The military government, which came to power after the coup in Myanmar, is also facing global isolation like the Taliban. But, the way different countries around the world, including the US, are negotiating with the Taliban, it is being speculated that the boycott of Myanmar’s military government may end soon. The strategic position of Myanmar is very important for India. India and Myanmar share a border of about 1,700 km, so it is not easy for New Delhi to ignore this country. This was the reason that in December last year, India’s Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla arrived on a two-day visit to Myanmar. He not only met General Min Aung Huling, chairman of Myanmar’s powerful State Administration Council, but also announced the help of the Covid vaccine and wheat-rice.
Now the Indian government is preparing to hold talks with Myanmar at a comprehensive level. In such a situation, it is believed that India, once a supporter of the civilian government in Myanmar, is now changing its stand. A Myanmar court has sentenced ousted leader Aung Sang Suu Kyi to four years in prison in two cases. In such a situation, India is also beginning to feel that now the civilian government is not going to come in Myanmar for the next few years. In such a situation, there is no other option but to negotiate with the military leadership. On the other hand, once again increasing insurgency and terrorism incidents in India’s Northeast have compelled New Delhi to hold talks with Myanmar.
India giving rice-wheat, vaccine to Myanmar
Indian Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla handed over one million doses of the Covid vaccine to Myanmar last month. Apart from this, India had also announced to give 10 thousand tonnes of rice and wheat. Shringla also met General Min Aung Hling, chairman of Myanmar’s powerful State Administration Council. He discussed the issue related to security along the Indo-Myanmar border and also stressed on the early restoration of democracy in the country. Shringla also raised the issue of imprisoning politicians opposing military rule in Myanmar. He also held meetings with members of other political parties and civic bodies, including the National League for Democracy. In such a situation, it is believed that India is trying to take both the military and civilian sides together.
Taliban connection to India’s aid to Myanmar
India’s humanitarian aid to Myanmar is based on the policy of aid being sent to Afghanistan. India has so far sent consignments of medicines, vaccines and rations to Afghanistan at least three times since the Taliban took over. But, all these items have been handed over to the international agencies working there, not directly to the Taliban. Similarly, India has given one million doses of the corona vaccine given to Myanmar, not to the military government, but to the Myanmar Red Cross Society. A portion of this consignment will be used for communities living close to Myanmar’s border with India. It has also been announced to give 10,000 tonnes of rice and wheat to Myanmar.
India does not want to lose investment in Myanmar
India has also invested extensively in development works in Myanmar. India is undertaking several social and economic development projects in the areas bordering Myanmar. Apart from this, India’s emphasis is also on completing initiatives like Kaladan Multimodal Transit Transport Project and Trilateral Highway at the earliest. India is also undertaking several projects under the Rakhine State Development Program and the Border Area Development Program. Apart from Sittwe Port in Myanmar, India is also building Inland Waterways Transport Terminals at Sittwe and Paletwa. The project was approved in May 2017. The cost of which is estimated at $ 78 million. The agency operating this port has also taken over the operation from February 1, 2020.
India alerted as Myanmar moves closer to China
India is wary of China’s growing presence in its neighboring country of Myanmar. China has also helped Myanmar’s military government at the United Nations several times. Through this, China is looking to take its Belt and Road Initiative to the India border. The Chinese government is pressuring Myanmar to join its Belt and Road project. For this, he even supplies weapons to the militant groups of Myanmar. These terrorist organizations use Chinese made weapons to attack the security forces. It is said that the Communist Party of China supplies arms to these terrorist groups to strengthen its hold in Myanmar. These terrorist groups also have close ties with the Chinese military. Terrorist organizations that attack areas in India are also said to have links with China. These terrorists flee to the Myanmar border after committing violent incidents in India. In such a situation, it is becoming a challenge for India to go across the border and conduct operations in the dense forests.
ASEAN president doing boycott reached Myanmar
The Association of East Asian Nations (ASEAN) is quite vocal about its opposition to military rule in Myanmar. Recently, Prime Minister of Cambodia Hun Sen visited Myanmar. Hun Sen is also the current President of ASEAN. He is the first foreign head of government to arrive in Myanmar after a coup in February last year. His visit is being criticized not only in his country but also in neighboring countries. Critics say Hun Sen’s visit to Myanmar is a recognition of military rule. Hun Sen is considered a close leader of China. In such a situation, it can also be a trick of China to get international recognition for Myanmar’s military government. India knows that it cannot allow such a neighboring country to go into the lap of China. In such a situation, the Modi government has no option but to talk to the military government of Myanmar.