Saturday, 25 January 2020

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Burma-India boost relations with naval parley

New Delhi (Mizzima) - Burmese Navy Chief, Vice Admiral Nyan Tun’s five-day visit to India, is yet another instance of giving a leg up to bilateral relationship between the two countries, particularly in areas of defence, a New Delhi based Burmese Member of Parliament in exile said.

Dr. Tint Swe, Information Minister of the National Coalition Government of Union of Burma (NCGUB), said while Indo-Burma relationship had relied more on economic cooperation, in recent years it had made inroads in the fields of politics and defence, with India worrying over China’s defence presence on the Indian Ocean.

“Over a few years the relationship between Burma and India has been increasing in the fields of politics as well as at the defence level. His [Nya Tun] visit indicates another example of cooperation between two countries,” the exiled MP said.

He added that cooperation in the area of naval activities in Indian Ocean is of vital importance to both military-ruled Burma and India.

Burma was among the 13 countries participating at the five-day Indian Navy’s Milan 2010, a biennial meeting of navies from Indian Ocean region/Asia Pacific region. It commenced on February 5 at the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.

Nyan Tun, who was given a Guard of Honour on his arrival in India’s capital New Delhi on Monday, met Indian Defence Minister A.K Antony on Tuesday and is also scheduled to meet Indian Chief of Army Staff General Deepak Kapoor, Navy Chief, Admiral Nirmal Verma, and the Vice Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal P.K. Barbora.

While the Indian Navy costal guards, navy public information office and Director of Naval Operations office in New Delhi refused to divulged details of the visit and scheduled meetings and discussions, when contacted by Mizzima, Nyan Tun is reported to conclude his visit on Thursday, February 25, 2010.

Dr. Tint Swe, who has long monitored Indo-Burma relationship said, “There has been reports about the Chinese radar station based in Burma’s Coco Island and it is of great concern to India.”

Though Burma’s ruling military regime has consistently denied Chinese presence in Coco Islands, India is worried, he added.

“So the approach of India towards Burma is a kind of exchange of dialogue and discussions in meetings about the matter. India is always trying to bring Burma to its fold because it is concerned about Chinese influence over Burma,” Dr. Tint Swe said.  

Reportedly, the Indian naval chief is likely to ask his Burmese counterpart to bring down Chinese presence in Burma, and for that India may offer assistance to upgrade the Burmese Navy, he added.

It is being speculated that the main agenda of discussion between the visiting Burmese navy chief and Indian officials could be China's naval expansion that influences the coastal regions of Burma and India.

India and Burma have steadily increased and strengthened bilateral relationship since the early 1990s. India is currently the fourth largest investor in Burma, following Singapore, China, and Thailand.


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