`Resist US mediation on patrolling in Bay of Bengal’

February 10th, 2009 - 12:59 pm ICT by IANS  

Dhaka, Feb 10 (IANS) The US offer to Dhaka to assist in patrolling sea lanes in the Bay of Bengal would lead to “naval dominance” that would be detrimental to the interests of Bangladesh, India and Myanmar, a daily has warned.

The three main players in the bay searching for hydrocarbons should resolve their maritime boundaries amicably and mutually and not invite any outsider, New Age newspaper said in an editorial.

Recalling the US’s control of Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean, the newspaper said the offer that was made last Sunday by visiting US assistant secretary of state Richard Boucher, although appearing “innocuous” was “wolf in sheep’s clothing”.

Although Boucher had rejected the notion that the US planned to have a military presence in the bay or set up a naval base, “the offer had a terrifying resonance though dressed in the clothing of goodwill”.

“While Bangladesh has longstanding maritime boundary disputes with neighbours India and Myanmar that have gone unresolved for the past 38 years, seeking a military solution, that too with the aid of US military prowess will likely be a deadly endgame in which Bangladesh might see its interests compromised, its standing in the region, and its territorial sovereignty, though US corporate and geo-strategic interests may be served,” the newspaper warned.

“… we want to politely remind the people of Myanmar and India - and their respective governments - that a US naval dominance in the Bay of Bengal is as much a threat to their geostrategic interests and goals as it is to our territorial sovereignty.

“Not only will the entire region find itself gradually succumbing to US military and consequently economic control, it is almost axiomatic now that a friendly alignment with US military-corporate interests earns nations more enemies than they can count, making small nations complicit in military aggression and corporate oppression that they can neither stop nor disown,” the newspaper said.

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