Monday, September 7, 2009

Cox's Bazar: an evolving flash point?

Prothom Alo today reported the government has decided to set up an advance airbase for the Bangladesh air force in Cox's Bazar. Recommendation for setting up this base, along with a radar station and increasing hospital beds for air force personnel came from the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Defence in its meeting yesterday. A very simple and innocent news indeed, released by the Government's Press Information Department.

Or is it really a simple news? Rumours are mounting this decision came in the wake of intelligence information that Myanmar authorities are mobilising forces along Bangladesh border. It is also rumoured the recent official decision to pull out military personnel from their duties in Chittagong Hill Tracts is linked to increasing Bangladesh military forces in Cox's Bazar. It is also gathered order is being issued to quickly move army personnel there.

Are we going to see some armed conflict in Cox's Bazar in near future, involving Myanmar, China in one side and Bangladesh, US on the other? Ukhia is being labelled as the probable flash point in case any military conflict occurs. Don't dismiss this as a day-dream. Just monitor the developments.

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