Friday, December 18, 2015, Poush 4, 1422 BS, Rabiul Awal 5, 1437 Hijri

BD-Myanmar initiative to stop terrorism, smuggling
Formal meeting next month at Yangon
Published :Friday, 18 December, 2015,  Time : 12:00 AM  View Count : 15
Shahnaj Begum
Bangladesh wants to sign a Coordinated Border Management Plan (CBMP) with Myanmar government to stop terrorism, drug trafficking, human trafficking and arms smuggling.
To start the talks, BGB Director General Major General Aziz Ahmed will sit with the Chief of Myanmar Police Force next month at Myanmar.
"Border Security and Law Enforcement Cooperation will figured prominently in the talks, however, our hope is to sign the CBMP as we feel that it will be helpful for us to discuss the border management issues in proper perspective, " Major General Aziz Ahmed  told the Daily Observer.
Bangladesh has signed similar CBMP with India on July 30, 2011, however, Bangladesh shares about 271 kilometres of border stretch with Myanmar. It may be mentioned here that the meeting will not discuss the Rohingya matter since it is a political issue.
Earlier, Bangladesh side has raised six crucial issues on the meeting table, which are pending.
According to the Foreign Ministry sources, Bangladesh hopes that the newly elected political government of Yangon will pave the all pending issues related with the border security and smuggling as it's a long standing issue. Besides, political decision is needed to solve these problems.
In earlier meeting held in 2014, both the country has signed a joint record of discussions (JRD). During the discussions, Bangladesh placed the model of (CBMP) and Myanmar took note of it for further study. Myanmar side on the other hand proposed another option- introducing Border Liaison Offices (BLO).  Bangladesh has accepted the proposal thinking that it will help rein in terrorism, drug trafficking, human trafficking and arms smuggling.
Myanmar has signed BLO with China in February 2007 for strengthening bilateral cooperation framework agreed between the China and Myanmar police to combat human trafficking.
"Bangladesh has handed over a list containing the locations of Yaba factories to Myanmar with a request to take legal action and instruct their border guards, BGP, to prevent drugs from pouring into Bangladesh," a Foreign Ministry source said.
Myanmar law enforcing agencies also discuss a list provided by the Myanmar authorities of the rebels of Rohingya Solidarity Organisation, among others, reportedly in hiding in Bangladesh. Dhaka agreed that it will follow up about the whereabouts of the rebel organisation.
"We also agreed to take necessary measures, including exchange of information between the two border-guarding forces and related law enforcement agencies," he added preferring anonymity.
According to the intelligence report, Kachin Independence Army, a military armed outfit of the political Kachin Independence Organisation in northern Myanmar, was allegedly involved in the production and smuggling of the illicit drugs.
In the last meeting in Myanmar, the BGB delegation handed over a list of 32 factories producing Amphetamine Type Stimulant pills to their Myanmar counterparts for taking action to curb production and smuggling of the drugs. The intelligences agencies also collected photos of some major Yaba producing factories. The border guards have also collected names of at least eight drug lords based in Mangdu area of Myanmar.
Yangon border is one of the most sensitive borders in the South Asian region. The Rakhine migration has made it more so. Also drugs are smuggled into Bangladesh from Myanmar were people of the both countries are involved, the report said.
"In our last talk held in last year , we have agreed to introduce border liaison offices (BLOs) along the Bangladesh- Myanmar border to ensure a quick response to border-related problems. The decision was taken at the director general-level formal border talks between the Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) and Myanmar's Border Guard Police (BGP), but the decision is yet to take concrete shape.  "We need to activate the body for our own interest", BGB DG said.

Editor : Iqbal Sobhan Chowdhury
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