Skip to main content

Myanmar junta should know: Silence from Bangladesh isn't a sign of weakness

By Sufian Siddique* 

In January and February last year, the Myanmar Armed Forces launched two attacks in Arakan State. But the result was not good. 19 soldiers of the Myanmar army were killed by the Arakan forces. The Myanmar forces were forced to retreat after being chased. Myanmar also fired two mortar shells along the Thai border. The Thai government has not responded but is monitoring the matter.
A few days ago, Myanmar fired mortar shells on the Bangladesh border. Bangladesh government protested strongly on two occasions. Let’s talk about Arakan. AA is an insurgent group based in Rakhine State (Arakan). Established on 10 April 2009, the AA is the military wing of the United League of Arakan (ULA). It is currently led by Commander in Chief Major General Toan Marat Naing and Vice Deputy Commander Brigadier General Neo Toan Aung. In the Kachin conflict, the AA fought alongside the Kachin Independence Army (KIA) against the Tatmadaw (Myanmar Armed Forces).
Most AA soldiers were originally trained at the KIA Military Academy. Since 2014, AA has established its own training camp in Rakhine state. According to Myanmar Peace Monitor, the AA had more than 1,500 troops in 2014, including personnel stationed in Rakhine state near Myanmar’s border with Bangladesh.
Irrawaddy said in September 2015 that the civilian wing of the AA has more than 2,500 soldiers and 10,000 personnel. In January 2020, the AA chief claimed that the group had more than 30,000 soldiers. 14 The Arakan Army (AA) was formed on 10 April 2009 with its political wing, the United League of Arakan (ULA). It describes Kachin State as the ‘temporary headquarters’ of Laizai.
After training the young Arakan Army troops on 11 December 2011, the group planned to return to Arakan State and fight for self-determination. However, the outbreak of war in Kachin State in June 2011 rendered them incapacitated. As a result, with the support of the KIA, they took up arms against the Myanmar army. In 2014, AA launched another operation in Rakhine state near the Bangladesh border and another near the Thai-Myanmar border. As a result, it has become much stronger and its combat capabilities have been positively affected.
In February 2015, the AA fought the Myanmar Nationalities Democratic Alliance Army (MNDAA), an ethnic armed group, and its ally, the Taeng National Liberation Army (TNLA), in their clash with the Myanmar Army. Hundreds of Tatmadaw soldiers are reported to have been killed in the clash. On August 27, 2015, clashes broke out between the AA and the Bangladesh Border Guard Force.
Both sides exchanged fire near the Myanmar-Bangladesh border in Bara Modak area of ​​Thanchi in Bandarban district. On August 20, 2015, the Arakan Army Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) clashed. Ten of their horses were then seized by the BGB.
The Arakan Army ostensibly advocates self-determination for the multi-ethnic Arakanese population, the protection and promotion of the national identity and cultural heritage of the Arakan people, and the ‘national dignity’ and best interests of the Arakan people. In an interview with Arakha Media (AKK) conducted in August 2021, the Commander-in-Chief of the Arakan Army clearly stated that the political objective of the armed revolution is to restore the sovereignty of Arakan. There has been no bargaining and there won’t be in the future. This is about Arakan
Myanmar is an unstable country. There have been repeated military coups. Democracy has been blocked. The image of the military junta’s seizure of power has been written on Myanmar’s chest again and again. The history of persecution of minorities is also old in Myanmar. Since 1990, several countries including China, Russia and Ukraine started providing military support to Myanmar. China sells huge number of weapons to Myanmar to keep India under pressure.
“Stockholm International Peace Research Institute” and “Global Firepower.com” sources say that the size of the Myanmar army is 516,000, including 46,000 regular and 1,10,000 reserve soldiers. In addition, Myanmar has a total of 264 military aircraft including 127 warplanes, 86 helicopters including 9 attack helicopters, 886 sophisticated tanks, 4 thousand 212 different types of missiles, 1 thousand 200 armored military vehicles, at least 200 missiles in air defense, 392 gun systems, 1200 anti-tank weapons, A total of 155 warships including 27 naval frigates, 40 patrol craft.
Since the 1990s, Myanmar has focused on arms procurement. Even after signing the disarmament agreement, they have not stopped buying arms. On the contrary, it has become easier for Myanmar to buy weapons since 2012. In the meantime, Russia, China, Israel, Ukraine, India, Belarus, Belgium, Switzerland, Poland and other countries have sold a large number of weapons to them.
China has already given Myanmar the most cooperation in the purchase of military equipment. They have sold the most warplanes, warships and ammunition to Myanmar. Russia and Ukraine are not far behind. Russia sold land-launched missiles to Myanmar. Ukraine has sold warships. On the other hand, Israel has sold tanks and armored personnel carriers. Al Jazeera published a news about it.
According to their data, Myanmar bought the most aircrafts from China 120, Russia 64 and Poland 35. Russia (2971), China (1029) and Belarus (102) sold the most missiles to Myanmar. China (21), India (3) and the former Yugoslavia (3) have sold naval warships to Myanmar. China (125), Serbia (120) and Russia (100) sold various types of ammunition, artillery. Armored vehicles and tanks were sold by China (696), Israel (120) and Ukraine (50).
Although Myanmar has a radical attitude, its military tactics are of poor quality. The power base is also weak. Many say Myanmar is playing war games. Wants to participate in this game with Bangladesh. But Bangladesh is a peaceful country. Bangladesh does not want to engage in war with any country. Bangladesh policy is to maintain friendship with everyone. Therefore, it is not right to think of Bangladesh as weak. Bangladesh armed forces are now world class. Bangladesh’s infantry is so advanced that it is one of the top nations in the world. It would be extremely foolish for Myanmar to think that the armed forces of Bangladesh are weak.
---
*Independent researcher and freelance columnist, Dhaka

Comments

TRENDING

Sorry state of Indian academics: why was I thrown out of Delhi varsity interview room?

By Dr. Abhay Kumar*  The interview for the post of political science (Guest) was scheduled on Saturday afternoon, September 10, 2022. Given my previous experience, I was not willing to appear for it. But friends persuaded me to go and fight for our rights. I reached the college well before the time. When my turn came and I entered the room. The first question was asked about my experience. I said that I had taught for four semesters at NCWEB. I mentioned that I had taught ”Comparative politics”, “International Relations”, “Comparative Political Thoughts” and “Indian Government and Politics”. I said that as a teacher I had taught all the articles listed in the syllabus of the same Delhi University and the expert could ask anything about any reading or ideas. Friends, the first question asked by a female member, perhaps she is the principal of the college if I am not wrong, to give the full form of NCWEB! The second question asked by a male expert, perhaps he is the political science dep

Musician and follower of Dr Ambedkar? A top voilinist has this rare combination!

Some time back, a human rights defender, Vidya Bhushan Rawat, who frequently writes for Counterview, forwarded to me a video interview with Guru Prabhakar Dhakade, calling him one of India's well known violinists.  Dhakade is based in Nagpur and has devoted his life for the Hindustani classical music. A number of his disciples have now been part of Hindi cinema world in Mumbai, says Rawat. He has performed live in various parts of the country as well as abroad. What however attracted me was Dhakade's assertions in video about Dr BR Ambedkar, India's undisputed Dalit icon. Recorded several years back at his residence and music school in Nagpur, Dhakade not only speaks candidly about issues he faced, but that he is a believer in Dr Ambedkar's philosophy. It is in this context that Dhakade narrates his problems, even as stating that he is determined to achieve his goal. A violinist and a follower of Ambedkar? This was new to me. Rarely do musicians are found to take a

Tokens, symbols or incipient feminists? : First generation women sociologists in India

By IMPRI Team  The online event on the theme ‘Tokens, Symbols or Incipient Feminists? : The first Generation of Women Sociologists in India’ was held as an initiative of Gender Impact Studies Center (GISC), IMPRI Impact and Policy Research Institute, New Delhi under the #WebPolicyTalk series of The State of Gender Equality – #GenderGaps. Inaugurating the session, Zubiya Moin welcomed the speaker and participants to the program, followed by an introduction to the eminent panelists. Commencing the program, Prof Vibhuti Patel made her opening remarks welcoming Prof Kamla Ganesh, Feminist Sociologists and then greeted Prof Ratna Naidu and the editors of book ‘Reimaging Sociology in India: Feminist Perspective’, Dr Gita Chadha and Dr. Joseph M.T. along with Prof Arvinder Ansari and also welcomed all participants. She set up the stage by making us familiar with women sociologists and their works. Dr Gita Chadha, Editor of the book ‘Reimaging Sociology in India: Feminist Perspective’ After th

Omission of duty by BSF and police: Hindu forcefully kidnapped, taken to Bangladesh

Kirity Roy, Secretary, Banglar Manabadhikar Suraksha Mancha (MASUM), & National Convenor, Programme Against Custodial Torture & Impunity (PACTI) writes to the Chairman, National Human Rights Commission: *** I am writing this to focus on the life and situation of the poor and marginalized villagers living alongside the Indo-Bangladesh border of West Bengal. Through the several complaints we made throughout the years to your good office, it is now evident that the people of this border are living in an acute crisis, not only from a financial perspective but also in terrible distress. The people of the border are devoid of their basic rights and are subjected to immense torture, harassment and restrictions mostly enacted by the Border Security Force personnel, who are supposed to be posted at the international borders with intentions to protect the Indian citizenry. However, on the contrary, incidents of victimizing Indian citizens are being witnessed at large by the BSF. 130 Bhot

Tamil Nadu govt claiming to reform Hindu religion, temples. People deserve better

By NS Venkataraman  For the last several decades, there have been hate campaign against Hinduism in Tamil Nadu in a subtle or not so subtle manner. Initially, it was a hate campaign against brahmins and the brahmins were abused, insulted and physically attacked. Fearing such conditions, many brahmin families left Tamil Nadu to settle down in other states in India or have gone abroad. Now, the brahmin population in Tamil Nadu is at microscopic level, for which these hate campaigners against brahmins were responsible. Later on, emboldened by the scenario of scared brahmin families not resisting and running away, the hate campaigners started focusing on Hindus. For some years, when M.G.Ramachandran and Jayalalitha were the chief ministers of the state, the hate Hindu campaigners were not much heard, as both these chief ministers were staunch believers in Hindu philosophy and have been offering prayers in temples in full public view. However, in the last eighteen months in

Emerging dimensions of India’s foreign policy in the context of global politics

By IMPRI Team  The three-day course took place recently, providing participants with an understanding of the development of Indian foreign policy, the complexity of geopolitics, and its flexibility to adjust to and even shape global outcomes. Many distinguished academics, senior scholars, former Indian diplomats, and journalists who are skilled observers and commentators of India’s foreign policy will serve as instructors for this course. Day 1 The three-day immersive online certificate training on “Emerging Dimensions of India’s Foreign Policy and Global Politics”, an initiative by the Center for International Relations and Strategic Studies (CIRSS) at IMPRI Impact and Policy Research Institute (IMPRI), began on July 14th, 2022 at 5:00 PM (IST) on Zoom platform. Dr Souravie Ghimiray served as the emcee throughout the 3 days of the event and welcomed the distinguished speakers of Day 1. The esteemed panel on Day 1 consisted of, Dr Soumita Basu, Associate Professor, Department of Intern

Demographic parameters of India@75: resource allocation, political representation

By IMPRI Team  As per UN Population Prospects 2022, India is going to be the most populous country in the world. In this regard, IMPRI Impact and Policy Research Institute, New Delhi with #IMPRI Center for Human Dignity and Development (CHDD) , organized a panel discussion, #WebPolicyTalk, as part of the series The State of Population Development- #PopulationAnd Development on India@75: Most Populous Country? The moderator of the event was Mr Devender Singh, Global Studies Programme, University of Freiburg and a Visiting Senior Fellow at IMPRI. The panellists for the event were Prof P.M Kulkarni, Demographer, Retired Professor of Population Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University(JNU) , New Delhi; Dr U.V Somayajulu, Co-Founder, CEO and Executive Director, Sigma Research and Consulting ; Dr Sonia George, General Secretary, Self Employed Women’s Association (SEWA), Kerala; Prof K.S James, Director and Senior Professor, International Institute for Population Sciences (IIPS), Mumbai. Th

Bhagawat Gita shows the way for the attitude to life and desirable goal of life

By NS Venkataraman*  When a mother delivers a human body, this body has no identity. Then, parents, relatives, friends consult each other and discuss the alternate appropriate names and arrive at a suitable name for this human body and this body is known and identified by this name. This human body, which steadily grow just like animals, plants and others and after experiencing the pleasures and pains of worldly life alternately for several years, perish one day, for the body to be burnt or buried. This body, bearing a name as it’s identity, comes in to the world and goes away from the world and the name that is the identity for the body also goes away along with the body. This is the scenario for several thousands of years that have gone by. The question: One question that does not seem to be still “convincingly explained” in a way that will appeal to the brain in the human body, is as to whether this human body only consists of flesh, bone and blood with well

Implementing misleading govt order to pollute Hyderabad's 100 year old reservoirs

Senior activists* represent to the Telangana Governor on GO Ms 69 dated 12.4.2022 issued by the Municipal Administration and Urban Development (MA&UD), Government of Telangana: ‘...restrictions imposed under para 3 of said GO Ms 111 dated 8.3.1996 are removed...’: *** Ref: GO Ms 111 dated 8.3.1996: ‘To prohibit polluting industries, major hotels, residential colonies or other establishments that generate pollution in the catchment of the lakes upto 10kms from full tank level as per list in Annexure-I...’ We come to your office with grievance that GO Ms 69 dated 12.4.2022 issued by Government of Telangana not only contains false information issued ‘By Order and in the name of the Governor of Telangana’ , without any scientific or expert reports, but also that implementation of the said GO is detrimental and can be catastrophic to the Hyderabad city as two 100 year old reservoirs Osman Sagar and Himayath Sagar were constructed as dams on river Moosa and river Esa, with the first and

Tattoos and intimidating gestures can't always win cricket matches for India

By Sudhansu R Das  Team India waited with baited breath for the outcome of the Pakistan vs Afghanistan match. Speculation was on about India’s return to the game if Pakistan loses to Afghanistan until Pakistan’s tailender, Naseem hit two massive sixes to win the match for Pakistan. Unfortunately, Afghanistan lost the match after being in a strong position till the last over of the game; two full touch balls in the final over turned the match into Pakistan side. The Afghanistan team would never forget this blunder and shock for a long time. India’s team management should introspect and take tough decision keeping in view of the tough match situation in the world cup matches. India lost two crucial matches in the Asia Cup. It could not defend a big total of 176 against Pakistan due to mediocre bowling attack, sloppy fielding and unimaginative captainship. It failed against Sri Lanka in similar fashion; it could not defend another respectable T 20 total of 171 runs. It was a pat