Tension along Myanmar border
Tension runs high along the Bangladesh-Myanmar borders as the neighbouring country started erecting barbed-wire fences unilaterally on its side of 200-kilometre land borders with Bangladesh, said defence sources.
The neighbouring nation is also mobilising its troops and naval force, sources said.
When contacted, Foreign Secretary Mohammad Towhid confirmed it saying Myanmar started mobilising its forces in the bordering areas since the November incident in the Bay of Bengal.
"The reinforcements are still there but we do not have any information about the construction of fences," Towhid said.
Bangladesh has no problem if Myanmar erects fences on their territory, he said adding, "It will curb smuggling and illegal trespassing."
Myanmar initiated erecting barbed-wire fences along its borders with Bangladesh since last November when its naval ships intruded into Bangladesh's maritime boundary. But the construction of the fences became visible recently.
Sources said an airport in Myanmar's Sitwa, close to Bangladesh border, is being revamped through construction of long runways.
Myanmar has also mobilised a number of China-made naval ships close to its maritime boundary with Bangladesh.
Defence sources said they have information that the Myanmarese military rulers were unhappy that the country in early November had to withdraw an oil and gas-drilling rig from Bangladesh's maritime boundary which they claimed as theirs.
The rig was owned and operated by a South Korean company.
The then Bangladesh caretaker government tackled the situation requesting South Korea to call back its drilling rig. Later, Myanmar withdrew its vessels reluctantly.
Since then Myanmar has kept its soldiers on high alert alongside Bangladesh border while Bangladesh also put its troops on alert for some time.
Sources said Myanmarese soldiers recently erected barbed-wire fences at Kyin Chaung village in Northern Maungdau of Rakhine State in Myanmar's westernmost part. Four cargo ships carrying barbed wires from Maungadau port reached Kyin Gan Bin Jetty on Monday.
They are being taken from the jetty to Nasaka Areas 1 and 2 with a plan to fence the areas from Maungdau to Paletwa, a triangle point on Bangladesh-Myanmar-India border, sources said.
"As tension mounts, smuggling in the bordering areas stopped totally," said a source.
"A Myanmarese drilling rig was positioned close to Bangladesh maritime boundary the day before yesterday. But it did not enter our waters," he added.
The government has already been informed about the prevailing situation but no specific instructions were given to the army, navy or air force.