Tension lessens in Bay, mounts on border
Bangladesh and Myanmar continue to mobilise troops along the border although the tension over Myanmar's attempt to explore oil and gas in Bangladesh waters in the Bay of Bengal seems to be dying down.
Meanwhile, Ministry of Foreign Affairs said the crisis in the Bay ended following the withdrawal of the fossil fuel exploration rig of Korean company Daewoo Saturday afternoon.
The negotiations over the issue resulted in a win-win situation for both Bangladesh and Myanmar, Foreign Adviser Iftekhar Ahmed Chowdhury told reporters at the ministry yesterday.
"Bangladesh has always wanted to establish close relations with Myanmar and our policy will be directed towards that end," he said.
reports that although Myanmar withdrew its warships and the rig from Bangladesh waters, it continued to mobilise its troops on the frontiers with Bangladesh.
Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) members along with army personnel are keeping round-the-clock vigil on the borders.
Our correspondent from Bandarban reports: BDR Director General Maj Gen Sakil Ahamed visited various border outposts in Naikkhangchhari of Bandarban yesterday. Later, he also held a meeting with security officials.
Meanwhile, BDR on Sunday evening held three Myanmar citizens at Reju of Naikkhangchhari upazilla for intruding into Bangladesh territory.
The detainees are Moung Buk Yee, 26, U Ching Ku, 25 and Moung Ching, 23. They were handed over to the police.
Local people also held two Myanmar citizens -- Azizul Haque and Nur Mohammed -- at Amtoli on Friday. They were produced before a court that sent them to jail.
Our Cox's Bazar correspondent reports: Myanmar has mobilised its forces along the border with Bangladesh.
However, referring to various official sources, Superintendent of Police of Cox's Bazar Imam Hossain, said they received information that Myanmar started withdrawing its troops from the frontier at about 12:00noon yesterday.
Meanwhile, it has been reported in Myanmarese media that Myanmar withdrew its warships, exploration rig and vessels as the South Korean company conducting the exploration work had completed its seismic survey and shifted to another place, reports Bloomberg.
"The necessary survey was completed," the state-run newspaper New Light of Myanmar said yesterday.
"Continued tasks will be undertaken according to the work programme," the daily said.
Bangladesh and Myanmar has so far held three rounds of talks to settle the maritime boundary dispute while the fourth round of talks is expected to be held in Dhaka next week, foreign ministry officials said.
Meanwhile, BDR in a report based on press publications said India has signed an agreement with Myanmar on a project to build a multi-modal transit- cum- transport system in the coastal region of Myanmar.
Under the India-funded Rs-548 crore project, two roads and a seaport in the estuary of Kaladan river about 250 kilometres off India's Mizoram province will be built within three years.
India is also interested to explore oil and gas in these areas. But some of the exploration blocks may overlap with Bangladesh's maritime economic zone.
The demarcation of maritime boundary through mutual discussion with Myanmar needs to be completed to avert dispute.
The report recommended that Bangladesh Navy and Coast Guard should stay alert so that no 'Indian oil company' could enter Bangladesh's economic zone for oil and gas exploration.