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India urges smooth democratic transition in Myanmar

By Standard Reporter | April 26th 2021
Anti-coup protesters in Myanmar.

India has told the United Nations Security Council that there should be no falling back on the path to democracy in Myanmar and assured its commitment to engage on measures to accelerate and support the democratic transition in the country.

A fortnight ago India's Deputy Permanent Representative to the UN, Ambassador K Nagaraj Naidu, during a UN Security Council Arria formula meeting on Myanmar, said that New Delhi condemns the use of violence inflicted by the junta in the country and deeply condoles the loss of lives.

"India condemns the use of violence in Myanmar and deeply condoles the loss of lives. It is essential to observe maximum restraint. It is equally important to uphold humanitarian principles," he said.

He added: "India is convinced that there should be no falling back on the path to democracy in Myanmar. The rule of law must be upheld and the process of democratic transition, which India has long supported, must be taken forward."

Naidu also pointed that the first and most immediate step in this regard is the release of detained leaders adding, "India will continue to engage on measures to accelerate and support the democratic transition in Myanmar under which the hopes and aspirations of the people of Myanmar are fully respected and met."

The Indian envoy also pointed out that India has the highest stakes in ensuring a peaceful resolution of the situation, given our long land and maritime border with Myanmar and our history of "close friendship with the people of Myanmar."

"We are cognizant of the serious impact of political instability in the country and the potential of its spillover beyond Myanmar's borders. This is the time when we need greater engagement, not less. Lack of engagement will only create a vacuum which will be counterproductive. We, therefore, support all initiatives to engage with Myanmar and resolve issues peacefully without further bloodshed," he said.

While welcoming ASEAN's role in trying to find a peaceful solution in Myanmar, the envoy also called for the UN should play its role and not be found wanting during this crucial phase.

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Referring to the issue of displaced persons from the Rakhine state of Myanmar, the envoy stressed the importance of expediting efforts to repatriate the displaced persons currently in Bangladesh, stating that "we cannot afford to have a slowdown of this process and call on both sides to engage actively."

New Delhi also commended Dhaka for hosting a million displaced persons in its territory and said that it was pivotal for the international community to recognize and understand the humanitarian burden that Bangladesh continues to face and the efforts it has undertaken to ensure the well-being of the displaced persons.

Naidu also called on the international community for further support, financially and otherwise, "efforts of the Government of Bangladesh and also assist in ensuring that issues relating to radicalization in the camps and other security challenges are addressed in an expeditious manner."

Myanmar's military carried out a coup on February 1, arresting top officials over alleged electoral fraud and declared a one-year state of emergency.

The military takeover triggered mass protests, leading to violent clashes with the military and repression against peaceful demonstrators. According to the United Nations, nearly 600 people have been killed and thousands have been detained.

Naidu also pointed out that India has implemented over 140 projects under the Border Area Development Project in several remote areas in Myanmar.

"Our efforts in the interest of the people of Myanmar will continue to stay the full course... India's efforts towards securing the interests of the people of Myanmar will continue to remain steadfast," he said.


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