The Indian government on Thursday expressed deep concern over Myanmar rebels trying to control the border with India and reiterated calls for cessation of violence and resolution of the situation through constructive dialogue.
The remarks came as ethnic minority insurgent groups attacked security posts in Myanmar earlier this week, causing a major influx of people in India. Nearly 5,000 people from Myanmar crossed over to India as chaos erupted amid fighting between the armed forces and rebel groups.
“We are deeply concerned with such incidents close to our border. Our position on the ongoing situation in Myanmar is very clear. We want secession of the violence and restitution situation or resolution of the situation through constructive dialogue,” said Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Arindam Bagchi.
“We reiterate our call for the return of peace, stability, and democracy in Myanmar, since, the current conflict started, I think it was in 2021 in Myanmar, that a large number of Myanmar citizens have been taking refuge in India. Local authorities in the concerned neighbouring states have been handling the situation appropriately on humanitarian grounds,” he continued.
This comes as Myanmar’s military junta is facing its biggest test since taking power in a 2021 coup after three ethnic minority forces launched a coordinated offensive in late October, capturing some towns and military posts. The rebels seek to take control of a section of the border with India.
Last week, the military-installed president said that Myanmar was at risk of “breaking apart” because of an ineffective response to the rebellion. The military generals say that they are fighting “terrorists”. One of the three allied insurgent groups, the Arakan Army (AA), which is fighting for greater autonomy in Rakhine State in western Myanmar, seized posts in the Rathedaung and Minbya areas, AA spokesman Khine Thu Kha said.
India on Israeli military operation in Gaza’s al-Shifa hospital
Responding to Israel forces carrying out a ‘targeted’ military operation in Gaza’s al-Shifa hospital, the MEA said that India has always underlined the need for civilian casualties to be avoided, for humanitarian law to be observed.
“This is not about one specific facility. India has always underlined the need for civilian casualties to be avoided, for humanitarian law to be observed and any efforts to provide humanitarian relief to those caught in the conflict. We had also talked about de-escalating the tension and delivering humanitarian assistance,” said Bagchi.
He also highlighted India’s humanitarian assistance for Palestine that was delivered last month and reiterated the country’s condemnation for the brutal attack by the Hamas group on Israel on October 7.
Bagchi also implied that the Israel-Hamas war would likely be discussed in the Voice of Global South Summit to be hosted by Prime Minister Narendra Modi tomorrow. “As I said, every country is free to say something that they feel bothers them. But I’m sure like in all high-level interactions, each participant will share their own perspective,” he said.
Death sentence of Indian Navy officials in Qatar
Speaking on reports claiming that a Qatar court had rejected the appeal filed by the Indian government against the death sentence of eight Indian Navy officials, Bagchi urged everyone to not indulge in speculations given the sensitive nature of the issue.
“This is a sensitive case and it is currently in a legal process there. As we mentioned, an appeal has been filed in Qatar’s court of appeal and we are engaged with Qatari authorities on the matter and we will continue to extend our legal and continuous assistance. I would urge everyone to not engage in speculations considering the sensitive nature of the case as well as the fact that the judgment has been made confidential,” he said.
Attacks on Indian High Commission and consulates in Canada
India addressed reports of Khalistani elements disturbing a consular camp organised in Indian High Commission in Canada and urged Ottawa to respect the Vienna Convention on diplomatic relations.
Addressing the briefing, Bagchi said, “Our High Commission and consulates in Canada regularly organize consular camps. One such camp was organized near Vancouver on November 12 to provide life certificates to pensioners. The event was held successfully despite attempts by a few radical elements to cause trouble. Our Consul General was not present at that site”.
“We reiterate the need for nations to respect the Vienna Convention on diplomatic relations so that our diplomats can discharge their diplomatic obligations,” he added. However, the MEA spokesperson said that there have been some inaccurate social media reports regarding the incidents.
Indian national sentenced to death in Yemen
On the issue of an Indian national sentenced to death in Yemen for the murder of a Yemeni national, the MEA said that India was extending consular assistance. “But since it’s a legal issue there as well… but certainly, we are in touch. We’re extending whatever consular assistance we can. But do understand that this is a legal process in their country too. And we’ll see in whatever way we can continue with this process,” the spokesperson said.
(with ANI inputs)