Strong regional response on Rakhine


A Myanmar police officer in a rain coat patrols on a road in the ethnic Rakhine village of Chain Khar Li, an area close to fighting at Rathedaung township of northern Rakhine State, western Myanmar, 26 August 2017. Photo: Nyunt Win/EPA

For the first time, Bangladesh has offered to start joint military operations with Myanmar to curb and control the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA).

Officials in Bangladesh foreign ministry said the offer has been conveyed to Nay Pyi Taw through Myanmar's charge d'affairs in Dhaka.

It was not yet clear how Myanmar,especially its army, would react to the offer.

Sheikh Hasina's government is against receiving Rohingyas or against backing any ARSA terrorist activity.

"Why should the world push us to accept more Rohingyas, we are an over-populated poor country ourselves, we are surprised why the UN and other Big powers pushing Myanmar to create conditions so that no Rohingya is forced to take shelter in Bangladesh or elsewhere," former foreign minister Dipu Moni had said recently.

She is now general secretary of the ruling Awami League and chairperson of the parliamentary committee on foreign affairs.

But Bangladesh security officials are determined to curb and control ARSA because it has strong links with Bangladesh's leading Islamist terror group JMB.

The JMB has been responsible for some horrendous acts of terror like the Holey Artisan Bakery attack on July 1 last year and several acts of suicide bombing.

For some time now, Bangladesh intelligence has been monitoring ARSA leaders who use mobile phones from that country rather than Myanmar.

"We have passed on whatever we get to Myanmar agencies," one Bangladesh intelligence official said.

The Indian response to the developments in Rakhine has also been strong and forthright.

The Ministry of External; Affairs (MEA) has condemned in its statement the 'acts of terrorism' and expressed condolences for Myanmar security personnel who lost their lives in the Aug 25 attack.

Indian minister KhirenRijju has also said his government will expel all the 40000 Rohingyas in India.

Both India and Bangladesh are unwilling to take any Rohingya refugee but they are more than willing to help Myanmar crush the ARSA which both Delhi and Dhaka sees as a dangerous addition to the nexus of Islamic radical hardlineterrorist groups like JMB and ABT in Bangladesh, Indian Mujahideen in India and all aligned to Pakistan's Lashkar e Tayabba (LET). It is expected Indian PM Narendra Modi will offer greater military cooperation to Myanmar during his visit on Sept 6-7 

China , despite high stakes in Rakhine state specially its Kyaukphyu project , has been silent on the escalation of violence in Rakhine -- so has Pakistan.

That has not been missed in Nay Pyi Taw.

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