Connect with us

Asia Pacific

A Volatile Myanmar Could Be A Big Obstacle To India’s Act East Policy – OpEd



Insurgency has long been a major cause of concern for successive Indian governments since the country’s independence in 1947. Kashmir and the North-East have been the major hotspots that have threatened India’s internal security and the list only appears to be widening.

How India Is Winning Hearts, Minds & Money Via A Simple Anti-Malarial Drug?

The newest threat to India’s security as well as India’s geostrategic interests is the burgeoning insurgency in the Rakhine state of Myanmar; writes Subair Bhaumik for the Telegraph.

The South-East Asian region including the neighboring country Myanmar is of vital importance as India’s mega-connectivity projects, part of the Act East Policy, that acts as a counterweight to the strategic influence of China, are located here.

If India Is Following the Israel Model, Pakistan Must Follow The Iranian Model In Kashmir – Pak Writer

But now, the Kaladan Multimodal Transport Project (which connects Kolkata with Sittwe seaport in the Rakhine State) appears to be dragging India into the domestic conflict of Myanmar involving the Burmese(Tatmadaw) and the Arakan Army(AA).

In recent times, as the EurAsian Times reported earlier, the Tatmadaw has been heavily involved in fighting the rebels in order to regain control of the territory but has incurred heavy casualties due to aggressive warfare tactics by the AA.

While India undoubtedly would back the Tatmadaw to regain control, it must be careful to avoid retaliation by the rebels. Military officials and strategic analysts have advised caution, saying India should avoid getting involved in the Rakhine imbroglio.

Chinese Navy, Marine Commandos Detected In Karachi, Pakistan; Should India Be Anxious?

Kaladan Project

The $484 million Kaladan project aims to connect southwestern Myanmar to northeastern India by creating a multi-modal trinary of sea, river and road transport corridor to boost interconnectivity.

The majority of the project has been completed including the construction of the Sittwe port, building a river terminal upstream at Paletwa, and the dredging of the Kaladan river. A Rs 6,000-crore project is under progress for four-laning the 300-km highway from the Myanmar border to Aizawl to ensure the faster movement of goods.

After Trade War & Covid-19, China’s Loss In Manufacturing Could Be Great News For India – Experts

The completion of the Paletwa-Zorinpui road, therefore, holds the key to operationalizing the Kaladan project. However, the work on the last phase of the project has been severely affected and delayed by the actions of the Arakan Army. The AA is responsible for regularly kidnapping workers involved with road and bridge construction.

They also set ablaze a vessel carrying construction material for the project. The importance of the project and the growing menace of the AA forced India to take action. So, it launched Operation Sunshine, which although was successful in destroying Arakan Army bases in Mizoram, generated a backlash and led to an increase in attacks.

Imran Khan Questions Why A Country With Nuclear Bombs Can’t Even Make Ventilators?

A spokesperson for the AA, U Khaing Thukkha, recently told Burmese media that ‘China recognizes us but India does not. This statement provides a possible situation for India’s crisis in the Rakhine State and gives us an insight into the Chinese situation for the issue.

China too has strategic interest investments in the region but has not been subjected to any attacks by the Arakan Army. This means China is playing on both sides, the Burmese and the Arakanese, and maintains cordial relationships with the federal government, the Tatmadaw, and the insurgents in the Rakhine State to secure its interests and investments.

When Pakistan Army Lost 129 Soldiers In One Of The Deadliest Avalanches In The History

The Arakan Army has maintained it is not against trans-national projects in Rakhine, provided they ‘recognize’ AA and don’t cooperate with the Burmese military. Zoramthanga, a former rebel leader and current Chief Minister of Mizoram, is clearly against any Indian military adventure in Rakhine.

He would much rather use his influence with the Arakan Army to get the Kaladan project, so important for his Mizoram state, completed without a fuss.

India’s response to the crisis holds the key to the success of the project. While on one hand it can ‘pay-up’ to the Arakan Army and ensure the security of its project, it risks drawing the wrath of Myanmar and a possible crack in Indo-Burmese relations.

Chabahar Port No Longer A Top Priority For Modi-Government As India, Iran Drift Apart: OpEd

Supporting the Burmese or military intervention on the other risks further attacks by the Arakan Army leading to loss of life and capital and delay in the completion of the project and re-ignites the possibility of a deadly Sri-Lanka like situation once again.

One possible solution is bringing the Arakan Army and the Tatmadaw together using ex-rebel Zormathanga and seeking a peaceful solution. The violent outbursts of the AA and the Tatmadaw’s relentless effort to use force instead of dialogue has made the situation difficult.

As Binoda Mishra of the Centre for Studies in International Relations & Development (CSIRD) eloquently says, “We should learn to balance, to hunt with the hound and swim with the crocodile.”




Chandrayaan-2 Chandrayaan-2
Asia Pacific3 hours ago

India’s Venus Orbiter ‘Shukrayaan’ May Get A Piggyback Ride On Heavy-Duty Rocket, GSLV-Mk III

In September, NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine had said it’s time to prioritize Venus, one of our closest planetary neighbors. His...

Featured4 hours ago

Pakistan Hits Out At India For War-Mongering Even During Covid-19 Pandemic

Pakistani foreign minister lambasted arch-rival India and – said that some countries, including India, defied international calls for peace and...

Asia Pacific5 hours ago

Chinese PLA Deploys ‘Assault Boats’ In Pangong Lake After Indian Army Stations MARCOS Commandos?

As Indian and Chinese diplomats and top military commanders are trying ways to disengage in the Ladakh region, there are...

rafale-jets rafale-jets
Asia Pacific8 hours ago

Indian Rafales ‘Far Superior’ To Pakistan’s JF-17 Thunder — Chinese Military Experts Make Rare Admission

In what seems to be a rare admission, Chinese experts have said that the French-built Rafale fighter jets, procured by...

china-moon-mission china-moon-mission
Featured8 hours ago

ISRO’s Chandrayaan Looks To Catch-Up In Space Race As China Surges Ahead With Chang’e-5 Moon Mission

China’s Chang’e-5 probe has successfully landed on the moon, in a landmark mission to bring lunar surface samples back to...

Americas17 hours ago

Why Is The US Constructing A New Military Base Right Next To Its Biggest Airbase Near China?

With its eyes on China, the US Department of Defense (DoD) will build an alternative military base on Tinian island,...

Americas17 hours ago

The US ‘Apple’ Turns Sour As China’s Xiaomi Heads For Global Domination In Smartphone Markets

Xiaomi replaced Apple for the first time to reach the third spot globally, after Samsung and Huawei, in the list...

Americas21 hours ago

Sydney To New York In 2 Hours: China Could Make This Possible With New Hypersonic Aircraft Engine

China claims to have made a breakthrough in developing a ‘sodramjet’ engine that could provide an aircraft with such speeds...

Boris-Johnson Boris-Johnson
Americas21 hours ago

More F-35 Stealth Jets Join The British Royal Air Force After PM Boris Johnson’s Defense Budget Hike

Days after UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced a massive increase in the country’s defense budget, the delivery of another...

russia-japan-tourism russia-japan-tourism
EurAsian Region21 hours ago

Watch: Russian Firm Kalashnikov Finally Unveils AKV-521 Rifle With New Fire Selector

Putting all speculation to rest, Russian defense manufacturing firm, Kalashnikov Concern, has officially unveiled its new AKV-521 rifle.  The US...