Bangladesh Myanmar Relations

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Bangladesh-Myanmar, two neighboring states of third world, have been maintaining bilateral and diplomatic relations since 1972 when Myanmar recognized Bangladesh as a sovereign independent state. It was Burma, present Myanmar, among the first few states to recognize Bangladesh whether for any specific reason or not. As a next door neighbor, Myanmar shares some historical ties with Bangladesh, for example-the British colonial legacy. Concededly, these two states are geographically apart, maintain different ethnicity. The total territory of Myanmar is almost five times more than that of Bangladesh but had only one third of population. Over the last 38 years or so, the bilateral relations between Bangladesh and Myanmar had not developed that much as anyone would expect, especially in terms of economic relations. Rather, relations had deteriorated in past regarding some bilateral issues like-Refugee problem, unofficial trade, smuggling and the list continues. Despite some occasional amiss or remiss, both countries could benefit through a firm bilateral relations; more precisely through economic relations based on a win-win situation.

Now we will take our focus on the historical background of both Bangladesh and Myanmar as sovereign states and then move towards the political development of these two neighboring states. Bangladesh and Myanmar have become independent in the 20th century but the historical link between them can be traced back beyond the 19th century as these two states were under British Colonial rule. Myanmar emerged as an independent state in 1989, the present Myanmar was known as “Burma” to international community Myanmar has a total area of 676,577 sq/km and has a coastline of 2832 km long. Myanmar’s population is less than 40% of Bangladesh. Density of population in 70\sq. compared to 861\sq in Bangladesh achieved independence in 1971 defeating the oppressors of the West Pakistan. She has a total area of 147570 sq/km and density of population is 861/sq. It’s lost line is almost 1\5 of Myanmar’s total coastline.[1] Myanmar is a Buddhist dominated state whereas in Bangladesh most of the people are Muslim. Interestingly there is a significant number of Muslim community have been living in Myanmar, adjacent areas of Bangladesh. There are 135 different ethnic groups have been living inside Myanmar but Burmese is the official language there.

As mentioned earlier, the diplomatic relations between Bangladesh and Myanmar had been established on 13th January, 1972 through recognition from Myanmar. Bilateral relations between states grow through a brick-by –brick process, the relation between Bangladesh and Myanmar is not an exception also. Since 1972, Bangladesh and Myanmar have sent delegates, hi-level officials to both states in to develop a cordial relationship between them. A list of high level visits is given below-

|Date |Officials |Place |Result | |April 26, 1974 |President Ne Win (Burma) along with|Bangladesh |Close rapport and understanding with the | | |Foreign Minister HLA Phon | |political leadership of Bangladesh | |July, 1977 |President Ziaur Rahman (Bangladesh)|Myanmar |Review of Bangladesh-Myanmar relations | |May, 1979 | President Ne Win (Burma) |Bangladesh |Further Strengthening of the friendly relations | |December, 1979 |Foreign Minister (Bangladesh) |Myanmar |Boundary Agreement | |November, 1980 |President (Burma) |Bangladesh |Discussion on Repatriation of Rohingya Refugees | |1982 |President (Bangladesh) |Myanmar...
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