Tatmadaw denies India is providing ‘weaponry and gadgets’
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.