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Myanmar to take steps against NE militants

By R Dutta Choudhury
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GUWAHATI, Jan 22 � The Government of Myanmar has assured India that steps would be taken against the militants using the territory of that country. At the same time, Myanmar has sought assistance from India for implementation of several major development projects.

Highly placed sources in the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) told The Assam Tribune that the issue of presence of militants of India in Myanmar was discussed in detail in the recent Home Secretary level meeting between India and Myanmar. The Indian delegation pointed out in the meeting that a number of leaders of the militant groups are staying in Myanmar and almost all the major insurgent groups of North East India have their bases in that country. The Indian delegation also submitted a list of camps of the militants with pinpointed locations to the Myanmar Government so that action can be taken to evict the same.

The presence of Paresh Baruah in Myanmar was also discussed in the meetings between the two countries. According to information available with the security agencies, Baruah, the leader of the hard line faction of the United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA), spends most of his time in an area bordering Myanmar and China and he frequently visits China.

MHA sources revealed that the talks were very candid and the Government of Myanmar assured that steps would be taken against the militants staying in that country. �Myanmar has made it clear that they do not have any intension to allow the insurgent groups to use the territory of that country to wage war against India,� sources added.

However, MHA sources admitted that Myanmar is now bogged down with its own problems and Myanmar Army is busy fighting own insurgent groups. Under the circumstances, Myanmar has not been able to spare enough troops to take sustained action against the insurgent groups of India. However, Myanmar Government made it clear that it is not supporting the insurgents and would take action whenever possible, sources added.

On the possibility of joint operations against the militants, sources said that it would be difficult for a sovereign country like Myanmar to allow Indian Army to operate in

its territory. However, the possibility of coordinated operations on both sides of the border cannot be ruled out.

Meanwhile, the Government of Myanmar has sought India�s help to implement several major development projects, which would also be beneficial for India. Myanmar has sought India�s help for implementation of several road projects and sources pointed out that construction of the roads would facilitate free movement of the troops to the areas where the militants are taking shelter.

Sources revealed that Myanmar has sought India�s help for early completion of the �trilateral highway� linking India, Myanmar and Thailand. Though all the three countries are bearing the cost of the project, India is spending the highest amount on the same. Myanmar is not in a position to complete the road falling under that country and recently Myanmar Government has completed a four kilometer long bridge, but India will have to complete the approaches to the same.

MHA sources pointed out that the completion of the Highway would give a major boost to the economy of the North East region of the country.

Myanmar Government has also sought India�s help for development of the Naga Hills area of Myanmar and India has agreed to do so. Sources pointed out that India�s help for development of the Naga Hills area of Myanmar at a time when talks are on with insurgent groups of Nagaland would give a psychological boost and prove India�s willingness for the development of the Naga people.

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Myanmar to take steps against NE militants

GUWAHATI, Jan 22 � The Government of Myanmar has assured India that steps would be taken against the militants using the territory of that country. At the same time, Myanmar has sought assistance from India for implementation of several major development projects.

Highly placed sources in the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) told The Assam Tribune that the issue of presence of militants of India in Myanmar was discussed in detail in the recent Home Secretary level meeting between India and Myanmar. The Indian delegation pointed out in the meeting that a number of leaders of the militant groups are staying in Myanmar and almost all the major insurgent groups of North East India have their bases in that country. The Indian delegation also submitted a list of camps of the militants with pinpointed locations to the Myanmar Government so that action can be taken to evict the same.

The presence of Paresh Baruah in Myanmar was also discussed in the meetings between the two countries. According to information available with the security agencies, Baruah, the leader of the hard line faction of the United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA), spends most of his time in an area bordering Myanmar and China and he frequently visits China.

MHA sources revealed that the talks were very candid and the Government of Myanmar assured that steps would be taken against the militants staying in that country. �Myanmar has made it clear that they do not have any intension to allow the insurgent groups to use the territory of that country to wage war against India,� sources added.

However, MHA sources admitted that Myanmar is now bogged down with its own problems and Myanmar Army is busy fighting own insurgent groups. Under the circumstances, Myanmar has not been able to spare enough troops to take sustained action against the insurgent groups of India. However, Myanmar Government made it clear that it is not supporting the insurgents and would take action whenever possible, sources added.

On the possibility of joint operations against the militants, sources said that it would be difficult for a sovereign country like Myanmar to allow Indian Army to operate in

its territory. However, the possibility of coordinated operations on both sides of the border cannot be ruled out.

Meanwhile, the Government of Myanmar has sought India�s help to implement several major development projects, which would also be beneficial for India. Myanmar has sought India�s help for implementation of several road projects and sources pointed out that construction of the roads would facilitate free movement of the troops to the areas where the militants are taking shelter.

Sources revealed that Myanmar has sought India�s help for early completion of the �trilateral highway� linking India, Myanmar and Thailand. Though all the three countries are bearing the cost of the project, India is spending the highest amount on the same. Myanmar is not in a position to complete the road falling under that country and recently Myanmar Government has completed a four kilometer long bridge, but India will have to complete the approaches to the same.

MHA sources pointed out that the completion of the Highway would give a major boost to the economy of the North East region of the country.

Myanmar Government has also sought India�s help for development of the Naga Hills area of Myanmar and India has agreed to do so. Sources pointed out that India�s help for development of the Naga Hills area of Myanmar at a time when talks are on with insurgent groups of Nagaland would give a psychological boost and prove India�s willingness for the development of the Naga people.

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