India-Myanmar news and discussion

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Re: India-Myanmar news and discussion

Postby nithish » 29 Jul 2010 22:10

India woos Myanmar with credit and goodies
Notwithstanding criticisms from human rights groups, India has once again offered millions in credit and goodies to Myanmar's military junta in a strategic move to counter growing Chinese influence over the country.

During the five-day visit of the Myanmar's military ruler Senior General Than Shwe, both countries signed a number agreements cementing their ties not only on connectivity, energy, economic and security issues but on the cultural front as well.

The Archaeological Survey of India, for instance, will help Myanmar restore the historic Ananda temple in Bagan.

Gen Shwe on Wednesday has flown to Hyderabad for a business meeting. He would be going to Jamshedpur and Kolkata before returning on Thursday.

The two countries signed a series of pacts on Tuesday, including one to strengthen security along their common border, where India is struggling to curb insurgents. Both will also strengthen their collaboration on improving road, rail and telecom connectivity, better banking relations and economic development.

New Delhi pledged $ 10 million for the purchase of agricultural equipment. Also India will set up rice silos to facilitate disaster relief operations in the cyclone-prone delta areas.

India offers a line of credit for US$ 64 million to Myanmar in the transmission lines sector which will be executed by the PGCIL. Within a year, an agreement on the implementation of the Tamanthi and Shwezaye projects on the Chindwin river basin is also expected.

Though rights activists openly criticise India for giving legitimacy to the junta government, New Delhi has little option in order to counter growing Chinese presence in close to India's eastern border.

Besides needing the military regime's help to counter the separatists along the common border, India is eyeing oil and gas fields in Myanmar and is eager to counter China's growing influence there.

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Re: India-Myanmar news and discussion

Postby Gerard » 02 Aug 2010 21:22


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Re: India-Myanmar news and discussion

Postby SwamyG » 02 Aug 2010 21:34

Than Shwe State Visit to India - a smallish report.

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Re: India-Myanmar news and discussion

Postby chaanakya » 02 Aug 2010 22:10

nithish wrote:Though rights activists openly criticise India for giving legitimacy to the junta government, New Delhi has little option in order to counter growing Chinese presence in close to India's eastern border.

Besides needing the military regime's help to counter the separatists along the common border, India is eyeing oil and gas fields in Myanmar and is eager to counter China's growing influence there.
[/quote]


General Populace in India, Vietnam, Thialand , Myanmar , Combodia ( generally having heterodox religious followings of Indian origin) have been comfortable and viewed favourably interactions with each other. There is little to nothing of suspicion and underlying hostility that India witnesses elsewhere. No matter which regime is ruling ( unless it is rabid comunism or maoism) India would continue to maintain good relations. It is in our interest only. I don't think anyone has moral authority to tell us with whom we should maintain what type of relations.

Shwe's visit has come bang after US advise to India. And that was real cool.

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Re: India-Myanmar news and discussion

Postby Karan Dixit » 03 Aug 2010 08:42

India's largest truck and bus manufacturer -- Ta Ta Motors Company, will produce vehicles in Kyaukse industrial zone in Myanmar's Mandalay division, a local weekly reported on Monday.

http://english.peopledaily.com.cn/90001 ... 90264.html

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Re: India-Myanmar news and discussion

Postby hulaku » 05 Aug 2010 09:32

Another interesting article on "Chinese" arms made in Myanmar coming across the NE militants

Where do 'Chinese' guns arming rebels really come from?
South Asia's illegal arms market is full of "Chinese-made weapons" - but many of them may not actually be made in China.

Anti-arms campaigners say that the rifles and machine guns which South Asia's rebel armies buy are manufactured under "an informal franchise" that Burma's rebel United Wa State Army (UWSA) has managed to secure from Chinese ordnance factories.

The UWSA is an ethnic left-wing rebel militia, with an estimated 30,000 fighters. It is accused of being involved in arms dealing and drug trafficking.

It enjoys very close relations with China because most of its leaders, being former Communist guerrillas, were trained in China in the 1960s and 1970s.


http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-south-asia-10626034

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Re: India-Myanmar news and discussion

Postby VinodTK » 07 Aug 2010 20:03


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Re: India-Myanmar news and discussion

Postby sum » 11 Aug 2010 09:08

Crafting a richer India-Myanmar partnership

In presenting a dispassionate evaluation of the recent visit to India by Senior General Than Shwe, Myanmar's “strong man,” two useful tools are rear view and plainspeak. They would indicate that India-Myanmar relationship has grown in range, depth and vitality in the past decade, but it is not without vulnerable spots.

In the early 1990s, the government of India showed the capability to take a long-term view by shifting to a ‘two-track' policy on Myanmar. It chose to build state-to-state relations while continuing to support the cause of democracy. As head of a relevant division in the Ministry of External Affairs, I saw from close quarters how the shift evoked opposition. By persisting on that path, but also with due sensitivity, India began to achieve its goals. Gradually, the policy was backed by a wider political consensus. As ambassador in Yangon a few years later, I had the privilege of assisting the Ministers from the NDA and UPA governments as they conducted dialogue with their counterparts in Myanmar. These exchanges prepared the ground for Gen. Than Shwe's first, ‘historic' visit to India in October 2004. He conveyed to us how he was impressed with India. Between then and his second visit last week, both countries worked hard to strengthen their relations.

Over the years, New Delhi has faced two kinds of criticism on its Myanmar policy. Realists argued that its pro-democracy stance had driven Myanmar into “China's lap.” Later, they maintained that the engagement was moving too slowly. They failed to recognise that it was never in Myanmar's interest to choose China over India. Now curiously enough, there is talk of Myanmar playing China against India and India against China. It does not require rocket science to realise that the best policy for Myanmar is to befriend both. As for India's motivations and compulsions, they are far too well known to be delineated here.

The other criticism stemmed from ideologues and supporters of democracy in Myanmar who freely advised India to sacrifice its interests. It was difficult to heed their advice or expect them to appreciate the complex argument of realpolitik. As a democratic country, India would love to see democracy prevail in the whole world but it is not our mission in life to spread it globally. Nevertheless, we do sympathise with the victims of the regime, including refugees, the exiled and prisoners of conscience. Above all, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi's commitment to Gandhian principles, courage and contribution to Myanmar are appreciated widely in India. In fact, many of us who had the unique privilege of meeting and interacting with her came away with a clear impression that she is an outstanding personality of our age.

Against this backdrop, it is noteworthy that the impact of the pro-democracy camp on India-Myanmar policy seems to have diminished considerably. This was evident throughout Gen. Than Shwe's visit as well as in the joint statement issued in New Delhi on July 27. Hidden in a 45-para statement was a small paragraph which reflected India's emphasis on “comprehensively broad-basing the national reconciliation process and democratic changes being introduced in Myanmar.” This, together with informal indications available from the visiting delegation, left one in little doubt about the political realities. Even after the elections, expected to be held towards the year-end, there may not be any material change in the military's role. It is set to continue calling the shots.

Gen. Than Shwe's visit resulted in a commitment by both sides to further strengthen and broaden the “multidimensional relationship.” A considered assessment would suggest that three aspects were of special significance.


The most dramatic moment at the meeting came when U Thaung, Minister for Science and Technology, observed that Indian investments in Myanmar presently stood at below the quarter million-dollar mark, adding dryly that Indian business was taking “too long to come, unlike China and Asean countries.” This seemed a wake-up call to India Inc. to re-energise itself for its own benefit.

The basket of development projects has been expanding at a rapid pace. About two-thirds of the joint statement related to them. After years of discussions, studies and negotiations, the stage is now set for commencing implementation of the flagship Kaladan multimodal transit transport project. When ready, it should contribute to the development of our northeast. The trilateral highway project too has been a subject of discussions and negotiations for long; it needs priority attention now. The range of areas covered by Indian projects is impressive — roads, railways, telecom, power, energy, hydrocarbons, remote sensing, agriculture, industry, IT and education. Let timely implementation be our mantra.

South Block may well be advised to leave the debate on weighty issues like geopolitical trends, rivalry in the Bay of Bengal and India-China ‘power game' to academics. Instead, it should encourage our Embassy in Yangon to hone its project management skills and help India Inc. deepen its foray into Myanmar.

(The author is a former ambassador to Myanmar.)

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Re: India-Myanmar news and discussion

Postby ramana » 11 Aug 2010 22:39

hulaku wrote:Another interesting article on "Chinese" arms made in Myanmar coming across the NE militants

Where do 'Chinese' guns arming rebels really come from?
South Asia's illegal arms market is full of "Chinese-made weapons" - but many of them may not actually be made in China.

Anti-arms campaigners say that the rifles and machine guns which South Asia's rebel armies buy are manufactured under "an informal franchise" that Burma's rebel United Wa State Army (UWSA) has managed to secure from Chinese ordnance factories.

The UWSA is an ethnic left-wing rebel militia, with an estimated 30,000 fighters. It is accused of being involved in arms dealing and drug trafficking.

It enjoys very close relations with China because most of its leaders, being former Communist guerrillas, were trained in China in the 1960s and 1970s.



http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-south-asia-10626034



So we now have non-state actors making guns and selling them!

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Re: India-Myanmar news and discussion

Postby Karan Dixit » 14 Aug 2010 23:54

The military junta in Myanmar has decided that elections will be held in the country on November 7th.

For the first time in 20 years, parliamentary elections will take place throughout the country, about a week before opposition figure, Aung San Suu Kyi, is expected to be freed from house arrest.

http://www.calcuttanews.net/story/671906

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Re: India-Myanmar news and discussion

Postby Airavat » 21 Aug 2010 04:44

Elections and Myanmar-India relations
Perhaps the junta is seeking an easy devolution of power similar to that of ‘guided democracy’ in Indonesia where a percentage of seats in parliament are reserved for military personnel and a number of corporate firms governed by the military. Though nothing substantial can be asserted at this juncture, nevertheless, if the junta comes to power it is likely to get closer to India.

During the recent India visit of Than Shwe, India did not force Myanmar on the issue of restoration of democracy, and thus avoided a controversy. In early 2010, during the visit of India’s Union Home Secretary and other officials, Myanmar assured India of possible support for apprehending insurgent leaders like Paresh Barua and others belonging to a number of northeastern groups like NSCN-IM and separatist groups of Tripura. Also, Myanmar has been keen on upgrading its air force and has sought MiG-29 purchase from Russia while seeking training assistance from the Indian armed forces.

its relations with China have gone through a bumpy ride owing to border problems between ethnic Burmans and Chinese on the northern borders. This has led to clashes between the two communities.

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Re: India-Myanmar news and discussion

Postby Karan Dixit » 27 Aug 2010 08:55


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Re: India-Myanmar news and discussion

Postby krisna » 02 Sep 2010 01:22

Delhi reduces Indo-Burmese border leeway to 10 miles
The Indian government has reduced the extent to which people living along the Indo-Burmese border are allowed to enter the country from 40 kilometres (25 miles) to 16 kilometres (10 miles), a minister from the northeastern state of Mizoram said today.

About 50,000 Burmese migrant workers are working as housemaids, textile weavers, goldsmiths, vendors, mechanics, restaurant service staff and road builders. They are frequently arrested by state police as they usually lack valid documents to stay in India.

The northeastern India states of Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Manipur and Mizoram share a 1,020-mile (1,643-kilometre) border with Burma’s Arakan, Chin and Kachin states and its Sagaing Division.

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Re: India-Myanmar news and discussion

Postby krisna » 02 Sep 2010 01:26

Burma's Than Shwe 'remains senior general'
It appeared to quash suggestions he had stepped down to run as a civilian in the 7 November general election.

The main opposition party - the Aung San Suu Kyi-led National League for Democracy - has been forced to disband ahead of the polls, because of election laws stating that those with criminal convictions cannot be members of political parties.

* 25% of seats in parliament reserved for the military
* More than 75% approval required for any constitutional change
* Those with criminal convictions cannot stand for election - ruling out many activists
* Members of religious orders cannot take part - ruling out monks, who led protests in 2007
* Election commission hand-picked by Burma's military government

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Re: India-Myanmar news and discussion

Postby krisna » 02 Sep 2010 01:30

Southeast Asian Highway Hits Roadblock in Burma
The still-to-be-built 40-kilometre stretch to go across the mountain in military-ruled Burma is key to making the Asian Development Bank’s (ADB) East-West Corridor a reality. It is part of the Manila-based bank’s 1,450-km long highway, billed to facilitate easier transport of goods and services across mainland Southeast Asia.


The ADB’s blueprint seeks to connect the Burmese port city of Moulmein, on the Andaman Sea, with the Vietnamese city of Da Nang, on the coast of the South China Sea.

The bank’s GMS program began in 1992 to promote economic growth in the six countries that share the Mekong River, South-east Asia’s largest body of water. These are Burma, Cambodia, China, Laos, Thailand and Vietnam.

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Re: India-Myanmar news and discussion

Postby krisna » 08 Sep 2010 22:15

The General In His Labyrinth
It has been difficult for India to support Burma for many years. Because of the democracy and its moral values whatever you call it. India never followed pragmatic policies to secure its interests.
Recently so it has started to think beyond its geographical boundaries with its rising economy. It is casting its eyes around and seeing what damage already has been done and what can be salvaged.
So now it is moral dilemma amonsgt the various ministeries. These ministeries are made of people who have their own moral agendas of yesteryears when India was still in socialist raj. They have not changed much in caging india to its moral dilemma.

With increasing clout due to economy it is slowly shedding these shenanigans.

The above article is also one of the things like above mentioned, but does say what India has done so far.
Burma POV is that India is not consistent like china which is steadfast with it for all these years.
India has to be pragmatic and support who ever is in power but also maintain relations with opposition.

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Re: India-Myanmar news and discussion

Postby ramana » 08 Sep 2010 22:20

CTists say removing Burma from British India was the price that INC paid to form the local govts of 1937. Later on it was Pakistan ten years later.

The counter is TSP and Burma were contentious areas between great powers and their creation removed the contentions. Afghan and TSP were supposed to be double buffers between India and Russia.

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Re: India-Myanmar news and discussion

Postby SwamyG » 08 Sep 2010 23:24

Ajatshatru: Here is a link to a book that might interest you a little bit: http://books.google.com/books?id=WuKh5B ... &q&f=false flip to page 245.....

Will hunt for some more sources laterz....

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Re: India-Myanmar news and discussion

Postby ramana » 13 Sep 2010 23:22

From Nightwatch, 9/10/2010

Burma (Myanmar)-China: The China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) has begun construction of China-Myanmar oil and natural gas pipelines, according to Chinese media. The announcement coincided with a ground-breaking ceremony for a 200,000 barrel-per-day oil refinery in Anning city, Yunnan Province, China.

According to the CNPC statement, the company wants to complete the China section of the pipelines, as well as the refinery, by 2013. The oil pipeline, which will have a capacity of 440,000 barrels per day, will wind 771 kilometers (479 miles) through Myanmar, then stretch 1,631 kilometers though China before ending in Chongqing.

The natural gas pipeline will have a 12 billion cubic meter capacity, and will span 793 kilometers in Myanmar and 1,727 kilometers in China before ending in Guangxi region. The company did not disclose whether or when all three projects would receive final approval from China's National Development and Reform Commission, the body in charge of economic planning and pricing.

Comment: The significance of this information plus other recent reports about China building a railroad through Burma is that they reinforce the assessment that Chinese leaders see Burma as a gateway for channeling natural resources to China.

This symbolizes the next step in China's economic imperialism by creating a network of vertical and horizontal monopolies on a global scale that gather and ship back to China the resources from concessions in Third World countries that the Chinese already have secured.

By using Chinese-made Burmese ports and infrastructure, natural resources from Africa and the Middle East can reach hubs in southern China and avoid the hazards of transiting the Straits of Malacca and Singapore and the South China Sea.


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Re: India-Myanmar news and discussion

Postby RajeshA » 14 Sep 2010 02:12

Myanmar Seeks Asian Support for Its Ballot: Wall Street Journal
Myanmar needs the backing of China and other Asian neighbors to boost the legitimacy of its Nov. 7 vote, which is expected to usher in a new civilian government but which human-rights and exile groups say is really aimed at entrenching the country's military regime, led by the aging junta chief.

Western leaders have stepped up their criticism of the vote in recent months. They say it is unlikely to be free and fair under Myanmar's strict military rule, and the main opposition party, led by Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, has vowed to boycott.

Last month, the Obama administration intensified diplomatic pressure on the regime, saying it would back efforts to create an international commission to investigate alleged human-rights violations in Myanmar, including reports of torture, arbitrary arrests of political opponents, and other crimes.


Can India use this election to further our interests? Whom should we support? How should we react? Thoughts would be welcome. :)

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Re: India-Myanmar news and discussion

Postby krisna » 14 Sep 2010 05:47

Border fence unnecessary, Mizoram authorities say
India’s government is building fences along the Indo-Burmese border with the goal of plugging holes in a porous frontier through which fleeing separatist rebels are often able to elude its security forces.

The state’s Congress Party chief spokesman, P. C. Lalruata, told Mizzima: “There is no need to build Mizoram-Burma border fences. But, I don’t know how the [national] government will decide … we don’t have the right to oppose its [Delhi’s] decision.”

Burma and India agreed to repel rebels from their respective sides of the border during then-Senior General Than Shwe’s visit in July. Lalruata said construction of the fencing may be related to that agreement, but that there were very few rebels in his state.

India’s Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Manipur and Mizoram states are adjacent to Burma’s Arakan, Chin and Kachin states and Sagaing Division along a 1,020-mile (1,643-kilometre) border.
Meanwhile, India from last month had at Burma’s request reduced the width of the no-man’s-land on its side of the frontier from 40 kilometres (25 miles) to 16 kilometres (10 miles).

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Re: India-Myanmar news and discussion

Postby jagga » 21 Oct 2010 13:50

'Once we lectured on morality, now we copy China'
India's policy on Myanmar "is partly in imitation of China, which is increasingly dominated by much narrower national concerns than those that moved Gandhi, Nehru and Tagore," Sen, who spent part of his childhood in Myanmar, said in his keynote address to a conference on Myanmar at the prestigious Johns Hopkins University.
"When our power to influence the world was zero, we spent our time lecturing the world on morality. And when we get a bit of power, although not as much as China, then we completely abdicated that responsibility," 76-year-old Sen said

Highly critical of India for hosting the Myanmarese military leadership in New Delhi, he said: "I have to say that as a loyal Indian citizen, it breaks my heart to see the prime minister of my democratic country -- and one of the most humane and sympathetic political leaders in the world -- engage in welcoming the butchers from Myanmar and to be photographed in a state of cordial proximity."

"The problem arises rather with the change in the political climate of India in which narrowly defined national interest -- what is taken to be national interest -- gets much loyalty and in this India's past propensity to lecture the world on global political morality is seen as a sad... of Nehruvian era," Sen rued

The main reason for holding the elections by the military junta, he said, is to 'whitewash the entire world' and alleged that 'they are not serious in making any changes in Myanmar'.

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Re: India-Myanmar news and discussion

Postby JE Menon » 21 Oct 2010 22:41

wait a bit Mr. Sen. We will lecture on morality AND "copy" China :)

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Re: India-Myanmar news and discussion

Postby ramana » 21 Oct 2010 22:43

Forget him.

Last night NHK TV from Japan had a whole segment on Myanmar and showed Ang San Sukyii's picture repeatedly. No sub-titles! :(

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Re: India-Myanmar news and discussion

Postby svinayak » 21 Oct 2010 23:00

jagga wrote: India's policy on Myanmar "is partly in imitation of China, which is increasingly dominated by much narrower national concerns than those that moved Gandhi, Nehru and Tagore," Sen, who spent part of his childhood in Myanmar, said in his keynote address to a conference on Myanmar at the prestigious Johns Hopkins University.

"When our power to influence the world was zero, we spent our time lecturing the world on morality. And when we get a bit of power, although not as much as China, then we completely abdicated that responsibility," 76-year-old Sen said


Highly critical of India for hosting the Myanmarese military leadership in New Delhi, he said: "I have to say that as a loyal Indian citizen, it breaks my heart to see the prime minister of my democratic country -- and one of the most humane and sympathetic political leaders in the world -- engage in welcoming the butchers from Myanmar and to be photographed in a state of cordial proximity."

When the whole world is trading with China where is the question of morality. They will work with China which will proliferate WMD and also ignore what China does for Burma.

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Re: India-Myanmar news and discussion

Postby svinayak » 21 Oct 2010 23:02

jagga wrote:
]"The problem arises rather with the change in the political climate of India in which narrowly defined national interest -- what is taken to be national interest -- gets much loyalty and in this India's past propensity to lecture the world on global political morality is seen as a sad... of Nehruvian era," Sen rued

That is exactly what the americans are saying. What is his opinion of other powers funding Pakistan army.

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Re: India-Myanmar news and discussion

Postby ramana » 21 Oct 2010 23:20

Another Sen wrote about such muddle headed intellectuals long time ago:

The trouble with Third World leftists - The Indian Express

Title : The trouble with Third World leftistsAuthor : Gautam Sen
Publication : The Indian Express
Date : March 12, 1997

The failure of Third World elites to understand the West is partly due to what can be described as sample bias, although private career interests are important as well. Their exposure to the West is primarily through its universities which are relatively liberal though largely powerless. And exposure to the Left in countries like the UK is especially consequential because, while their radical views have little impact on their own societies, they successfully brainwash Third World elites who wield power at home.

Academics like Maurice Dobb and Harold Laski who decisively perverted the world-view of a whole generation of Indians were cranks, irrelevant to the governing elites of Britain. But even now Indians recall these names with misguided awe.

The principal damage inflicted by such Western duplicity is to encourage Third World intellectuals to oppose their domestic ruling order implacably, in the name of the class struggle, even if it fatally undermines the state apparatus. The dire necessity of a strong state, domestic social cohesion and military prowess are thus opposed by this strata of Third World society.The other lamentable deficiency in their education is the obsession with the idea of progress. The consequence is the belief that the world is gradually becoming a better place and Western societies
and their politicians today are better than their ruthless
predecessors. There is no evidence for sustaining this conviction, but it aids old-fashioned re-conquest of the Third World.
The Left in the UK is completely united with its government in the murderous project in Iraq. One Israeli diplomat has remarked that Saddam Hussein was always his country's preferred choice because he was the only politician capable of preventing Iraq from allying with either Syria and/or Iran - "he represents equilibrium", he asserted. According to him, the US and its allies had always supported Saddam and it was only his nuclear ambitions that prompted intervention.

The allure of international seminars as well as the fear of
traditional bases of Third World protest, inevitably religious,
reinforces the covert and, increasingly, public support of Third World Leftists for Western imperialism.
The backing of the international Left and its Third World allies for the mass murder taking place in Algeria is a case in point. India's secular Left wing defenders of Islam quickly adopt the militant anti-Islamic rhetoric of their Western sponsors as soon as they land at the airport!

Given the enduring influence of colonial education, only prolonged and deep estrangement from the dominant Western intellectual perspective allows one to see things differently. China's elites, unlike India's, are relatively immune, because they do not understand English and cannot therefore absorb this virus as a matter of course.

It is noteworthy that the two societies which gave authentic
verdict to significant recent events are theocracies that value their intellectual autonomy. Iran was perturbed by the destruction of Iraq during the Gulf War despite Iraq's bloody aggression against it earlier. And Israel lodged the solitary protest against the mass murder of Bosnia's Muslims. The ignorant and sycophantic Indians sent a parliamentary delegation to Belgrade to commiserate with Slobodan Milosevic, the architect of genocide in Bosnia.

A momentous military and economic re-conquest is therefore
occurring without the necessary response on a war-footing from the elites of countries like India.
Western powers are penetrating and occupying the Third World through investment and trade, helped powerfully by the control of international credit and treaties like the World Trade Organisation as well as the transmission of ideas
and sources of individual reward. The military dimension of this policy has already been demonstrated in Iraq, with terrible consequences for its civilian population. India, Iran and North Korea are now in the firing line.

(The writer is a lecturer in the politics of the world economy at the London School of Economics)


Add Amartya Sen to the distinguished mind benders.

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Re: India-Myanmar news and discussion

Postby Airavat » 22 Oct 2010 08:46

Myanmar's new constitution
The state flag, state seal and national anthem had been prescribed in the new state constitution of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar approved through a national referendum in May 2008. The concerned laws were promulgated by the council as a preparatory work to bring the constitution into operation before the parliamentary election set for Nov. 7, the announcement said.

With a white star within, the new Myanmar state flag appears with three columns of color -- yellow, green and red, while the state seal appears with a star on top and the country map in the center surrounded with two ears of paddy and two lions respectively resting on each side.

According to the new constitution, the country adopts an executive system of President as head of state who is produced through parliamentary election. The president is also chief of national defense and security commission in which commander-in-chief of the defense services is a member.

The constitution also designates that the Union parliament comprises the house of representatives and the house of nationalities. The legislative power is shared by union parliament, region parliament and state parliament.

As part of election preparatory process, the commission is allowing the use of state-operated Myanmar Radio and Television ( MRTV) for contesting political parties for canvassing for votes with speech until Oct. 31.

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Re: India-Myanmar news and discussion

Postby Airavat » 09 Nov 2010 06:04

We will work with military
Dr Tin Maung Htun, chairman of the Democratic Party’s Mandalay Region committee, said the military representatives, who make up 25 percent of each hluttaw, could potentially act as agents of change. “Once the defense services personnel have been nominated to the hluttaws, they will become politicians, whatever their backgrounds are,” he said.

National Democratic Force co-founder U Khin Maung Swe said he believed it was important to build trust with both politicians and the Tatmadaw. “I have said many times that in the hluttaws we will negotiate with anyone, including the military appointees,” he said. “Actually, our party does not want to have to work with the military in parliament but in this case we have no choice. Having 75pc of elected candidates is better than the zero percent that we have now.”

Image
Women from Hokyin village in Kengtung, a town in the eastern part of Shan State, scan a pamphlet distributed by the National Democratic Force party, which split from the National League for Democracy party. The village is situated at about 3,500 feet (1,067 metres) above sea level and its residents lacked information about the election to be held on Sunday. Photo: Mizzima

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Re: India-Myanmar news and discussion

Postby putnanja » 10 Nov 2010 03:25

Love Obama, bunk his lecture- Strategic trio force Delhi’s Yangon hand

...
Even as the US mounts pressure on India to be more vocal in its support of the democratic forces personified by Aung San Suu Kyi, military officials in Fort William and the defence ministry are preparing for another high-level exchange of delegations with Yangon.
...
At play are three huge compulsions:

India’s 1,643km-long porous border with its eastern neighbour that has often been used by northeastern militants to fuel insurgency;

China’s deep inroads into Myanmar where it is building not only roads, bridges and railways but also listening posts and military facilities; and

Energy-hungry India’s need for gas supplies from the Irrawady basin.

India practically effected a turnaround in its Myanmar policy — for the record, it wants Suu Kyi to be released and democracy restored — when George Fernandes was the defence minister in the NDA government.

Myanmarese pro-democracy activists were sheltered in his official quarters in Lutyens Delhi’s Krishna Menon Marg. Military officials convinced Fernandes that India could not afford to have hostile neighbours on either side of it and that China was taking advantage of the distance between New Delhi and Yangon since the junta took over.

That policy has continued since, first, Pranab Mukherjee and, then, A.K. Antony took over. India’s Myanmar policy, for practical purposes, has been executed largely through the defence ministry and not the external affairs ministry.
...
...
“If we have to take our place at the high table we will have to deal with all the slings of arrows of fortune,” a source said. Another added: “One has to be brain-dead or oblivious to the situation India has to face on the border with Myanmar.”
...
...
If the military appears to be at the forefront of shaping India’s Myanmar policy, that is because New Delhi has found that the junta understands its language best. The Indian and Myanmarese militaries now co-operate not only at the top, but also at the sector level.
...
...
New Delhi has just decided to let it pass. “After all, the US has a record of supporting military governments across the world even though they are not in its neighbourhood,” said one officer. “We do not want to bring that up,” he said.
...

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Re: India-Myanmar news and discussion

Postby sunnyP » 13 Nov 2010 16:24

Burma releases Aung San Suu Kyi

The military authorities in Burma have released the pro-democracy leader, Aung San Suu Kyi.

She has appeared in front of a crowd of her supporters who rushed to her house in Rangoon when nearby barricades were removed by the security forces.

The Nobel Peace Prize winner has been detained for 15 of the past 21 years.


http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-pacific-11749661

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Re: India-Myanmar news and discussion

Postby ramana » 16 Nov 2010 03:10

NVS writes in newsinsight.net

India's Burma test
Aung San Suu Kyi's release grows pressure on the Manmohan Singh government to resolve the Burmese crisis and prove its worthiness as a big power, says N.V.Subramanian.

London, 15 November 2010: Sooner rather than later, India will have to correct its Burma policy to reconcile it with the unstoppable democratic aspirations of the Burmese. Aung San Suu Kyi has been released on the heels of a fraudulent election where the military's role in ruling the insular and backward nation has been institutionalized. A turbulent neighbour like Burma is bad for India. It is worse because India's credentials to join the UN Security Council (UNSC) as a permanent member will partly be tested on its Burma policy. The visiting US president, Barack Obama, made a direct hurtful reference to Burma while endorsing India's UNSC ambitions, but it is nevertheless one of the international “responsibilities” that India has to shoulder and resolve. For itself, too, in the immediate-term, India has to prepare a road map for Burma, because unrest in that country increases Chinese influence, which hurts India. So what's to be done?

For long, India fumbled at a Burma policy, permitting the Chinese to make inroads, playing upon the military junta's fear of the outside world. When China's Burma policy dovetailed with its plans to encircle India, which was partly encoded in its “string of pearls” strategy, the previous NDA government decided to engage the military regime. The engagement policy was opportunistic, cynical and damaged India's democratic credentials. It also brought personal embarrassment for the NDA defence minister, George Fernandes, a diehard backer of Burmese democracy. In turn, Fernandes' Burma line embarrassed the Indian government. But all sides reached to the uncomfortable conclusion that given the rising Chinese threat from Burma, India had to make the best of what was possible.

India's present policy in Burma has yielded mixed results. Burma is still close to China which uses its UNSC veto power to insulate the military regime from international US-led trouble. But at the same time, Indian engagement has prevented a wholesale Burmese selloff to China. Indian engagement with Burma has also substantially robbed North Eastern militant and terrorist groups of sanctuaries there, although the junta's control of peripheral territories is weak.

But change is creeping into Burma. India has to be alive to this. Aung San Suu Kyi has been set free. Her future course of action is unclear. This is understandable. The junta has just put in place a political structure to legitimize its role. That won't be easy. But nor will it be simple for Aung San Suu Kyi to blow it away. She is in her mid-sixties. Her political party is close to non-existent. Her best bet would be to stay out of jail and put in place an institutional structure and second-line leadership to advance the democracy movement further.

But she also needs to engage two of Burma's most important foreign interlocutors, India and China. China is closer to the Burmese military regime and, therefore, on the face of it, necessarily more important. But China is a problem because it is a totalitarian state and would have the same fears about a democratic China as it has about a united Korea. Significantly, while the US is engaging China about North Korea (even if presently the engagement is in a shambles), it is not pressing it enough on Burma. Possibly, it does not want to grant China too big a role in Burma. On the other hand, the US has been leaning on India on Burma sometimes quietly and sometimes not so quietly. Iran and Burma test India's suppleness to join the UN Security Council as a permanent member.

So willy-nilly, Aung San Suu Kyi will discover India to be a more significant interlocutor for meeting her aims and purposes. She has old ties with India and she would realize any future Burmese democracy will find more in common with India than with the West. But how to progress to that future democracy is the nub. There is a way, and some honest and purposive Indian diplomacy would help matters.

A stable, democratic, prosperous Burma is both in Burma and India's interests. This needs gently to be put across to the military junta. India has gained enough trust for this to be conveyed over a period of time without being suspected or misunderstood. Secondly, India must offer its good offices to bring Aung San Suu Kyi and the regime on talking terms with democracy as the end-state for Burma. If the regime is not herded and if Aung San Suu Kyi is convinced that her ideals are not being compromised, a dialogue can be facilitated.

Indian diplomacy can work to bring the two Burmese opposing parties together in Burma, India or outside, although Aung San Suu Kyi would not like to step out of Burma anytime soon for fear she will be barred from returning. But the substantive way is for India quietly to offer its good offices in whatever way acceptable to the two sides.

Moderation and lowered expectations is the key to success here. To expect dramatic changes overnight would be foolish and foolhardy. Nor will inimical parties like China keep quiet. It must be understood that China draws power from its totalitarian allies. It would not hesitate to instigate the individual ambitions of the Burmese brass against democracy. But India would have to convince the junta leadership that its present move to gain quasi-political legitimacy for its rule is in itself an admission that republican Burma cannot be denied much longer. On the other hand, Aung San Suu Kyi must realize that the breathless, slightly undergraduate quality of backing for her in the West won't move the regime any.

And for India, Burma represents a test case for its diplomacy. Here is a chance uniquely to advance Indian interests while preserving those of a troubled but basically harmless neighbour with deep historical and cultural ties to this country. To campaign with the world to get India UNSC veto power is one thing. But the path to there lies through minefields like Burma and Iran. It's time to call out the sappers.

N.V.Subramanian is Editor, www.NewsInsight.net, and writes internationally on strategic affairs. He has authored two novels, University of Love (Writers Workshop, Calcutta) and Courtesan of Storms (Har-Anand, Delhi). Email: envysub@gmail.com.



So what does he want? Lose the little leverage we have?

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Re: India-Myanmar news and discussion

Postby Stan_Savljevic » 16 Nov 2010 04:14

^^^
But change is creeping into Burma.

The last time democrazy was seen in some form in Burma was in 1962, almost 50 years back. Why does NV Subs think that the mantle will pass back to non-military personnel after Than Shwe decides to call it quits, whenever that time comes? Already there is a lot of infighting between the camps of Maung Aye, Thura Shwe Mann and Than Shwe's youngest grandson who is all of 19 years old for succeeding Than Shwe. Just like Than Shwe threw out Ne Win and his three sons, the bigger danda works better, whether it be from a 19 year old or a 70 year old does nt matter.
So willy-nilly, Aung San Suu Kyi will discover India to be a more significant interlocutor for meeting her aims and purposes. She has old ties with India and she would realize any future Burmese democracy will find more in common with India than with the West.

Amusing given that her father, Aung San, found India a little too overbearing and tried to make peace with Chou-en-Lai and Chiang-kai-Shek. Even more amusing given that almost every Burmese politician since the 40s had been gung-ho in expelling Indians from Burma.
Iran and Burma test India's suppleness to join the UN Security Council as a permanent member.

This is what happens when people drink too much of the democrazy kool-aid. Why not extend the same logic to question why the US is in bed with pakistan, saudi arabia, etc., a little too much for the cranial muscles to exert, no?! After all, the US holds a veto power at the UNSC and should exercise some responsibility of being the world's greatest demagoguery before being sanctimonious to others, no?! And who vetoes the sanctions on Iran or North Korea in the UNSC time and again, India?!

If the regime is not herded and if Aung San Suu Kyi is convinced that her ideals are not being compromised, a dialogue can be facilitated.

Is it in India's interest to broker a peace between Aung San Suu Kyi and the junta? Hardly given that we need the junta's active role (which is yet to be achieved) in putting down the NSCN-K faction in Burma. While NDFB and ULFA use the Burmese territory as a safe haven, it is primarily NSCN-K that uses the Arunachal Pr. and Burmese territories (for cross-border violence and extortion) that is the most lethal of all. So what do we stand to gain in brokering peace? In fact, counterintuitive as it may seem, an emergent democrazy in Burma while it can be expected to throw off the yoke of subservience to china is hardly going to be understanding of Indian concerns. We did not see this behavior pre-62. Nor will we see it down the line. Fact is the gas market to china is profitable and Burma will continue to pump gas to Yunnan. The ongoing Asian Highway will only make it more easier to ship gas to china. Especially given the transit issues we have to face over BD, and the Kaladan Multimodal Project plodding at a tortoise pace. Last count, the whole project might have been shelved given the interim success in Chittagong and Mongla transit rights. All that needs is one more BNP government and it is back to square one. At the end of the day, India will be left holding the golden beggar's bowl. I see allusions to democrazy and this that, but no realistic understanding of statecraft or conclusions motivated by logical premises. Why should we expend our political capital in bringing democrazy to Burma? Other than hifalutin ideals, what do we really gain?

And for India, Burma represents a test case for its diplomacy. Here is a chance uniquely to advance Indian interests while preserving those of a troubled but basically harmless neighbour with deep historical and cultural ties to this country.

Duh, too much of a flowery amateurish diktat without any concrete suggestions as to what to do. It will leave a diplomat as confused as he was before he started reading this piece. The anglais minus the diplomatese and legalese is weaved in a form that suggests that entropy will be decreased, only to leave the reader rudderless and gasping for breath half-way through.

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Re: India-Myanmar news and discussion

Postby negi » 16 Nov 2010 05:18

A Fresh Look At Myanmar-Brahma Chellaney.

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Re: India-Myanmar news and discussion

Postby Airavat » 16 Nov 2010 07:58

^^^The article exposes western double-standards in regard to China and Myanmar:

The defining events that led to the crushing of pro-democracy forces in Burma and China occurred around the same time some two decades ago, yet the West responded to the developments in the two countries in very different ways. China's spectacular economic rise owes a lot to the western decision not to sustain trade sanctions after the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre of pro-democracy protesters.

The military's attempts to open up the Burmese economy in the early 1990s fizzled out quickly in the face of western penal actions. Years of sanctions have left Burma without an entrepreneurial class or civil society but saddled with an all-powerful military as the sole functioning institution. A second lesson is that the expansion of sanctions has not only further isolated Burma, but also made that country overly dependent on China to the concern of the nationalistic Burmese military.

Can one principle be applied to the world's largest autocracy, China - that engagement is the way to bring about political change - but an opposite principle centred on sanctions remain in force against Burma?

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Re: India-Myanmar news and discussion

Postby Airavat » 17 Nov 2010 06:14

Engage with Myanmar economically
What should Aung San Suu Kyi or her supporters do? She should press for greater economic engagement with the West and encourage reform within the system by working with the junta. That way improvements will come incrementally, but at least they will come. Partnering with your enemies, evil as they may be, can be hard, but it is what must be done.

Engagement with Myanmar has been Thailand's strategy. Thailand's foreign minister said recently that he supports democratization in Myanmar but that the process must go in stages, much as it did in Thailand over the last half century. His strategy is to give soft loans and education exchanges, and then push for private corporate investment.

Active engagement and economic ties helped bring about China's reforms, and they continue to improve life for ordinary Chinese. Aung San Suu Kyi should learn from China's experience with reform. Active engagement is a proven model for bettering people's lives. Economic sanctions are a failed policy.

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Re: India-Myanmar news and discussion

Postby RajeshA » 17 Nov 2010 11:11



Actually I find this suggestion very good. Aung San Suu Kyi should become Commerce Minister in the new Govt. or say, Vice President, or something. She should work to bring the Military junta and the West much closer together. Only if the junta feels comfortable interacting with the West, would the junta's paranoia subside leading them to diversify their relations to other countries, and breaking free of the Chinese slavery. Only then can India regain her foothold in Myanmar.

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Re: India-Myanmar news and discussion

Postby Pratyush » 17 Nov 2010 11:32

Rajesh,

Under the current laws of Myanmar, Ang San cannot assume any position in the Govt let alone contest any election on account of her previous conviction. Unless the same is overturend retospectively.

The possibility of that taking places is remote as of today.

India, should try to get close to Myanmar without Ang san.

But I am not too optimistic of that taking place. Mymanmar has been more anti Inda (In the past) then pro any other forign power. This deep rooted. Unless it can be overcome there is not much chance of India and Myanmar getting close.

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Re: India-Myanmar news and discussion

Postby RajeshA » 17 Nov 2010 13:36

Pratyush wrote:Rajesh,

Under the current laws of Myanmar, Ang San cannot assume any position in the Govt let alone contest any election on account of her previous conviction. Unless the same is overturend retospectively.

The possibility of that taking places is remote as of today.

India, should try to get close to Myanmar without Ang san.

But I am not too optimistic of that taking place. Mymanmar has been more anti Inda (In the past) then pro any other forign power. This deep rooted. Unless it can be overcome there is not much chance of India and Myanmar getting close.


It is one thing that Aung San Suu Kyi is not allowed to do political campaigning or stand for election, however a role for her in the Govt. where there is a negotiated brief for her role, is definitely possible. Her role would to give legitimacy to the present regime, bring Myanmar from out of the cold and get Western investments going.

It is simply no use for Aung San to spend the rest of her days under house arrest and her party, the NLD to remain in the woods. She has to find a way out.

SPDC should come to an agreement with Aung San, that she would join the government and work with the regime, and her party would be allowed to contest 40-50% of the seats in the next election, if they promise not to be critical of the SPDC leadership. India is best placed to mediate between SPDC and Aung San Suu Kyi.

India does have good relations with the SPDC, just not as much influence as China does.

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Re: India-Myanmar news and discussion

Postby Pratyush » 17 Nov 2010 13:39

But how can she be allowed a say in the governemt, when the NLD did not participate in the elections in the first place. The people who will form the next govt have little to do with both Su Ki and NLD.


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