India’s cautious response to Myanmar coup
New Delhi reacted cautiously to the coup in Myanmar so that open criticism of the military does not drive it towards China.
Mindful that any open criticism of the military for its role in the coup in Myanmar may drive it towards China and also jeopardise its hard built relationship with Naypyidaw, New Delhi reacted cautiously to the coup. In 1988, India took a principled stand towards democracy protests by students. The military crushed that rebellion and left relations with India in tatters.
India granted USD 1.85 billion as development assistance and is currently involved in the USD400 million Kaladan port and highway project in the west of the country. It is also investing USD 250 million to connect its landlocked northeastern states with Thailand via Myanmar. The military junta expressed strong appreciation to India’s contribution in development efforts through a writeup in a state run daily.
New Delhi and Naypyidaw have cooperated many times in the last couple of years to flush out China supported terrorists hiding in densely forested areas along the border. India also trains Myanmar soldiers and recently gifted it a submarine (its first).
Massive student protest in Myanmar
Authorities in Myanmar have asked India to return several police officers who sought refuge to avoid taking orders from a military junta. Around 30 Myanmar police and their family members came across the border seeking refuge in recent days, claiming that the junta is suppressing the population and protesters resulting in the death of dozens of people. There were some reports suggesting that the police were joining in the protests but this is the first instance of them actually deserting the force and fleeing the nation.
Policemen who fled the military