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Bangladesh-Burma relations

Websites/Multiple Documents

Title: "Narinjara News" (English)
Description/subject: This news service covers Bangladesh-Burma relations, the Bangladesh-Burma border, events in Arakan and human rights violations against both the Buddhist and Muslim population of Arakan. Email delivery of the reports may be requested from narinjara@yahoo.com
Language: English
Source/publisher: Narinjara News
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003

Title: Bangladesh–Burma relations
Description/subject: The neighboring countries of Bangladesh and Burma (officially, Myanmar) currently have a ambiguous bilateral relationship. Tensions exist between the two countries due to border disputes and the presence of over 270,000 Burmese Muslim refugees in Bangladesh, however.
Language: English
Source/publisher: Wikipedia
Date of entry/update: 13 October 2010

Title: Google search results for military confrontation bangladesh myanmar
Description/subject: About 432,000 results (January 2018)
Language: English
Source/publisher: www.via google
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 27 January 2018

Individual Documents

Title: Myanmar's delaying tactics blocking Rohingya return - Bangladesh PM
Date of publication: 26 September 2018
Description/subject: "NEW YORK (Reuters) - Bangladesh’s leader accused neighboring Myanmar of finding new excuses to delay the return of more than 700,000 Rohingya who were forced across the border over the past year, and said in an interview late Tuesday that under no circumstance would the refugees remain permanently in her already crowded country. “I already have 160 million people in my country,” Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said, when asked whether Bangladesh would be willing to walk back its policy against permanent integration. “I can’t take any other burden. I can’t take it. My country cannot bear.” ..."
Author/creator: Jonathan Spicer, Rodrigo Campos
Language: English
Source/publisher: Reuters
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 29 September 2018

Title: Myanmar/Bangladesh: A Humanitarian Calamity and a Two-country Crisis
Date of publication: 31 January 2018
Description/subject: "Crisis Group’s early-warning Watch List identifies up to ten countries and regions at risk of conflict or escalation of violence. In these situations, early action, driven or supported by the EU and its member states, would generate stronger prospects for peace. It includes a global overview, regional summaries, and detailed analysis on select countries and conflicts. The Watch List 2018 includes Afghanistan, Bangladesh/Myanmar, Cameroon, Colombia, Egypt, Iraq, Sahel, Tunisia, Ukraine and Zimbabwe"..... Myanmar/Bangladesh section of ICG's "Watchlist 2018": "Violent operations by the military, border police and vigilante groups in Myanmar have forced some 750,000 Rohingya to flee northern Rakhine for Bangladesh over the last twelve months. These numbers represent more than 85 per cent of the Rohingya population in the three affected townships. Significant bilateral and multilateral criticism – in the UN Security Council, General Assembly and Human Rights Council – has failed to temper the approach of the Myanmar government and military. The UN, as well as the U.S. and other governments, have declared the 2017 campaign against the Rohingya “ethnic cleansing” and likely crimes against humanity; some have raised the possibility that it may constitute genocide....While relations between Bangladesh and Myanmar are tense, there appears to be little risk of direct conflict between the two countries’ armies. Likewise, in the view of Bangladeshi security forces, the possibility of the displaced Rohingya being recruited or used by Bangladeshi or transnational jihadist groups is low. Perhaps more dangerous, ahead of national elections to be held near the end of 2018, is that the presence of a large refugee population could ignite the simmering communal conflict among Muslims, Buddhists and Hindus as well as ethnic minorities, especially in the highly militarised Chittagong Hill Tracts. It also is worth noting that these refugees – whose presence Bangladeshi politicians privately suggest could well be permanent – are located in a part of the country where the influence of Hefazat-e-Islam (Protectors of Islam), a hardline coalition of government-allied Islamist organisations, is strongest. The Hefazat was first to respond to the refugee crisis. It has since threatened to launch a jihad against Myanmar unless it stops persecuting the Rohingya. Hefazat has in recent years gained significant influence over the nominally secular Awami League, the ruling party, and now holds effective veto power over the government’s social and religious policies..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: International Crisis group (ICG)
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 February 2018

Title: Myanmar’s Rohingya Crisis Enters a Dangerous New Phase
Date of publication: 07 December 2017
Description/subject: Conclusion: "The actions of the Myanmar military in northern Rakhine State have created a major humanitarian catastrophe, a crisis for the country and a security threat to the region. It has strengthened an ugly strand of nationalism that will be long-lasting and could lead to the targeting of other minorities in the future. The crisis will define Myanmar in the eyes of much of the world for years to come, with hugely negative consequences across the board on trade, investment, tourism. The country has squandered its considerable reserves of global good-will just when it needed them most, as it was emerging from decades of isolation from the West. Myanmar has also put itself at much greater risk of attack by transnational jihadist groups. Priority long-term aims of balancing China’s geostrategic influence and economic dominance in the country and rehabilitating the military’s international image have been significantly set back. The abuses against the Rohingya minority have captured global public opinion, and the uncompromising posture of the government has exacerbated the situation. Western countries almost certainly will re-impose some of the sanctions that had been lifted in recent years. As they do so, they should acknowledge their inherent limitations and approach them in a manner that can maximise leverage while minimising collateral damage on Myanmar’s long-suffering population."
Language: English
Source/publisher: International Crisis Group (ICG)
Format/size: html (892K)
Alternate URLs: http://www.burmalibrary.org/docs24/ICG-292.htm
Date of entry/update: 07 December 2017

Title: Impact of Climate Change on ASEAN International Affairs:Risk and Opportunity Multiplier
Date of publication: 06 November 2017
Description/subject: Executive summary: "• Failure to move away from fossil fuels, especially coal, may damage the international reputation of the ASEAN countries. Counter to the nationally determined contributions (NDCs) which the ASEAN countries themselves have formulated under the Paris Agreement, the region’s coal-based electricity generation capacity has been expanding rapidly. This may also lead to a large number of stranded coal assets in the future. • All the ASEAN member states have ratified the Kyoto Protocol and signed the Paris Agreement, and nine out of ten have also ratified the Paris Agreement. At least half of the ASEAN member states reacted publicly to President Donald Trump’s announcement that the United States would withdraw from the Paris Agreement, criticizing it and/or reiterating their own country’s commitment to climate action. ASEAN has identified climate change as a priority issue since the 2007 ASEAN Summit in Singapore. This declared commitment of ASEAN and its member states to international climate policy can provide a good foundation for joint regional climate policy formulation and action. • However, despite their positive stances on climate change, most ASEAN countries have not taken on prominent roles in international climate policy. As a result, they remain takers rather than makers in international climate politics. ASEAN as an organization stands to gain or lose status by following up or not following up its member states on climate issues, and by member states succeeding or failing to meet their NDCs. The ASEAN Secretariat can fulfill an important function by promoting a team spirit around this status drive. • ASEAN could formulate a regionally determined contribution (RDC) for ASEAN by adding up the nationally determined contributions of the ASEAN member states. This could help create a team spirit related to the NDCs, as well as possible peer review/pressure. • ASEAN could implement several other concrete measures to energize its work on climate change: maintain a focus on the NDCs of its member states under the Paris Agreement; ensure that current and future initiatives under the ASEAN Plan of Action for Energy Cooperation (APAEC) are ambitious and detailed as to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions; highlight the vulnerability of Southeast Asia to climate change by publishing and sharing relevant analysis; advocate improved disclosure and reporting of the financial risks of climate change to governments and investors; put climate change high on the agenda of every ASEAN summit; involve and connect relevant civil society and academic organizations across Southeast Asia; facilitate regional electricity trade through the expansion of the ASEAN Power Grid for better handling of the intermittency of renewable energy; promote the accelerated phase- out of fossil-fuel subsidies—which is also a prerequisite for developing trans-border electricity trade in Southeast Asia. • To be successful, climate-related initiatives will need to consider the ASEAN way of conducting business, with its emphasis on national sovereignty, non-interference and consensus in decision-making. The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) has set an example of common but differentiated capabilities and responsibilities, further developed with the Paris Agreement’s concept of nationally determined contributions, which are precisely that—nationally determined. This approach is highly compatible with the traditional ASEAN approach to interstate cooperation. • ASEAN may be experiencing a problem of collective action on international climate policy: the member states are looking to ASEAN to adopt a stronger role, whereas the ASEAN Secretariat looks to the member states to take the lead and give clear signals. A first step towards solving this conundrum could be for the ASEAN Secretariat to further expand and strengthen its climate policy staffing—which will require funding and capacity enhancement."
Author/creator: Indra Overland et al
Language: English
Source/publisher: Norwegian Institute of International Affairs and Myanmar Institute of Strategic and International Studies
Format/size: pdf (3.85MB)
Alternate URLs: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/320622312_Impact_of_Climate_Change_on_ASEAN_International_...
Date of entry/update: 09 March 2018

Title: Generals Prep $15M of New Fencing For Border With Bangladesh
Date of publication: 23 February 2017
Description/subject: "The Upper House of Parliament on Thursday heard the Home Affairs Ministry’s 20 billion kyats ($15 million) plan to raise several more kilometers of fencing along Myanmar’s border with Bangladesh and carry out other related work. Home Affairs Deputy Minister Major General Aung Soe told the Upper House session that the money would come from the president’s emergency fund and be handed over to the Ministry of Defense to carry out the work in Rakhine State. He asked the session to make a record of the project, which it did. With the president’s approval, the fund can be appropriated without approval from Parliament..."
Author/creator: Htet Naing Zaw
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy"
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 24 February 2018

Title: The Bay of Bengal at the crossroads: potential for coorperation among Bangladesh, India and Myanmar
Date of publication: October 2014
Description/subject: INTRODUCTION: "Emerging geopolitical changes in the Bay of Bengal (BoB) region are unleashing its enormous economic potential. However, if political obstacles, among these littoral states, along with strategic competition between the major powers, are allowed to shape the evolving dynamics, they may not only constrict the region’s economic prospects, but also turn it into one more theatre of conflict. In such a scenario, the key littorals – Bangladesh, India and Myanmar – need to leverage emerging opportunities through various forms of cooperation to chart anew the economic geography of the region, and evolve regional mechanisms to manage conflict, a critical condition for regional peace and stability..."
Author/creator: K. Yhome
Language: English
Source/publisher: Observer Research Foundation
Format/size: pdf (156K)
Alternate URLs: http://www.burmalibrary.org/docs21/Yhome-ORF-2014-10-The_Bay_of_Bengal_at_the_crossroads-en.pdf
Date of entry/update: 25 September 2015

Title: How South Asia Resolves Maritime Disputes
Date of publication: 10 July 2014
Description/subject: "As Ankit noted earlier today, the Hague-based Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) ruled on the maritime dispute between India and Bangladesh in the Bay of Bengal this week. According to news reports, the court awarded 19,467 square kilometers (7,516 square miles) of a total disputed area of 25,602 km to Bangladesh. More importantly, both countries praised the ruling. “It is the victory of friendship and a win-win situation for the peoples of Bangladesh and India,” Bangladesh’s Foreign Minister Abul Hassan Mahmood Ali told a news conference on Tuesday, Reuters reported. He added: “We commend India for its willingness to resolve this matter peacefully by legal means and for its acceptance of the tribunal’s judgment.” India’s Ministry of External Affairs also released a statement hailing the court’s ruling in Bangladesh’s favor. “The settlement of the maritime boundary will further enhance mutual understanding and goodwill between India and Bangladesh by bringing to closure a long-pending issue,” the statement said. “This paves the way for the economic development of this part of the Bay of Bengal, which will be beneficial to both countries.” This is not the first time that India and Bangladesh have peacefully resolved a territorial dispute. Back in 2011, India and Bangladesh reached a bilateral agreement to resolve their disputed land borders This is also not the first time an international tribunal has peacefully resolved a maritime border dispute in South Asia. At the same time it filed the case with India, Bangladesh asked another tribunal to resolve its maritime dispute with Myanmar according to the terms of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea. Myanmar, like India, agreed to submit the case to the tribunal and abide by its ruling..."
Author/creator: Zachary Keck
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Diplomat"
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 25 July 2014

Title: Myanmar conflict threatens regional stability
Date of publication: 16 August 2012
Description/subject: "AGARTALA and IMPHAL - As a rising number of Rohingya Muslims flee sectarian conflict in Myanmar and take sanctuary in India's northeastern states, the flow of refugees is putting a new strain on bilateral relations. New Delhi has called on Naypyidaw to stem the rising human tide, a diplomatic request that Indian officials say has so far gone unheeded. Ongoing sporadic violence between Rohingya Muslims and Buddhist Rakhines in western Myanmar has left more than 80 dead and displaced tens of thousands. The Myanmar government's inability or unwillingness to stop the persecution of Rohingyas has provoked strong international reaction, raising calls for retribution in radical corners of the Islamic world, including a threat from the Pakistani Taliban to attack Myanmar's diplomatic missions abroad. Fears are now rising that Myanmar-borne instability is spreading to India's northeastern frontier regions, threatening to spiral into a wider regional security dilemma. At the same time that Muslim Rohingyas and Buddhist Rakhines clashed in Myanmar, fighting erupted between Muslims and Hindus in India's northeastern Assam State. As in Myanmar, where the Rohingyas are considered illegal Bangladeshi settlers, the Muslims targeted in Assam are accused of being ethnic Bengalis who have migrated illegally from Bangladesh..."
Author/creator: Subir Bhaumik
Language: English
Source/publisher: "Asia Times Online"
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 15 September 2012

Title: “The Government Could Have Stopped This” - Sectarian Violence and Ensuing Abuses in Burma’s Arakan State
Date of publication: 01 August 2012
Description/subject: Summary: "In June 2012, deadly sectarian violence erupted in western Burma’s Arakan State between ethnic Arakan Buddhists and Rohingya Muslims (as well as non-Rohingya Muslims). The violence broke out after reports circulated that on May 28 an Arakan woman was raped and killed in the town of Ramri allegedly by three Muslim men. Details of the crime were circulated locally in an incendiary pamphlet, and on June 3, a large group of Arakan villagers in Toungop stopped a bus and brutally killed 10 Muslims on board. Human Rights Watch confirmed that local police and soldiers stood by and watched the killings without intervening. On June 8, thousands of Rohingya rioted in Maungdaw town after Friday prayers, destroying Arakan property and killing an unknown number of Arakan residents. Sectarian violence then quickly swept through the Arakan State capital, Sittwe, and surrounding areas. Mobs from both communities soon stormed unsuspecting villages and neighborhoods, killing residents and destroying homes, shops, and houses of worship. With little to no government security present to stop the violence, people armed themselves with swords, spears, sticks, iron rods, knives, and other basic weapons, taking the law into their own hands. Vast stretches of property from both communities were razed. The government claimed that 78 people were killed—an undoubtedly conservative figure—while more than 100,000 people were displaced from their homes. The hostilities were fanned by inflammatory anti-Muslim media accounts and local propaganda. During the period after the rape and killing was reported and before the violence broke out, tensions had risen dramatically in Arakan State. However, local residents from each community told Human Rights Watch that the Burmese authorities provided no protection and did not appear to have taken any special measures to preempt the violence. On June 10, fearing the unrest would spread beyond the borders of Arakan State, Burmese President Thein Sein announced a state of emergency, transferring civilian power to the Burmese army in affected areas of the state. At this point, a wave of concerted violence by various state security forces against Rohingya communities began. For example, Rohingya in Narzi quarter—the largest Muslim area in Sittwe, home to 10,000 Muslims—described “THE GOVERNMENT COULD HAVE STOPPED THIS” 2 how Arakan mobs burned down their homes on June 12 while the police and paramilitary Lon Thein forces opened fire on them with live ammunition. In northern Arakan State, the Nasaka border guard force, the army, police, and Lon Thein committed killings, mass arrests, and looting against Rohingya. In the aftermath, local Arakan leaders and members of the Arakan community in Sittwe have called for the forced displacement of the Muslim community from the city, while local Buddhist monks have initiated a campaign of exclusion, calling on the local Buddhist population to neither befriend nor do business with Muslims..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Human Rights Watch (HRW)
Format/size: pdf (630K-original; 575K-OBL version)
Alternate URLs: http://www.burmalibrary.org/docs13/The_Government_Could_Have_Stopped_this-HRW-red.pdf
Date of entry/update: 02 August 2012

Title: Bangladesh FM leaves for Germany for Maritime dispute verdict
Date of publication: 14 March 2012
Description/subject: "Bangladesh Foreign minister Dr Dipu Moni is leaving for Germany to hear the maritime dispute verdict delivered by the judges of The International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS). She is scheduled to arrive in Hamburg at 3:10 am Bangladesh time on Wednesday, to be present during the deliberation of the verdict. The ITLOS will deliver its verdict on the dispute concerning delimitation of the maritime boundary between Bangladesh and Myanmar in the Bay of Bengal on Wednesday..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Narinjara News
Format/size: html
Alternate URLs: http://bnionline.net/index.php/news/narinjara/12807-bangladesh-fm-leaves-for-germany-for-maritime-d...
Date of entry/update: 15 March 2012

Title: The Maritime Boundary Dispute between Bangladesh and Myanmar: Motivations, Potential Solutions, and Implications
Date of publication: July 2010
Description/subject: This article examines the major catalysts of the surge in activity over the maritime boundary dispute between Myanmar and Bangladesh and explores both the likely avenues for resolution and the resulting implications for the two countries and the region at large.
Author/creator: Jared Bissinger
Language: English
Source/publisher: The National Bureau of Asian Research, Seattle, Washington
Format/size: pdf (167.77 K)
Alternate URLs: http://www.nbr.org/publications/asia_policy/AP10/AP10_D_Maritime.pdf
Date of entry/update: 13 October 2010

Title: Bangladesh, Myanmar agree to compromise on sea boundary dispute
Date of publication: 21 January 2010
Description/subject: Dhaka, Jan 9 (DPA) Bangladesh and Myanmar Saturday agreed to compromise to resolve a long-standing maritime border dispute in the Bay of Bengal, officials said. The lack of a clear boundary has caused tensions between the two neighbours over offshore hydrocarbon exploration in the bay in 2008.
Language: English
Source/publisher: Thaindian News
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 13 October 2010

Date of publication: 06 November 2009
Description/subject: 37 years is a relatively long time to build up a viable economic relationship between two neighboring countries- Bangladesh & Myanmar. Let us take stock of what we have institutionally done so far- 1. Before independence (in 1966), an agreement to demarcate land boundary was signed with Myanmar; 2. In 1980, border agreement for cooperation was signed; 3. In 1988, an agreement for demarcation of land section of the boundary north of Naaf river was signed; 4. An understanding to have foreign secretary level annual talks touching on economic links has been agreed to; 5. A joint trade commission was established to discuss trade matters; 6. Talks on delimitation of maritime boundary has now been agreed to.
Author/creator: Ambassador Ashfaqur Rahman
Language: English
Source/publisher: Centre for Foreign Affairs Studies (CFAS)
Format/size: pdf (48.24 K)
Date of entry/update: 13 October 2010

Title: Bangladesh-Myanmar in standoff
Date of publication: 09 November 2008
Description/subject: Troops on alert as row over oil and gas exploration in Bay of Bengal simmers. Bangladesh's border guards have been placed on high alert after reports that Myanmar strengthened its security along the 270km land border between the countries. The move came as Myanmar's government said on Sunday that oil and gas exploration operations in contested waters in the Bay of Bengal had been completed.
Source/publisher: Aljazeera
Format/size: html
Alternate URLs: http://english.aljazeera.net/news/asia-pacific/2008/11/20081194956933121.html
Date of entry/update: 13 October 2010

Title: The Bangladesh-Myanmar maritime boundary dispute
Date of publication: 06 November 2008
Description/subject: On the 1st of November four drilling ships from Myanmar started exploration for oil and gas reserves within 50 nautical miles south west of St. Martins Island, in Bangladesh. A South Korean company was awarded the oil and gas exploration contract in that place and two Myanmar naval ships escorted the drilling ships. Three naval ships of Bangladesh went to challenge them but the Myanmar Navy responded by alleging that the Bangladesh Navy ships are trespassing.
Author/creator: Rezwan
Language: English
Source/publisher: E-Banglades
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 13 October 2010

Title: Challenges to democratization in Burma: Perspectives on multilateral and bilateral responses. Chapter 2 - Bangladesh–Burma relations
Date of publication: 14 December 2001
Description/subject: I Bangladesh’s policy towards Burma/Myanmar in historical context; II The present phase of Bangladesh–Burma relations; III Trade and economic relations 64 IV Conclusions. "...For Bangladesh, its relations with Burma have been dominated by a refugee crises provoked by the actions of the Burmese Army under the military governments of Ne Win and SLORC/SPDC. These crises generated unbearable economic, political and social pressures within Bangladesh thus limiting its room for creative initiatives. These crises also significantly increased Bangladesh dependence on foreign assistance to relieve the burden of the continued presence of the refugees. In the latest crisis, this dependence has led leading donor countries to openly seek to influence Bangladesh bilateral policies towards Burma. On the other hand, it is submitted, that Burma’s general standing in Southeast Asia and in South Asia has greatly improved since 1997, increasing its bargaining power vis-à-vis Bangladesh. Burma's improved economic position, its greatly expanded armed forces, its relative success in neutralizing the major insurgencies within the country, its close links with China, its admission into ASEAN, have all contributed to Myanmar's new strength and greater negotiating power. The ruling SPDC is in a position to dangle the promise of trade access to the rich resources of their country before the eager Bangladesh business community. Moreover, the occupation of the Burmese Embassy in Bangkok and the holding of hostages was expected to harden public opinion against the so-called “terrorist” activities of the student supporters of Aung San Suu Kyi..."
Author/creator: Kaiser Morshed
Language: English
Source/publisher: International IDEA
Format/size: pdf (188K)
Alternate URLs: http://www.idea.int/asia_pacific/burma/upload/challenges_to_democratization_in_burma.pdf
Date of entry/update: 27 September 2010

Title: Bangladesh-Myanmar Relations and the Stateless Rohingyas
Date of publication: June 2001
Description/subject: I have lately been disturbed by two developments. Firstly, at the very moment when 'realism' has lost its post-Westphalian glories and is suffering from disrepute, the stateless people continue to be at the mercy of the state. In the case of the Rohingyas it is even more pathetic for their refuge across the border brought no change to their sufferings. On the contrary, as camped and non-camped refugees, they ended up becoming victims of yet another state power, this time of Bangladesh. Secondly, when the power of the state has been eroded considerably, particularly in the wake of misgovernance and globalization, the state is brought in to resolve the issue of statelessness. Indeed, the Rohingyas were sent home, amidst criticism of 'involuntary' repatriation, with the hope that the government of Myanmar (GOM) after over half-a-century would change its position and make them all worthy citizens of Myanmar. What we have is a representation of a dialectic in the constitution of the state, that is, state as usurper and state as salvation, without of course realizing that the former cancels the latter and vice versa.
Author/creator: Imtiaz Ahmed
Language: English
Source/publisher: Department of International Relations, University of Dhaka
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 13 October 2010

Title: *Youtube search for Burma OR Myanmar - Bangladesh* (video)
Description/subject: About 270,000 results (August 2017)
Language: English, Burmese (ျမန္မာဘာသာ)
Source/publisher: Various sources via Youtube
Format/size: Adobe Flash or html5
Date of entry/update: 22 August 2017