News / Asia

Burma Constructs New Border Checkpoints With Bangladesh

Burma, also known as Myanmar, says it is building new checkpoints along its border with Bangladesh in volatile Rakhine state.

The Home Ministry told parliament Thursday the government is also resuming the construction of a fence along the border.

Khin Saw Wai, a member of parliament from Rakhine state who pushed for the new security measures, told VOA's Burmese service that people from Bangladesh are coming into Burma at will because there is not enough security along the border.

“Although we have a fence at Burma’s western door between Bangladesh and our Maung Daw region [Rakhine State], this cannot stop illegal entry into the country.  The Bengali population has increased.  We have only seen illegal entering and no effective system to stop it.  That is why we want the government to control this situation.  I submitted the proposal to increase security for the Rakhine region in parliament.  Now I read in the news that there will be 15 more security gates at the border, but I don’t know where exactly they will be built.  Nonetheless, as a person who proposed this at the parliament, I hope this will be [a] more effective way of controlling the border situation," said Khin Saw Wai.

Government spokesman Ye Htut confirmed new security measures were being planned, but said those seeking details should talk with local officials in Rakhine.

“I only know that there have been some preparations for security in Rakhine state.  Since this measure is being undertaken by the Rakhine government, it is best to ask the information department of the local government.  Unlike in the past, the central government does not control everything.  Local government is doing its own for the security and they are working together with police forces there," said Ye Htut.

Rakhine security officials have not returned VOA's request for comment.

Buddhist-Muslim violence erupted in Rakhine state in 2012 and has since spread to other parts of the country.  The sectarian fighting has killed at least 240 people and displaced 140,000 others, mainly Rohingya Muslims, who are called Bengali by the Burmese government.

Burma's government refuses to officially recognize the Rohingya, saying members of any officially recognized minority must be able to prove their ancestors lived in Burma before the British invaded Rakhine in 1823.

Many Rohingya Muslims say their ancestors have lived in Burma for generations, but the impoverished minority group lacks the documentation to prove it.

Talks between Burmese President Thein Sein and Bangladesh's prime minister, Sheikh Hasina, on the sidelines of a regional meeting last month produced no tangible agreement on the Rohingya issue.

This report was produced in collaboration with the VOA Burmese service.

You May Like

Ebola Death Toll Nears 5,000 as Virus Advances

West Africa bears heaviest burden; Mali toddler’s death raises new fears More

Jordan’s Battle With Islamic State Militants Carries Domestic Risks

Despite Western concerns that IS militants are preparing a Jordanian offensive, analysts call the kingdom's solid intel a strong deterrent More

Asian-Americans Assume Office in Record Numbers

Steadily deepening engagement in local politics pays off for politicians like Chinese-American Judy Chu More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
October 25, 2014 4:21 PM
Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukraine

Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Comanche Chief Quanah Parker’s Century-Old House Falling Apart

One of the most fascinating people in U.S. history was Quanah Parker, the last chief of the American Indian tribe, the Comanche. He was the son of a Comanche warrior and a white woman who had been captured by the Indians. Parker was a fierce warrior until 1875 when he led his people to Fort Sill, Oklahoma, and took on a new, peaceful life. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Cache, Oklahoma, Quanah’s image remains strong among his people, but part of his heritage is in danger of disappearing.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.

All About America

AppleAndroid