Narinjara news

 

29/5/2002


BANGLADESH FOREIGN SECRETARY WILL DISCUSS BORDER TRADE WITH BURMA

By Sheikh Rakib Uddin

Bangladesh foreign Secretary Shamser Mobin Chowdhury is due to hold official talks with Deputy Minister for foreign Affairs of Burma Khin Maung Win in Rangoon in third week of June to bolster Dhaka-Rangoon ties.

The talks, to cover the entire gamut of bilateral relation, would put special focus on border issues, border trade, general trade, economic cooperation and fefugee issue.

The talks will also follow up the trade talks between Bangladesh and Myanmar in Rangoon in March on the occasion of the Bangladesh trade fair.

During his three-day visit to Burma beginning June 15, the Foreign Secretary will also call on Burma Foreign Minister win Aung.

The repatriation of the Rohingya refugees is one of the bilateral issues between Bangladesh and Burma. Of a quarter of a million Burma refugees who crossed into Bangladesh territory in early 1991, 2,30,000 voluntarily returned to their homesteads in the western Arakan state of Burma during the last 12years.

The more than 20.000 remaining Burmese refugees are living in cramped camps in Teknaf of Cosísbazar awaiting repatriation, which now remains stalled. Even the repatriation process under the tripartite agreement between Bangladesh, Burma and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) is virtually stopped now.

The meeting of senior officials, which handles the refugees problems between the two countries, has been pending for the last two years. It was learnt that Rangoon is yet to respond positively to repeated requests by Dhaka for a fresh meeting of the senior officials. It was also learnt that Burma government did not give clearance to the last list of the refugees submitted to them about a year ago.

According to the UN mandate, there are three ways for resolution of the refugees problem. Bangladesh taken a move to further strengthens both its economic and political relations with all its neighbouring and South Asian countries.#

Source: today the independent