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Foreign minister AK Abdul Momen has said that the defence attaché of Bangladesh embassy in Myanmar did not joined the parade on Myanmar Armed Forces Day in Naypyidaw alone. A total of eight countries, including Bangladesh, took part in the programme and that’s a routine programme.

The foreign minister said this in a virtual press conference on Wednesday organised to brief media about the D-8 Summit.

Eight countries - Russia, China, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Vietnam, Laos and Thailand - sent their representatives in the Myanmar Armed Forces Day parade, organised on a day that saw the highest number of deaths (114) of anti-junta protesters.

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The eight countries that took part in the parade are being criticised by the international media and on social media.

In reply to a question, Abdul Momen said, “Not the defence attaché of Bangladesh alone, rather representatives of eight countries joined the Myanmar Armed Forces Day programmes. We’ve kept Myanmar under observation. But those who are creating commotion about this (joining the Armed Forces Day programmes), have not stopped doing business with Myanmar. They did not even abandon Myanmar when 25,000 Rohingya died, tortured.”

Criticising the western countries, the Bangladesh foreign minister said the US just yesterday (Tuesday) decided to stop doing business with an organisation of the army. European Union is still doing business. Their business has even grown from threefold to 15 fold.

Explanation on supporting Sri Lanka

A proposal was brought in the UN Human Rights Commission alleging genocide in Sri Lanka during the drive against Tamil rebellions. Bangladesh voted against the proposal in favour of Sri Lanka. However, the proposal was passed in the voting at the UN Human Rights Council. Bangladesh’s foreign policy caught some flak because of supporting Sri Lanka in the voting on genocide.

Regarding this, the foreign minister said, Sri Lanka never said no to any investigation on drives against the Tamil. Time and again they said they would investigate. Besides, Bangladesh does not vote in support of any specific proposal brought against any country in the UN. This is the policy of Bangladesh. Bangladesh did not even vote for proposal brought against Myanmar in the past. Bangladesh always maintains this position towards its neighbours.

Besides, we must observe whether the proposal is brought for any special motive, Momen added.

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