December 23, 2021 1:36:14 pm
Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla raised “matters related to India’s security” in view of the recent Churachandpur incident and conveyed to Myanmar’s military leadership about the need to put an end to any form of violence and maintain peace and stability in the border areas, said the Ministry of External Affairs Thursday.
Last month, as many as seven persons, including the commandant of the 46 Assam Rifles (AR) Colonel Viplav Tripathi, his wife, son and four jawans, were killed when the convoy carrying the officer was attacked by militants at Behiang in Churachandpur district of Manipur last Saturday. Six jawans sustained injuries in the attack.
The Foreign Secretary is on a two-day working visit to Myanmar from December 22 to 23. During his visit, he called on the Chairman, State Administrative Council and other senior representatives and held meetings with members of civil society and political parties, including the National League for Democracy. He is also scheduled to meet Myanmar-based Ambassadors and representatives of the UN.
In a statement, the Ministry of External Affairs said, “The visit also provided an opportunity to raise matters relating to India’s security, especially in the light of the recent incident in Churachandpur district in southern Manipur. Foreign Secretary stressed the need to put an end to any violence and maintain peace and stability in the border areas. Both sides reiterated their commitment to ensure that their respective territories would not be allowed to be used for any activities inimical to the other.”
India shares an approximately 1,700-km-long border with Myanmar. “Any developments in that country have a direct impact on India’s bordering regions. Peace and stability in Myanmar remain of utmost importance to India, specifically to its North Eastern Region,” the MEA statement said.
During his series of meetings, Shringla emphasised India’s interest in seeing Myanmar’s return to democracy at the earliest; release of detainees and prisoners; resolution of issues through dialogue; and complete cessation of all violence. He reaffirmed India’s strong and consistent support to the ASEAN initiative and expressed hope that progress would be made in a pragmatic and constructive manner, based on the five-point consensus, the MEA statement said.
As a democracy and close neighbour, the MEA said, “India has been involved in the democratic transition process in Myanmar and in this context has worked with various stakeholders in developing capacities on democratic systems and practices.”
“India proposes to renew these efforts for Myanmar to emerge as a stable, democratic, federal union in accordance with the wishes of the people of Myanmar,” it added.
Emphasising that India shares a long border with Myanmar, the Foreign Secretary conveyed India’s continued humanitarian support for the people of Myanmar. In the context of Myanmar’s fight against the Covid-19 pandemic, he handed over one million doses of “Made in India” vaccines to the Myanmar Red Cross Society.
A part of this consignment would be utilised for communities living along Myanmar’s border with India. A grant of 10,000 tonne rice and wheat to Myanmar was also announced.
He also expressed India’s continued support for people-centric socio-economic developmental projects, including those along the India-Myanmar border areas, as well as India’s commitment for expeditious implementation of ongoing connectivity initiatives such as the Kaladan Multimodal Transit Transport Project and the Trilateral Highway.
Shringla also reiterated India’s commitment to continue with the projects under Rakhine State Development Programme and Border Area Development Programme for the benefit of the people of Myanmar.
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