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Published on Wednesday, 28 November 2012 19:54
Maungdaw no. (1) border gate, which allows official crossborder travel between Myanmar and Bangladesh
(Photo - EMG)
The border gates between Myanmar and Bangladesh were reopened on November 24, a week after their closure, officials said.
The ban was imposed after a communal violence in the western Myanmar town of Maungdaw erupted on June 8.
“Authorities have lifted the crossborder travel ban, permitting all types of travels for one-day trips and one-week visas,” the chairman of the Association of Maungdaw Border Traders said.
The one-week visa aims to promote trade growth between the two countries. A traveller, however, must be a member of the association to do business with Myanmar.
“The border trade is likely to return to normal. Traders from both countries can now travel for their businesses,” said a Bangladeshi trader who visited Maungdaw.
Maungdaw residents said only legitimate traders should be allowed to travel with a one-week visa. They also recommended companies to issue official letters for their representatives.
“Although it is good for the border trade, locals are concerned about the border security. Terrorists disguised as traders could come in. The terrorists [staged five attacks] in Maungdaw in 1994. So they’re concerned about it. Although only the traders are currently allowed to travel, Bengalis and traffickers, mostly from Maungdaw, also travel,” a resident said.
Around 75 tourists go through the border gates every day.