Tat­madaw de­nies In­dia is pro­vid­ing ‘weaponry and gad­gets’

The Myanmar Times - - News - SHOON NAING YE MON news­room@mm­times.com

THE Tat­m­daw has de­nied claims made in In­dian me­dia that New Delhi is pro­vid­ing arms and he­li­copters to Myan­mar to flush out in­sur­gent groups along the two na­tions’ shared bor­der.

News­pa­per The Asian Age re­ported on Septem­ber 5 that “ad­vanced weaponry and gad­gets” were be­ing sup­plied “to the Myan­mar Army to en­able it to set up its mil­i­tary head­quar­ters close to ar­eas oc­cu­pied by the rebel groups”, cit­ing se­cu­rity sources in the home min­istry.

The source added that In­dia was “heav­ily in­vest­ing” in Myan­mar in or­der to fight the rebel groups.

How­ever, the Myan­mar De­fence Min­istry’s spokesper­son Ma­jor Gen­eral Aung Ye Win told The Myan­mar Times the ar­ti­cle was false.

Maj Gen Aung Ye Win added that the min­istry has re­ceive no such in­for­ma­tion on the is­sue.

Fol­low­ing Pres­i­dent U Htin Kyaw’s re­cent visit to In­dia, he and In­dian Pres­i­dent Shri Pranab Mukher­jee re­leased a 30-point joint state­ment that dealt largely with se­cu­rity along the 1640-kilo­me­tre (1020-mile) shared bor­der.

“Both sides reaf­firmed their com­mit­ment to fur­ther strengthen bi­lat­eral se­cu­rity and de­fence co­op­er­a­tion, which is cru­cial for main­tain­ing peace and sta­bil­ity along the long com­mon bor­der. They reaf­firmed their shared com­mit­ment to fight the scourge of ter­ror­ism and in­sur­gent ac­tiv­ity in all its forms and man­i­fes­ta­tions,” the state­ment said.

Myan­mar po­lit­i­cal an­a­lyst U Than Soe Naing noted that the shared bor­der area is very un­de­vel­oped, and that rebel groups us­ing the ter­ri­tory as a base have launched at­tacks against both coun­tries.

Just weeks be­fore U Htin Kyaw’s visit to In­dia, there were re­ports that in­sur­gent groups had used Myan­mar as a launch­pad for at­tacks against In­dia, and in re­tal­i­a­tion the In­dia Army had crossed into Myan­mar to tar­get a rebel mil­i­tary camp. The Myan­mar gov­ern­ment in­sisted that at­tack did not oc­cur.

How­ever, the gov­ern­ment has long ac­knowl­edged that the Na­tion­al­ist So­cial­ist Coun­cil of Na­ga­land-Kha­p­lang (NSCN-K) op­er­ates from within Myan­mar. U Hla Maung Shwe, a se­nior peace process ad­viser, has said the NSCN-K is a recog­nised eth­nic armed group in Myan­mar and has sat in on peace talks.

The Myan­mar Times con­tacted the Myan­mar em­bassy in New Delhi and the In­dian em­bassy in Yan­gon, but nei­ther re­turned re­quests for com­ment.

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