Geopolitics

Plot of creating another 'East Timur’ within Bangladesh, Myanmar and India
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Issue Net Edition | Date : 29 May , 2024

The Biden administration is openly supporting terrorist and insurgency outfits including Kuki-Chin National Front (KNF) with the notorious plot of creating a Christian state like East Timur in Indonesia, from parts of Bangladesh, Myanmar and India. Washington reportedly has also reestablished its connections with Paresh Baruah of United Liberation Front of Assam (ULFA) and other insurgency and militancy outfits in India. It may be mentioned here that during her meeting with leaders of 14-party alliance, Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said, a plot is on to carve out “a Christian state like East Timor” – slicing parts from Bangladesh and Myanmar”. She refrained from mentioning the name of India.

Bangladesh Prime Minister also said, she was offered a hassle-free reelection in the January 7, 2024 polls by a “white man” if she allowed a foreign country to establish an airbase in Bangladesh territory.The Bangladesh Prime Minister did not name the nationality of that “white man”.

Meanwhile, talking to Russian media outlet Sputnik, two prominent figures in the ruling Awami League government have provided further details on this matter.

Commenting on Bangladesh Prime Minister’s statement, Iqbal Sobhan Chowdhury, former Media Advisor to the Bangladesh Prime Minister said, “the prime minister doesn’t speak without proper proof. I am sure she must have thought out well before making these statements”.

He warned that another US base in South Asia would have security implications not only for Dhaka but also for New Delhi.Another prominent leader of the ruling party, Squadron Leader (retired) Sadrul Ahmed Khan, who is a member of the Awami League’s finance and planning affairs sub-committee told Sputnik, “it was clear that the US has been trying to make inroads in the South Asian region through its support for anti-government forces, which include the National Unity Government (NUG) and People’s Defense Forces (PDF)”.

He added, “As the Kuki-Chin rebels in Myanmar are majority Christian, they appear relatively prone to manipulations by foreign actors. The Kuki-Chin rebels in Myanmar’s Chin state are involved in intense fighting with the Myanmar government forces”.

Furthermore, Sadrul Ahmed Khan stated “Bangladesh is ready to give all support as long as the agenda is confined to peacekeeping operations, humanitarian aid or logistical exercises. But the US has for a long time sought to establish a naval base at St Martin’s Island. Bangladesh condemns such military ambitions, which will destroy our sovereignty and affect peace and stability in South Asia”.

The Awami League official pointed out that since last year, the Biden administration has made no secret of its support to the opposition forces in Myanmar after the US president signed the BURMA Act into law, which calls to provide “non-lethal assistance” for Myanmar’s “Ethnic Armed Organizations”.

The first tranche of aid under the act reached anti-government forces this year. It has been objected to vociferously by the ruling State Administration Council (SAC), which stated, according to Voice of America (VOA), that “the US is manipulating Myanmar to counter China’s influence in the region”.

He asserted that neither Bangladesh supports any arms race between the US and China nor would it act as a “proxy” for US interests aimed at containing China, because the independent state has its own outlook for the Indo-Pacific. He echoed Hasina and underlined that the country will not compromise in the face of external pressure.

Khan, meanwhile, pointed out that America’s tacit backing of Kuki-Chin rebels has security implications for not only Bangladesh and Myanmar but also India, which also has a large population of the ethnic group in the northeastern states, such as Manipur.

Sputnik in its report said, “Manipur Chief Minister N Biren Singh claimed in February that the “unnatural growth” of Chin-Kuki-Zo tribes has implications for national security. The north-eastern Indian state has been experiencing ethnic clashes between the majority Meiteis and Kuki-Zo groups since last May, leading to over 200 deaths and tens of thousands of people being internally displaced”.

Earlier, in June 2023, there was a rumor in Dhaka stating Washington is demanding St. Martin Island in exchange for favor of the ruling Awami League government. Later, during a press conference, Matthew Miller, spokesperson for the US Department of State, asserted that the United States has never engaged in any discussions regarding taking control of St Martin’s Island or has any intention to do so.

During a parliamentary discussion on June 14, 2023 Rashed Khan Menon, president of the Workers Party of Bangladesh, said, “The US wants Saint Martin’s Island and they want Bangladesh in the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (Quad). They are doing everything to destabilize the current government”.

On June 19, 2023, JatiyaSamajtantrik Dal President Hasanul Haque Inu expressed his concerns stating, “It’s time for us to think about the reason for America’s over-enthusiasm. Is it Democracy or Saint Martin’s Island? The United States has suddenly become very enthusiastic about Bangladesh. They actually want to make Bangladesh a playground to ‘dominate’ India”.

Previously on July 2, 2003, while addressing a seminar titled ‘Security of South Asia: A US Perspective’ at the Bangladesh Institute of International and Strategic Studies (BIISS), then-US Ambassador to Bangladesh, Mary Ann Peters ruled out the media speculations stating, “The United States has no plans, no requirement, and no desire for a military base on St. Martin’s Island, Chittagong, or anywhere else in Bangladesh”.

Meanwhile, for several years, Christian missionaries as well as Western NGOs have been secretly working in bordering areas in Bangladesh, India and Myanmar such as Teknaf, Khagrachhari, Rangamati, Mizoram, Meghalaya, Arakan Province etcetera with twin goals – converting Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists and ethnic minorities into Christianity and preparing grounds for creation of a Christian state comprising lands belonging to Bangladesh, India and Myanmar. Christian missionary publications have been running well-orchestrated propaganda with false claims of “Christian persecution” within these areas. They even are attempting to connect the tribal population of Bangladesh, India and Myanmar by stating “Chin-Kuki-Mizo are a Mongol people, and today they speak related but distinct Tibeto-Burman languages. More than one million Chin live in Myanmar, one million Mizo live in Mizoram, half a million Kuki live in Manipur, and tens of thousands of Kuki live in Bangladesh. In addition, due to the ongoing fighting between the Myanmar army and the Chin people, hundreds of thousands of Chin have fled overseas, including 80,000 in the United States”.

Bangladesh authorities said, there are external connections between activities of Kuki-Chin National Front and other groups in India and Myanmar, while they allegedly are involved in a long-standing plan to establish a separate eastern state in the region. Other analysts have described the agendas and modus operandi of KNF in several articles.

Meanwhile, to hide their actual agenda of establishing Christian state, leaders of KNF joined hands with an Islamist militancy outfit named Jamaat Ul Ansar Fil Hind Al Sharqiya (JAFHS) whereas media was told that JAFHS with the military support from KNF were trying to establish ‘Caliphate Village’ within Chittagong Hill Tract areas in Bangladesh.

Following this statement of Bangladesh Prime Minister, Elbert P. Costa, former vice president and then acting president of ‘JatiyatabaiJuboDol’ (Nationalist Youth Front) – a wing of Al Qaeda-connected Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) and currently president of Bangladesh Christian Association in a statement dated May 26, 2024 said, President of Bangladesh Christian Association, Albert D. Costa has expressed condemnation at May 23 statement of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, where during her meeting with leaders of 14-party alliance she said, there is conspiracy of creating a Christian state like East Timur. At the same time, he strongly demanded that the prime minister should make it clear to the nation that which country is involved in the conspiracy against the independence and sovereignty of Bangladesh.

The statement also said, “We want to make it clear to the Prime Minister that the Christian community has been living in this land of Bangladesh for almost four fifty years with the larger population through uninterrupted harmony. All our missionary activities are carried out with the larger community. Each of us is loyal to the independence and sovereignty of Bangladesh with pure patriotism. About two thousand five hundred patriots of the Christian community directly participated in the Great War of Independence. In such a situation, the theory presented by the Prime Minister as a conspiracy to form a Christian state will create a serious risk of alienating and mistrusting our community with the larger population. which is disrupting the security of the entire community”.

He also said that, “there is no separate country for Christians in the world, they consider the country in which they live as their own country”.

This statement was circulated by an individual named PobitroPramanik proclaiming as the joint secretary general, central executive committee and general secretary, Bogura district committee of Bangladesh Christian Association.

Meanwhile, following issuance of this statement, central leaders of Bangladesh Christian Association through a post on the Facebook page of the organization condemned Elbert P. Costa as being patronized by BNP (Al Qaeda-connected Bangladesh Nationalist Party) and Jamaat-e-Islami. They also said, although Costa does not hold any position in the organization, he has unilaterally formed a bogus branch of the organization, which is totally illegal.

This statement from Al Qaeda-connected BNP activists Elbert P. Costa evidently proves – this party too has secretly joined hands with Western conspiracy of creating a Christian state within Bangladesh, Myanmar and India. Furthermore, it is also well-anticipated that another pro-Islamist force namely Jatiyo Party might also have followed the same path as its leaders held several secret meetings with Western envoys in Dhaka as well as officials of foreign intelligence agencies in Dubai.

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The views expressed are of the author and do not necessarily represent the opinions or policies of the Indian Defence Review.

About the Author

Salah Uddin Shoaib Choudhury

is an internationally acclaimed multi-award-winning anti-militancy journalist, writer, research-scholar, and Editor, Blitz, a newspaper publishing from Bangladesh since 2003. He regularly writes for local and international newspapers.

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