Andaman Sea (BBN) – In the latest turn of events, now it seems that the Food Flottila for Myanmar mission on Nautical Aliya will not be able to dock at Teknaf in Bangladesh.
The disappointing news was conveyed by chief de mission and Kelab Putera, reports the New Strait Times.
Malaysia president Datuk Seri Paduka Abdul Azeez Rahim who said he had received a fax from the Bangladesh Ministry of Foreign Affairs stating that the Nautical Aliya ship will not be allow entry to Teknaf due to technical reasons.
“The Bangladesh government said that our vessel is too big to dock at the jetty in Teknaf and they also cited security reasons,” he said.
He added the Bangladesh government had instead suggested three alternatives sea ports in Bangladesh for Nautical Aliya to berth, namely in St Martin Island, Kutubdia and Chittagong ports.
At these locations, he said that neither volunteers nor medical personnel are allowed to disembark once the flotilla arrives at any one of the alternative ports.
Azeez said he respects the wish of the Bangladesh government and will adhere to any changes along the trip but he hoped that the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak could intervene and perhaps convince the Bangladeshi government on the importance of the flotillla to be in Teknaf.
“We have tonnes of food aid and we have medical expertise on board to help with the refugees’ welfare at the three refugee camps we had planned to go when we arrive in Teknaf,” he said.
As of 2am this morning, Nautical Aliya has entered Myanmar waters and is escorted by the Myanmar navy.
A vessel from the navy approached the ship at around 10.30am today.
Azeez said he had initially alerted the Ministry of Defence Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein on the presence of the Myanmar navy vessel but was informed by the minister that it was all in accordance with sea border policies for foreign ship entering international waters.