PM Modi Assures Myanmar To Protect Its Unity & Territorial Integrity As The Country Engaged In Fighting Militants

September 7th, 2017 | by Pranab Kumar Chakravarty
PM Modi Assures Myanmar To Protect Its Unity & Territorial Integrity As The Country Engaged In Fighting Militants
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PRIME Minister Narendra Modi said on Wednesday that India     shared Myanmar’s concerns over the “extremist violence” in the Rakhine State and urged all stakeholders to find a peaceful solution to ensure that the country’s unity and territorial integrity are not disturbed.PM conveyed the views at a historic meet with State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi at Nay Pyi Taw. Modi also asserted that India stands by Myanmar amid the challenges the country is facing. He said that India has decided to grant free visa to Myanmarese citizens who wish to visit the country. The two leaders also vowed to combat terror and boost security cooperation with Modi emphasising that it was important to maintain stability along the long land and maritime borders of the two countries. Modi’s first bilateral visit after attending  the 9th  BRICS Summit in China when the Myanmarese government led by Nobel laureate Suu Kyi is facing international pressure over the 125,000 Rohingyas is significant. Rohingyas become persona non grata in their own Buddhist dominated country. Most of them are Muslims and a minority are Hindus. The Rohingya refugees have poured across Bangladeshi border in two weeks after Myanmar’s military launched a crackdown in the Rakhine state. But even Muslim majority Bangladesh they are being driven out.Modi, in his joint press statement with Suu Kyi after the talks, said India understands the problems being faced by Myanmar. He said India shares Myanmar’s concerns over the “extremist violence” in the Rakhine state, especially the loss of innocent lives of people and the military.”We hope that all stakeholders can work together towards finding a solution which respects the unity and territorial integrity of Myanmar,” Modi said. At the same time, the solution can bring about peace, justice, dignity and democratic values for all, he added. Modi also asserted that India stands by Myanmar amid the challenges the country is facing. This is Modi’s first bilateral visit to Myanmar. He had visited the country in 2014 to attend the ASEAN-India Summit. Sharing Modi’s stance on terror; Suu Kyi said “Together we will ensure that terror is not allowed to take root on our soil or on the soil of neighbouring countries.”Suu Kyi also thanked India for taking a strong stand on the terror threat that Myanmar faced recently. Rohingya militants raided police posts in Myanmar’s Rakhine state last month killing 12 security personnel. After Modi-Suu Kyi interaction 11 agreements were signed between two India and Myanmar on maritime security, strengthening democratic institutions in Myanmar, health and information technology.”We would like to contribute to Myanmar’s development efforts as part of our ‘Sabka Saath Sabka Vikas’ policy,” Modi said appreciating Suu Kyi’s leadership in Myanmar’s peace process. Suu Kyi told Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan the same day that global outrage over Myanmar’s treatment of its Rohingya Muslims was being fuelled by “a huge iceberg of misinformation”. Sympathy for the Rohingya was being generated by “a huge iceberg of misinformation calculated to create a lot of problems between different communities and for promoting the interest of the terrorists”, Suu Kyi was quoted by an official statement as telling Erdogan in a call.Suu Kyi has come under fire in recent days for failing to speak out against violence targeting Rohingyas, particularly given her previous image as a champion of human rights. Scores  have died since Rohingya militants raided police posts in Myanmar’s Rakhine State.UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has also called for the Muslims of Rakhine State to be given either nationality or legal status  and voiced concern about violence that has since late August forced nearly 125,000 people to flee and risk destabilising the region. Earlier, PM Modi called on Myanmarese President Htin Kyaw. He tweeted describing it as a “wonderful meeting”. They had discussed steps to deepen the “historical relationship” between the two neighbours. The Myanmarese president and Suu Kyi had visited India last year. India and Myanmar have socio-cultural relations dating back to several thousand years and both nations share 1,640 Km along India’s north-eastern States of Manipur, Nagaland and Mizoram. Nagas, Manipuri and Mizoram tribal communities have relations across the border and are engaged in border trade. Meanwhile, it is reported that close to 400 people have died in fighting that has rocked Myanmar’s northwest for a week as per latest official data. It is said to be probably the deadliest bout of violence to engulf the country’s Rohingya Muslim minority in decades. An estimated 38,000 Rohingya have crossed into Bangladesh from Myanmar, United Nations sources said after Rohingya insurgents attacked police posts and an army base in Rakhine state, prompting clashes and a military counteroffensive. “As of August 31, 38,000 people are estimated to have crossed the border into Bangladesh,” the officials said on Friday, in their latest estimate. The army says it is conducting clearance operations against “extremist terrorists” and security forces have been told to protect civilians. But Rohingya fleeing to Bangladesh say a campaign of arson and killings aims to force them out. The clashes and ensuing army crackdown have killed about 370 Rohingya insurgents, but also 13 security forces, two government officials and 14 civilians, the Myanmar military said on Thursday. There was communal violence in 2012 in Sittwe, capital of Rakhine, about 200 people were killed and 140,000, most of them Rohingyas, were rendered homeless.PM also visited   The AandaTemple, one of Bagan’s best known and most beautiful temples. It was one of the first great temples to be built in Bagan and is well preserved. The temple is found near the Tharabar gate, the only gate remaining of the original 12 in the old Bagan city walls. The single storey’s architectural style built in 1105 towards the end of the early Bagan period shows Mon and North Indian influence. Incidentally, Bagan is an ancient city located in the Mandalay Region of Myanmar. From the 9th to 13th centuries, the city was the capital of the Pagan Kingdom, the first kingdom that unified the regions that would later constitute modern Myanmar.

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