State Minister for Foreign Affairs Md Shahriar Alam today (September 1, 2022) said Bangladesh is better prepared so that none can enter from Myanmar now due to the deteriorated situation in Rakhine state.
"Our agencies are better prepared. BGB has been instructed to remain vigilant," he told reporters at his office at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Shahriar, however, said they do not see any exodus like 2016 and 2017, though some people fear that the rest of Rohingyas will cross over into Bangladesh amid worsening situation in the Myanmar side.
He said what is happening in Myanmar is an internal issue of Myanmar.
Shahriar said they are giving utmost importance to keep the border secure.
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He said the Myanmar side was warned twice in August following mortar shells landing in Bangladesh territory from Myanmar and strong protest was lodged in this regard.
The State Minister said they did not want to prevent those (Rohingyas) in 2016-2017 on humanitarian grounds and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina had given those shelters.
“But now we have some information which was not available at that time,” he said.
Responding to a question, the State Minister said Bangladesh’s air space was not violated this time.
“We do not want to step into Myanmar's provocation or trap,” he said, adding that they (Myanmar side) might have a strategic benefit if they can move in such a unilateral direction.
Shahriar said the international community knows the true intention of Bangladesh and will keep the diplomatic community informed in advance so that they can understand the situation well if any untoward incident happens.
The State Minister said the Myanmar side shows true intention to take back their citizens only when they face pressure from the international community.
He said Bangladesh got engaged with Myanmar twice virtually recently to discuss the repatriation issue.
Shahriar said the Myanmar side agreed to sit again soon and this time the meeting is likely to be held in-person.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs last Monday summoned Myanmar Ambassador to Bangladesh Aung Kyaw Moe and lodged a strong protest against Myanmar’s mortar shells landing inside Bangladesh territory a day earlier.