Staff Correspondent
Myanmar Ambassador in Dhaka U Lwin Oo on Saturday admitted that the map recently published by Myanmar Information Management Unit (MIMU) integrating Saint Martin’s island as their territory is ‘a mistake’.
He admitted this on Saturday afternoon to the Secretary of the Maritime Affairs Unit (MAU) of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Rear Admiral (Retd.) Md. Khurshed Alam (BN) as Bangladesh summoned Myanmar envoy over the issue.
Recently, Myanmar marked the Saint Martin’s Island as their territory and the population of that Island as Myanmar nationals in a map published in a state-run office MIMU’s website, sources said.
This is the second time attempt made by the Myanmar government challenging Bangladesh’s sovereignty and history, after which they (Myanmar) admitted apology, sources said. Earlier, Myanmar military published a book where they showed insurgents training of the Rohingya people, which is actually a photograph of freedom fighters during the Liberation War of Bangladesh in 1971.
Officials of South-East Asia unit of the ministry of foreign affairs said, Bangladesh strongly protested the act of Myanmar government and termed it as an act of instigation.
Secretary Rear Admiral (Retd.) Md. Khurshed Alam (BN) and the Myanmar ambassador U Lwin Oo talked for around an hour and handed over all relevant documents by protesting the act of Myanmar government.
He reportedly asked the Myanmar envoy why the Myanmar side carried out survey in St Martin’s Island.
“You can’t do it. On what basis you did it?” Khurshed Alam was quoted by the official as telling the Myanmar envoy.
The Myanmar ambassador, according to the concerned officials, said the incident as ‘a mistake’ and he will place Bangladesh’s concern to the Myanmar government.
Sources said, the Saint Martin’s Island is historically a territory of Bangladesh.
On March 2017, Bangladesh also won the maritime boundary dispute against Myanmar through International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea verdict.
Officials confirmed that the Saint Martin’s Island was clearly mentioned as a part of Bangladesh and it’s a agreed matter.
Historically, Saint Martin’s Island was under British rule as a part of united India and Pakistan since 1937.
After India-Pakistan division in 1947, it was a part of Pakistan and finally after 1971, it remains as a part of sovereign Bangladesh.