NAYPYITAW — The Myanmar government will fence some remaining 40 miles of the 170 mile-border with Bangladesh without delay, U Zaw Htay, spokesperson of the President’s Office, told The Irrawaddy.
He announced the plan amid news reports that there was no budget for fencing in the Home Affairs Ministry’s current fiscal year.
“We will fence it by all means; it won’t wait until next year. We don’t know where the funds will come from, but we’ll do it anyway,” he told The Irrawaddy after the State Counselor’s Office press conference on Rakhine State on Wednesday.
A high-level meeting including the members of National Defense and Security Council (NDSC) was held in Naypyitaw on Wednesday afternoon to discuss the situation in Rakhine State and issues relating to rule of law in Myanmar.
President U Htin Kyaw, State Counselor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, both of the country’s vice presidents, the Upper House Speaker, Military Chief Snr-Gen Min Aung Hlaing, the deputy military chief, and the ministers of home affairs, defense, and border affairs – all of whom are the members of NDSC – were present at the meeting.
Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, Vice President U Myint Swe, Military Chief Snr-Gen Min Aung Hlaing and his deputy discussed the urgent repair and construction of fences along the Bangladeshi border, a speedy budget allowance for the process, and increasing security troops in areas where the existing border fence has been compromised.
Upper House lawmaker U Khin Maung Latt of the Arakan National Party (ANP) said he believed that Parliament would approve the fencing budget if asked.
“Fencing is a must. Problems arose because the fence was compromised. Compared to fences used internationally, ours are very low in quality. You can see that the fencing was broken and crossed,” U Khin Maung Latt told The Irrawaddy.
Border Affairs Minister Maj-Gen Than Htut has also told The Irrawaddy that his ministry is working for the development of Rakhine State and border areas as a priority.