Work together to deal with maritime crimes: PM Hasina

Dhaka, Oct 24 – Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Wednesday urged the neighbouring countries to come forward to curb various maritime crimes as it is not possible to do that by a single country.“It’s not possible to curb these crimes by a single country… it’s possible to uproot these crimes through unified efforts and this is indispensable,” she said.
The Prime Minister said this while inaugurating the 14th high-level meeting of heads of Coast Guards and Maritime Agencies (HACGAM) 2018 at Hotel Radisson here.
She said it is essential to ensure the safe plying of water vessels in the sea for communications and trade as 90 percent foreign trade of Bangladesh is done by sea transportation.
“Though regrettable, in our maritime boundaries, human trafficking, illegal arms trafficking, human trafficking, unreported and unregulated fishing, piracy, armed robbery and many more illegal activities often take place,” she said.
Sheikh Hasina mentioned that not only the local criminals, criminals from the neighbouring countries are also involved in these criminal activities.
Pointing out sovereign rights of Bangladesh over huge sea areas after winning the maritime boundary cases against India and Myanmar, she said there is an abundance of resources there. “If we can extract these resources several generations in the future will be benefited… this will also play a huge role in our economy.”
The Prime Minister said the government has formulated Blue Economy policy for the safe and environmentally sustainable use. “We’ve started our works to implement this and I believe this will play a significant role in the development of Bangladesh.”
About the importance of ocean, the Prime Minister said there is a link between the development of human civilization and ocean, while early human habitation was built centring seas or waters.
Besides, 70 percent of global people still live within 100 km of the coastline, she said adding that the nearer a society is to the ocean, the better is the life of its members.
On the other hand, Hasina said, Bangladesh as a big Delta has got its 12 districts of three divisions situated adjacent to the sea coast.
It is very important to ensure security in the sea areas as the lives and livelihoods of the people of these districts are mainly dependent on the sea, she said.
Hasina hoped that the heads of Asian Coast Guards agencies will be able to find ways and means for future improvement of the maritime security through sharing their experiences at the Dhaka meeting.
Bangladesh Coast Guard director general Rear Admiral AMMM Aurangzeb Chowdhury also spoke at the programme.
Earlier, the Prime Minister unveiled a postal stamp and an opening day envelop marking the HACGAM 2018. – UNB