Tue 31 Mar 2009
Filed under: News,On The Border
Bangladesh yesterday sought official version from Myanmar on its planned fencing along the border professedly to stop smuggling, as confusion arose over the move.
State Minister for Foreign Affairs Dr Hasan Mahmud told reporters that they sought the official version about the construction site of the fencing as Yangon gives varied versions about the location of the border fencing.
On Sunday, Myanmar Ambassador in Dhaka U Phaethoan met with Bangladesh Foreign Secretary Touhid Hossain and verbally communicated his government’s plan undertaken to stop illegal cross-border trade.
During the meeting, the Ambassador informed Touhid that the fence would be constructed 13 kms inside the Myanmar territory from the zero point, but later he said the distance would be 13 meters.
And today the Myanmar Ambassador informed the Foreign Ministry that the distance of fencing from the zero point will be 100 meters into the Myanmar territory. In view of this situation, Hasan said, “we sought official communication about the location of the fencing”.
Hasan said if the fence is constructed 100 meters inside Myanmar from the zero point, then it will be “within diplomatic norms and we wont have any concern”.
Bangladesh and Myanmar have a 180-km common border. Myanmar authorities have planned to construct barbed-wire fences along a 40-km stretch.
Asked how he visualizes the fencing by India and Myanmar surrounding Bangladesh to stop smuggling, the State Minister said, without elaboration, that the smuggling of contrabands like drugs takes place from Myanmar.