Army chief’s visit to Myanmar begins amid concerns

Staff Correspondent | Published: 01:51, Dec 09,2019


Chief of army staff General Aziz Ahmed left for Myanmar in the early hours of Sunday on a four-day visit amid concerns from academics and rights activists.

‘We have good relations with Myanmar and I will be visiting the country as part of the process to further strengthen the relations,’ General Aziz told reporters days before the visit. 

The main objective of the visit would be to strengthen mutual cooperation between the armies of Bangladesh and Myanmar, including exchange of training, army officials said. 

The army chief is leading a seven-member delegation. 

The Inter Services Public Relations directorate on Saturday in a statement said that General Aziz would visit Vice Senior General Soe Win, the current deputy commander-in-chief of Myanmar’s armed forces and a member of the country’s National Defence and Security Council.

His visit to Myanmar, however, was criticised by 22 academics, lawyers, rights activists, writers and researchers.

In a statement issued hours before his visit was to begin, they called upon the general to cancel his trip saying that his plan to visit Myanmar had frustrated them.

They observed that his meeting with Myanmar generals would be considered undignified and humiliating both locally and internationally at a time when the International Court of Justice was scheduled to start on Tuesday hearings on the Rohingya genocide in a case filed by Gambia against the Myanmar government and its military generals.

Professor Anu Muhammad of Jahangirnagar University, Professor A-Al Mamun of Rajshahi University and Supreme Court lawyer Sabbir Azim, among others, signed the statement.

Want stories like this in your inbox?

Sign up to exclusive daily email