Saturday, April 23, 2011

Thoughts On The Bangladesh Navy

Bangladesh is a land of rivers and has a long sea area around the border. No doubt we have a prestigious force like the Bangladesh Navy, an eternal vigilant of our country in the sea and in the coastal area. This organisation has a brilliant role in our Liberation War abreast the army and air force and they fought valiantly against our Pakistan enemies after the declaration of independence by our great leader Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman in 1971. For that reason one of the highest prestigious title like “Birshrestha” has been entitled to Ruhul Amin, a proud member of our naval force. Apart from their day-to-day operational activities they are engaged in UN peace keeping missions in different countries. In this respect, I would request the concerned authority to take necessary steps to increase the participants in the UN missions to come. The members of this proud organisation are also playing a vital role in the different spheres in the country like Ministry of Home, Shipping and Foreign Affairs in different positions. Recently, Bangladesh has raised their demand in the UN to get equitable international sea areas surrounding her own territory and in this connection naval force can keep their important role. No need to mention further that like other developed naval forces of the world, Bangladesh navy has attained supremacy in the field of their modern training and equipment. The members of this institution are skilled in three dimensional activities, i.e they can perform in the sea, land and in the air as well. In this context, I want to add the recent declaration to make Bangladesh navy a full fledged force by our honourable premier Sheikh Hasina while she was visiting Khulna regional naval bases. This is a very timely declaration of our prime minister and as an ex cadet of the navy, I hope, all the members of this organisation will keep the prestige of our beloved, glorious Bangladesh by dint of their lives.

Propaganda Against The Army Of Bangladesh

I had a chance to talk to some of people about the BDR mutiny in Bangladesh and I was shocked to see a lot of negative emotion or impressions about the army of Bangladesh. Most people categorically states that the army of Bangladesh has become corrupt and they are doing all sorts of wrongs. While I could respect their opinion, I have to say someone is feeding wrong information to these people and their conspiracy runs deep. Even the bloody acts against the army officers could not sway their judgment on the army. Then I came across the article Lies about Bangladesh Army, conspiracy and responsibility of the Nation ( articles/view/ 92690) where the writer tried to depict a clear distinction about why people have negative feelings about the army. There was some obvious propaganda against the army. The only motivation behind it is to make Bangladesh a bottomless basket and present as a rogue state. One recent example as the writer put forward is: “The renegade troops alleged that the Director General of Bangladesh Rifles, Major General Shakil Ahmed Chowdhury [who has been martyred by the renegade troops] was buying edible soyabean oil for Tk 40 [US$ 0.57 ] per litre and selling in the market at a rate of Tk 104 [US$ 1.50 ]. Anyone having minimum knowledge about the world market will agree that, price of soyabean oil during the entire period of 2007 [June] to 2008 [ October] was above US$ 1 ,200 per ton. In this case, the import cost of soyabean oil was US$ 1.20 or Tk 82.80 per liter. There is 19.50 per cent Value Added Tax and other duties on the import. So the landing cost per litre was Tk 98.88 [US$ 1.43 ]. Then Bangladesh Rifles purchased the imported edible oil from the local importers [it was not directly imported by BDR]. The importers levied Tk 4-4.50 profit per liter [minimum]. In this case, the BDR director general managed to sell the purchased oil only with a most minimum profit of TK. 0.50 per litre, or may be even less, while in the open market, retail price of soyabean oil was above Tk 120 per litre. So, the allegation of the renegade troops was not true at all. Commenting on this, one of the leading oil importers said, it was not possible for the ordinary troops of Bangladesh Rifles to know the import cost of the edible oil. “ There are thousands of stories like this that is circulating in blogs and other places. If we sincerely look at all this rumours, we will find out like the previous example most of them are sheer lies , not true and propaganda only. They are only rumoured to harm the interests of Bangladesh and create distance between the brilliant and patriotic army of Bangladesh. The army and the patriotic people of Bangladesh need to be vigilant against this people and watch out so that situations like the BDR mutiny never happens in this beloved country of ours. We can not lose to conspirators, but must shine above all.

Mayanmar : The Ultimate Threat To Democracy

A tragedy of torn diplomatic relations and uncertainty has existed for almost three decades between the neighbouring countries of Myanmar and Bangladesh. This situation has become even more strained since November 2008 , due to the growing diplomatic and military crisis caused by disagreement between Myanmar and Bangladesh over maritime boundary demarcations. Over the past four months, the crisis has mounted on the Bangladesh-Myanmar border, as Myanmar goes ahead with construction of a barbed wire fence along the border. The Myanmar authority has completed the construction of pillars covering over 80 kilometres of the 270- kilometre land border between Myanmar and Bangladesh, from Teknaf to Bandarban. They have recently also set up several border outposts. The present crisis is rooted in what happened in November 2008 , when Myanmar hired South Korea’s Daewoo International Corporation to carry out hydrocarbon exploration in a stretch of the sea that both countries claim, about 90 kilometres southwest of Bangladesh. At that time, four Korean ships guarded by the Myanmar navy started searching for oil and gas reserves 50 nautical miles southwest of Bangladesh, in a stretch of ocean both countries claim. At that point, Bangladesh resumed negotiation with Myanmar to define their maritime borders. A series of discussions took place between the two neighbouring countries to resolve the issue, but the crisis was not resolved. In mid-October of 2009 , Myanmar stationed small- and mid-sized warships 20 miles southeast of the Bangladesh-Myanmar border, at the Sai Tin River, east of Maungdaw. Bangladesh also sent warships into the bay, to counter the alleged intrusion. Although Bangladesh managed to defuse tensions after involving China in negotiations, the fencing project is still going on and a notable number of troops are being deployed by both countries to reinforce their side of the border. Both countries are advocating precautionary measures along the border to avoid any undesirable situations. Bangladesh has taken their maritime border issue with Myanmar to the UN, so why are there still tensions? Obviously, there is no chance that war will break out between these two neighbouring nations. Recently, in a closed door meeting with senior foreign intelligence officials, some specific information about the ongoing crisis between Myanmar and Bangladesh was shared. An intelligence official shared some specific facts about the Myanmar-Bangladesh border crisis. Behind the scenes, politicians from both the Bangladesh Awami League and the pro-Islamist party, senior officials of the Directorate General of Forces Intelligence ( DGFI) and a group of senior foreign intelligence officers of three different countries are working closely for different causes. Amidst all this action, General Moeen Uddin Ahmed, the former Chief of Army Staff, is playing the vital role of communicating with those involved from Myanmar and the two other countries. While the situation is tense at the border, the main action is happening in the Hill Tracts in the deep forest near the border. A large amount of arms ammunition is on the way, due to come by the end of October, from three different locations that will include 7.62- mm A-91 small-size assault rifles, 9- mm 9 A-91 assault rifles, AEK-971 assault rifles, easy- to-carry hand grenades, surface-to- surface missiles and specially made biological weapons. The different people in this mission have different agendas, yet their mission is same. The groups are targeting different establishments for attacks before December 16 th, and already a group has been highly trained to attack an important air establishment in Bangladesh. A large number of tribal people were trained in that group, including a notable number of women. Also, some DGFI officials and a foreign ministry official is connected to the plotters to ensure the proper movement of arms and people. The plotters’ target is to destabilise the country and bring down the present government, while the main target is to kill the present Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, some of her cabinet members, and a group of intellectuals. In doing so, when the plotters come to power, the three different countries who are helping them will get certain benefits from them. The government and its intelligence have failed to face the plotters. The country continues to face a great threat, and the peace and security of the region will be disturbed if the plotters are not faced by the government.