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Commentary

Myanmar has to be convinced that we are not afraid of confronting its army

20 September 2022
Myanmar has to be convinced that we are not afraid of confronting its army


Editorial Desk :
The world is witnessing a new level of aggression in Myanmar. Conflicts between the Myanmar Army and the armed Arakan Army have taken a new turn in the last few weeks. It has spread to neighbouring areas including northern Rakhine, Maungdoo and Sittwe, along the Bangladesh-Myanmar border. Dhaka has summoned the country's ambassador several times in connection with the ongoing shelling into Bangladesh borders. Bangladesh on Saturday asked Myanmar to exercise restraint as tensions escalated in frontiers over the use of artillery guns along the borders by its forces which killed a Rohingya child and wounded several others in the past several days. Panic has increased among the residents of the border area. No one leaves the house unless necessary. Many are leaving their homes and moving elsewhere.
On 15 September, the Arakan Army seized a military base in Maungdu, northern Rakhine state, despite the Myanmar Army sending 500 junta reinforcements. Despite the help of air and artillery forces to defend the base, the junta forces could not hold Mi Taek base near the border. The armed group has already taken control of several key strategic roads in the region. As a result, the junta is now forced to use waterways to transport its troops and supplies to northern Rakhine state. Having lost control of the land route, the junta forces are supplying troops and supplies by ship through the ports of Sittwe and Shwe Mingan.
In a statement, the Arakan Army claimed that a Myanmar army lance corporal was captured and 19 other junta soldiers, including a police lieutenant, were killed in clashes between the two sides during the occupation of the base. Clashes between the two sides also spread to nearby areas including Miwa Hill and Tinma village. The fighting is so severe that the junta government's Maritime Administration Department has banned the movement of boats and trawlers in the

port of Sittwe and the Kaladan River. The junta forces are bringing in fresh troops from bases in other regions to counter the Arakan Army.
 Myanmar  junta's violation of land border regulations and international law, the air force's incursion into Bangladeshi airspace and the firing of shells and mortar shells into Bangladesh demonstrate how reckless Myanmar's behaviour under the junta government has reached. Such unwarranted and provocative behaviour is a threat to Bangladesh's security and a fresh blow to bilateral relations.  
 According to news item in a national daily, Myanmar may send another 300 Rohingya into Bangladesh. Myanmar knows how weak our leadership is for mobilising effective international pressure from its closest friend India. So far as China is concerned it showed no interest to help Bangladesh. Bangladesh leader is very 'strong' in suppressing its own people and making them helpless about their right to vote.  
Bangladesh had shown weakness from the beginning and it depended on India's guidance. It is learnt that Bangladesh is thinking of mobilising coast guards. Myanmar is not strong as some experts tell us. Myanmar is facing armed opposition from various corners within the country. We are not suggesting that we should go into war with Myanmar. But there is a need for strong leadership so that Myanmar's military junta is convinced that we are not afraid of demonstrating strength if unavoidable. Former President General Ziaur Rahman acted promptly by sending troops to the border of Myanmar. That worked and Myanmar took back the Rohingyas at that time.

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