The United States has said it wants to see an independent, strong and non-partisan election commission to make sure the next general election remains acceptable to all.“We want to see an independent, strong and non-partisan election commission that will make sure that everyone who wants to vote can cast the vote and everyone’s vote is counted,” US Ambassador in Dhaka Marcia Bernicat told reporters on Monday.Responding to a question on new election commission, Bernicat said the formation of new election commission will be first “tangible step” that government takes to make a participatory election reality.She said the United States and a number of like-minded countries are urging and advocating that there will be an “inclusive and transparent” process to select a new electoral commission.The tenure of the current election commission expires in February next year.
The US Ambassador reiterated US’ call for a full, formal and transparent investigation into violence in Burma’s Rakhine State and laid emphasis on international community’s participation for finding a solution there.“We call for a full, formal and transparent investigation into the situation there,” Bernicat said they would like to get a full read and participate with the international community in finding a solution to the situation finally.“As the government of Bangladesh has called for an international response to the crisis, we are looking to work with like-minded nations on this situation,” said the US Ambassador.Bernicat said they continue to monitor the situation very closely and very carefully through their representatives there.She observed that no one had access to that region for sometimes and it is important to get that access for humanitarian support to the people there and to know what is going on inside Burma.The US Ambassador was responding to questions at DCAB Talk in the city arranged by Diplomatic Correspondents Association, Bangladesh (DCAB). DCAB President Angur Nahar Monty and general secretary Pantho Rahman also spoke. Earlier on November 15, Director, Press Office of the US Department of State Elizabeth Trudeau said they are concerned by reports of a spike in violence in Burma’s Rakhine State and are following the situation closely and attempting to get reliable information about developments there.The US Ambassador to Burma Scot Marciel, along with a visiting delegation of officials from the State Department as well as other US agencies, held a previously scheduled bilateral dialogue with the Government of Burma in Naypyidaw.The US delegation stressed the need for the government of Burma to facilitate a “credible and independent investigation” of these allegations to improve transparency and information sharing, and to provide access for both media as well as humanitarian aid, according to US Department of State.Bangladesh also expressed deep concern at the continued deteriorating situation in the Rakhine State of Myanmar due to ongoing actions of the Myanmar Armed Forces causing dire consequences to the people and its implications for Bangladesh.On November 23, Ambassador of Myanmar to Bangladesh Myo Myint Than was called to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to meet Ambassador Kamrul Ahsan, Secretary (Bilateral & Consular) who conveyed government’s concern.Secretary (Bilateral & Consular) informed the Ambassador that desperate people from the Rakhine State are entering into Bangladesh due to humanitarian situation seeking safety and shelter across borders.Ahsan requested the Ambassador to request his Government to take urgent appropriate measures so that Muslim minorities in the Rakhine State are not forced to seek shelter across the border. Bangladesh urged Myanmar to take urgent measures to bring back normalcy in the Rakhine State so that those who have already crossed and those who are waiting to cross the border, along with the internally displaced people can go back to their villages without fear and with safety and dignity to pursue their normal life.Despite Bangladesh’s Border Guards sincere effort to prevent the influx, thousands of distressed Myanmar’s citizens including women, children and elderly people continue to cross border into Bangladesh.Responding to a question on trade issue, Bernicat said the US remains Bangladesh’s single best customer and its readymade garment made terrific quality.She said the US will continue its trade relations with Bangladesh and will help develop other export industries for Bangladesh, especially in IT and services.The US Ambassador said they are looking for all the ways to become market for other Bangladeshi products and mentioned that no country should depend on a single product.On security issues, she said they do not have the luxury of thinking the job is done.