reinforce troops along the Burma-Bangladesh border by the Burmese military junta.

According to sources, Bangladesh border forces are still closely watching the construction of the barbed-wire fence on the Burma-Bangladesh border, by the Burmese junta without giving any information to the friendly neighboring country, Bangladesh.

According to a Bangladeshi source, a naval ship equipped with sophisticated equipment, has been sighted in the Bay of Bengal near Burmese waters.

Regarding the barbed-wire fence, last month, a group of army personnel, consisting of over 100 army officers, had conducted a survey in Rathedaung and Maungdaw Township, from Mayu Tek (Angumaw) of Rathedaung Township, to Pletwa of Chin State, a businessman from Maungdaw said.

According to villagers near the Bangladesh border, extra deployment of soldiers of Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) has not been seen on the Bangladesh side.

The people of north Arakan do not know the reason, why the Burmese junta suddenly started erecting the barbed-wire fence and reinforcement of army on the Burma-Bangladesh border, according to sources.

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