Thursday, February 21, 2019 | ePaper

The arrogance of Myanmar is not acceptable

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VIOLATING international rules and border marks, military-backed pseudo-democratic Myanmar has now shown Saint Martin's Island of Bangladesh as their territory at a forged map. At least three Myanmar government websites use the map.
Saint Martin's, the Southern small island is under Bangladesh government's sovereign authority for many years, and Myanmar authorities' deliberate skirmish with Dhaka would trigger regional unrest, which is already highly disturbed by the ethnic cleansing against Rohingya Muslims in Rakhine State and the subsequent great exodus to Bangladesh. Myanmar should respect the international border and should not instigate any war between two banks of the Naf River.
Bangladesh government on Saturday summoned Myanmar ambassador in Dhaka and protested against it. In all the international political maps created in 1937, during the partition of India to independent countries India and undivided Pakistan in 1947, independence of Myanmar from British rule in 1948 and Bangladesh's independence from Pakistan in 1971, St Martin's have been shown as an integral part of Bangladesh territory. Myanmar had also accepted Bangladesh's jurisdiction over St Martin's Island in a bilateral instrument signed between the two countries in 1974.
The International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea also showed St Martin's Island as part of Bangladesh in its maps presented in a verdict settling a dispute on the maritime boundary between Bangladesh and Myanmar in 2012. The ambassador was also told that showing Bangladesh's parts in Myanmar maps might hamper bilateral relations between the two next door neighbours. The Bangladesh side also handed over a diplomatic note to the ambassador demanding immediate rectification of the forged maps and an investigation to identify the perpetrators involved in the process and bring them to justice.
The row on forged maps was created when the two countries were engaged in diplomatic efforts to start repatriation of forcibly displaced Myanmar ethnic minority Rohingyas to their ancestral home in Rakhine State from Bangladesh. The Myanmar government should not make any dubious step in this regard as the area was responsible for the Rohingya influx to Bangladesh to escape genocide.


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