South Asia and Beyond

‘Myanmar Fallout Creating Conditions For More Militant Activity In North-East India’

NEW DELHI: On ‘The Gist’, Ambassador Gautam Mukhopadhaya, Former India Envoy to Myanmar in conversation with StratNews Global Associate Editor Amitabh P. Revi.

India is “disturbed” and “deeply concerned” at ousted Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi being sentenced to four years(later reduced to two) in the first of a series of expected verdicts against the 1991 Nobel Peace Prize winner. A Ministry of External Affairs statement adds “India has been consistently supportive of the democratic transition in Myanmar. We believe that the rule of law and the democratic process must be upheld. Any development that undermines these processes and accentuates differences is a matter of deep concern. It is our sincere hope that keeping their nation’s future in mind, efforts would be made by all sides to advance the path of dialogue.”

Ambassador Mukhopadhaya points out that the “political capital India has invested in Myanmar until now is effectively bottled up until it is released,” warning that the fallout from the “situation in Myanmar is creating conditions for more militant activity in India’s north-east.” The Ex-envoy also analyses the so-called trial and sentencing of Daw Suu Kyi, its purpose, whether it will galvanise the opposition to the military, the brutal crackdown and killings, how India has handled the fallout of the February 1 military coup, the insurgent attack in Manipur that killed an Assam Rifles Colonel, his wife and child, and four Army personnel, the botched security force ambush in Nagaland that has killed 15 people, reports of north-east insurgent groups being given sanctuary in Myanmar as a quid pro quo for attacking protesters, Senior General Min Aung Hlaing, China making strategic inroads, Cambodia, the military’s foreign minister meeting Hun Sen and a divided ASEAN.

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