Saturday, 25 January 2020

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Burma joins naval exercises

(Mizzima) – The Burmese navy took part in a joint exercise organized by the Indian Navy off the strategic Andaman and Nicobar Islands in the Bay of Bengal, local media reported on Tuesday.

Warships and delegations from 14 countries of the Asia-Pacific region will participate in the “Milan” exercise, which will focus on countering maritime terrorism, piracy and poaching as well as search and rescue operations and capacity building, the Times of India quoted officials as saying.

Navy ships from Australia, Bangladesh, Brunei, the Philippines, Burma, Thailand, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Singapore, Vietnam, Malaysia, Maldives, the Seychelles and Mauritius took part in the exercise.

One naval concern in the region is the protection of sea-lanes through the Malacca Strait. An estimated 60,000 ships sail through it every year, carrying around 30 percent of the world trade in goods.

An Indian officer said: “India’s central location in the Indian Ocean, astride these major commercial routes and energy lifelines, makes us a major stakeholder in the region's security and stability.”
The Kachin’s last stand
Since October this year, Burma has been in a state of civil war, with fighting between Burmese military and armed ethnic rebels. The ruling junta started a crackdown on these armed groups.

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