Foreign Affairs
How is Bangladesh-Myanmar relations Consolidation?

Bangladesh and Myanmar had generally cordial relations under Burmese military rule, although the presence of more than 270,000 Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh often acted as a major irritant. Bangladesh’s civil society and political class often expressed solidarity with Myanmar’s pro-democracy struggle. However, Bangladesh has sought greater trade and road and rail networks with Myanmar to boost economic ties between the two countries.

The Nation was a military operation conducted by the Tatmadaw (Myanmar Armed Forces) in northern Rakhine State near Myanmar’s border with Bangladesh in 1991. In December 1991, Tatmadaw soldiers crossed the border and mistakenly fired at a Bangladeshi military post, resulting in the Bangladesh Army assisting the Rohingya Solidarity Organization as retaliation. The conflict ended in a strategic failure for Burma. On 7 October 1998, three to five Bangladeshi fishermen were killed by Burmese naval forces off the coast of Saint Martin Island.

On September 8, 1999, a Bangladeshi fisherman was shot dead by Burmese naval forces near St. Martin’s Island. Nine crew of the victim’s fishing boat abandoned it, swam for their lives, and were rescued by Bangladeshi forces. On 20 August 2000, Bangladeshi police reported that Burmese border guards had shot dead four Bangladeshi fishermen off the coast of St. Martin’s Island. Bangladesh and Myanmar were engaged in a minor border skirmish near the Naf River during 2000–2001, often referred to as the Naf War.

In November 2008, relations between the two countries deteriorated further after Bangladesh–Myanmar naval standoff resulted in Myanmar allowing the South Korean company Daewoo to explore the ocean floor in an area SW of Saint Martin Island, an area that is shared by Bangladesh and Myanmar. was fought between Myanmar as part of their respective Exclusive Economic Zones.

Bangladesh said Myanmar should not allow any activities in the disputed areas until a resolution is reached. After Bangladeshi requests were not heeded, the Bangladesh Navy deployed three warships to the area; BNS Abu Bakr, BNS Madhumati and BNS Nirbhoy and Bangladesh Air Force deployed MiG 29.

As a result, Myanmar withdrew its warships and Daewoo began removing its equipment from the area. In 2012, the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea awarded the disputed area to Bangladesh, resulting in both a tactical and strategic victory for Bangladesh. In December 2016, the Bangladeshi border guard accused the Myanmar Navy of firing on four Bangladeshi fishermen in the Bay of Bengal, prompting a formal protest.

Regional Institute

Regional institutions like ASEAN have proposed a five-point consensus so that peace can be re-established in Myanmar through open dialogue. But the military government is hesitating to work on some of these sources, which clearly shows that this plan is not going to work. Now it has to be seen whether ASEAN prepares a new and better proposal and whether the military government will accept it or not.

Another sub-regional organization BIMSTEC (BIMSTEC), in which Myanmar, India, Bangladesh and Thailand are members, has so far not formulated any suitable strategy to address the concerns raised about security. The lack of initiative among regional organizations to take any concrete steps is creating more uncertainty in the region. Because of this, inland crimes such as illegal and unsafe movement of citizens, resources and drugs are being encouraged.

In view of the violence and destruction taking place within and in Myanmar, the United Nations has appealed to its member states to stop the sale of arms to Myanmar. But no one seems to be heeding this advice. Myanmar gets most of its weapons from two superpowers, China and Russia. Even after the coup, both these countries have continued to supply arms, ammunition and aircraft to Myanmar.

Recently, Myanmar has strengthened its relations with Russia by signing a nuclear cooperation treaty with Russia. Due to this treaty, now the military government there is hoping to fulfil its dream of getting nuclear energy. The military government claims that it is going to use this nuclear energy to generate electricity. Apart from this, it will also be used for medical and scientific research. But many experts have expressed concern that the army will use it only to make nuclear weapons.

If this apprehension turns out to be correct, then it will raise a complex issue in front of the world. It should be noted here that Myanmar has signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). It is a legally binding international agreement that comprehensively prohibits nuclear weapons. Myanmar has also signed the Treaty on Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons made in 2018.

the military government of international law It is very difficult to say from the one who has recently violated whether he will respect these international treaties in future or not. Regional forums have not done any concrete work to stop the ongoing violence in Myanmar. Because of this many people have been disappointed. In view of the present situation, there is a need to take some new measures, so that success can be achieved in effectively reducing the unrest going on there. Because this disturbance has the potential to destabilize the region.

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