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Myanmar to thaw Bangladesh ties

  • Published at 02:30 am May 3rd, 2016
Myanmar to thaw Bangladesh ties
Maintaining inward policies for the last five decades, Myanmar is going to attempt to better relationships with its neighbours and the rest of the world, a government official said. “I am quite sure the new government wants to maintain good ties with Dhaka,” said Secretary of Foreign Relations Committee of Myanmar Parliament Bo Bo Oo. He was of the view that relations between previous governments in Naypyidaw and Dhaka was “quite chilled”. Myanmar had general election in November where Nobel Laureate Aung Sun Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy (NLD) had a landslide victory. It took over on April 1 with huge expectation from the people to change the society. “I hope that the new government will change the course and also the Bangladesh government will take steps to remove all barriers,” he said. He, however, said it is really hard to remove all barriers in a day and that both sides should reach out to better ties. He said border dispute and military exercises from the both sides were main reasons behind cold relations between the neighbours. “I suppose the NLD government will try to improve relations and efforts will also be made from the Bangladesh side,” he said. He said after the 1962 coup in Myanmar by General Ne Win, the government, driven by narrow nationalism sentiment, changed the policy and principles of bilateral relations. About the new democratically elected government, he said: “I have my own optimistic thinking and I believe that it will be fine, it will be okay.” He stressed improving trade relations considering that volume is not even $100 million. “The bilateral trade is quite low and we need to beef up from both sides.” About connectivity, he said this is a very good chance for Myanmar to have corridor with Bangladesh and South East Asia. Bangladesh, China, India and Myanmar are trying to establish an economic corridor from Kolkata to Kunming to improve the socio-economic condition of the sub-region where 400 million people live. Former president and current Chief Patron of ruling NLD Tin Oo believed that every problem must be settled peacefully. “We have a common border. We are going to observe the principle of the Panchshila for the peaceful coexistence of both sides,” he said. Panchshila or Panchshila Treaty is the five principles of peaceful coexistence of nations. “We have a good border. We are trying our best to stay peacefully as far as we can,” he said. The 90-year-old army man turned politician said he was the commander of Bangladesh-Myanmar border during the independence war. Former spokesperson and a member of the central committee of NLD Nyan Win said there is a big difference between the democratic government and the previous military government. “They were thinking of all the matters through military minds. We think issues using political means. It is a big difference,” he said. He said foreign policy remains same, but the technique is different from government to government. About Bangladesh-Myanmar relations, he said if there are too many arguments, it would not be beneficial for both sides and things would not proceed. “We have to remain friends. We are friends,” he said. Nyan Win said they have to deal with all the bordering countries including Bangladesh, India, China, Thailand and Laos. About resolving problems through discussion, he said both Bangladesh and Myanmar did it in the past. “I think three years ago there was a problem in Naf River. We solved that through discussion and solve it peacefully,” he said.