September 27, 2007Foreign Affairs

What India got from Myanmar’s junta

Not much, actually.

This is an archived blog post from The Acorn.

The pragmatic’ of engaging the generals sounds good in theory. Realists should have no problems with that. But as Sudha Ramachandran writes, the record suggests that India’s gains have been few in number and ephemeral in nature:

Over the past year China has won over some supposedly pro-India generals.

China has been helping Myanmar modernise its naval bases. Its presence in the waters off India’s east coast has grown over the past decade.

The Sino-Indian competition for Myanmar’s gas has gone in Beijing’s favour. As for support in counter-insurgency operations, the junta’s record is patchy.

Myanmar’s generals have coordinated operations with the Indian Army and smashed rebel bases in Myanmar. But this has raised doubts about their intentions.

When India honoured Suu Kyi with the Jawaharlal Nehru Award for International Understanding, the junta struck back by releasing scores of Indian insurgents it had rounded up during a joint offensive, ‘Operation Golden Bird’.

In 2001, when India alleged that two Pakistani nuclear scientists with al-Qaeda were in Myanmar, the junta reacted by freeing about 200 militants. [DNA India]



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