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Roving Periscope: “Plot to carve out a Christian state,” says Sheikh Hasina

Roving Periscope: “Plot to carve out a Christian state,” says Sheikh Hasina

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Virendra Pandit

New Delhi: Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina Wajed has dropped a geopolitical bombshell by stating that the West is “plotting to carve out a Christian state” out of Muslim-majority Bangladesh and Buddhist-dominant Myanmar, and referred to an offer from a “White man” in this regard, the media reported on Monday.

Accusing the West—without naming the countries—of plotting to “carve out a Christian state like East Timor, taking parts from Bangladesh and Myanmar,” she also claimed a “White man” offered her a hassle-free reelection in the January 7, 2024, polls if she allowed a foreign country to establish an air base in Bangladesh territory, according to an eurasiantimes.com report.

PM Hasina mentioned that business activities have been going through the Bay of Bengal and the Indian Ocean since ancient times, saying “Many have their eyes on this place.” “There is no controversy here, no conflict. I won’t let that happen. This is also one of my crimes (in their eyes)” she was quoted as saying.

Although she did not name the country desiring to establish an airbase in Bangladesh, the US was reported to be eyeing St. Martin Island, a small island (area of only 3 square km) in the northeastern part of the Bay of Bengal, about 9 km south of the tip of the Cox’s Bazar-Teknaf peninsula, forming the southernmost part of the country.

“The offer came from a White man. It may be aimed at only one country, but it is not. I know where else they intend to go. There will be more trouble. But don’t worry about it. If I allowed a certain country to build an airbase in Bangladesh, then I would have had no problem,” she said about the proposal for the airbase.

In June 2023, Dhaka was agog with rumors that Washington was demanding St. Martin Island in exchange for the favor of the ruling Awami League government, the report said. Later, US Department of State spokesperson Matthew Miller, however, asserted that the US never engaged in any discussions regarding taking control of St Martin’s Island or had any intention to do so.

On June 19, 2023, Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal President Hasanul Haque Inu questioned whether the US was meddling in Bangladesh’s affairs for the sake of democracy or for control of Saint Martin’s Island. “The US wants to make Bangladesh a playground to dominate India.”

Some Western nations, including the United States and Britain, are allegedly conspiring to create a Christian state, taking parts of Bangladesh, Myanmar, and even India, the media reported, adding, that they have secretly joined hands with the Kuki-Chin National Front (KNF) and regional insurgency groups, including Paresh Baruah’s United Liberation Front of Assam (ULFA).

PM Hasina disclosed this when she told leaders of the 14-party alliance that a plot is on to carve out “a Christian state like East Timor.”
During a parliamentary discussion on June 14, 2023, Rashed Khan Memon, president of the Workers Party of Bangladesh, claimed that the United States is after Saint Martin’s Island and that the new US visa policy is part of a strategy for “regime change.”

He 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”.

In 2003, then-US Ambassador Mary Ann Peters ruled out media speculation that Washington was desperate to lease a military base from Dhaka to station its forces somewhere between the Far and Middle East(s).

“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,” she said 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).

For 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, etc. 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, according to the media.

Christian missionary publications have been running well-orchestrated propaganda with claims of “Christian persecution” in these areas. They even attempt 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.”


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