28th February, 2002
SPEAKERS STRESS ON
BOOSTING BILATERAL TIES WITH MYANMAR
Speakers at a brainstorming session yesterday stressed the need of
aggressive diplomatic initiative for strengthening bilateral cooperation with Myanmar.
Former ambassador and editor of the Weekly Holiday AZM Enayetullah
Khan presented the keynote paper at the section organised by the Bangladesh
Institute of International and Strategic Studies (BIISS) at its auditorium.
Chairman of BIISS MR Osmany presided. Former Adviser
of the 2001 caretaker government A Muyeed Chowdhury, Chairman of Bangladesh-Myanmar Business Forum Rashed Maksud Khan, joint
secretary of DCCI Ferdous Ara,
Prof CR Abrar and Imtiaz
Ahmed of Dhaka University International relations Department, Chairman of the
Peace and Strategic Studies Centre Major Gen(retd) Syed M Ibrahim
and business Nizamul Haque Selim participated in the discussion.
Enayetullah Khan said there should have been
sufficient aggressive diplomatic initiative to Myanmar.
He said Myanmar
should occupy a very important position
In the list of our foreign policy dispensation. He
said we have no history of hostility with Myanmar
and that the country still offers finest opportunities for Bangladesh.
Khan stressed on the need of revival of our bilateral relations with Myanmar.
He said Bangladesh
was in a more advantageous position in bilateral relation with Myanmar
as the anti-alien feeling of the people of Myanmar
was not directed towards Bangladesh.
He said we were resource poor while Myanmar
was resource rich. He stressed on the need of regular formal trade arrangements
between the two countries.
Khan said there is no civil society structure in Myanmar.
He said as General Ne win militarised the entire society it was very difficult
to build up a democratic structure there. He said there was a kind of national
pride inherent in the people of Myanmar.
Khan said required weight age to Myanmar
at political level was still missing in Bangladesh.
He said we could build up Bangladesh-Myanmar relation without BIMST-EC.
A Muyeed Chowdhury said we
should seriously consider a free trade zone at Takanaf.
He said costal shipping was imperative for developing relationship between the
two countries. He said Asian Highway
would be suicidal for us.
Rashed Maksud Khan said Myanmar
should be our target business wise. He said there should be regional and
sun-regional cooperation to build up our economy. Myanmar
was slowly and gradually encouraging private sector, Khan said, adding we
should look into opportunities for co-operation in different fields including
forest resources. He said our communication with Myanmar
was still poor. He said Myanmar
export to Bangladesh
was US$70 million while export from Bangladesh
was less than US$ one million.
Prof CR Abrar said the civil society in Bangladesh
has a lot to do in terms of exposing the brutalities of the Myanmar
ruling junta. He said we need to have a refugee law that woukd
be able to deal with the problems created by the Rohingya refugees.
Major General (Retd) syed M
Ibrahim said Myanmar
economy would jump up after about four to five years and hence we should build
up economic co-operation wityh Myanmar
Source: today the independent