Thursday, September 27, 2007

The Myanmar Dilemma

Already 3 Monks were killed since they started protesting against the rise in fuel prices in Myanmar.
Almost 3000 people were killed during the student protest for Democracy in 1988. But now, Monks are playing a bigger role in the peaceful protests and they are asking others not to interfere. Buddhist monks have a very special role in the highly religious conservative country of Myanmar.

While the Western countries responded with more sanctions, everyone is looking at India. India has maintained a common stance that it is "concerned" about the happenings in Myanmar. That's it !!
Why is World's largest democracy, India's response so muted ??

Since the restrictions started on Myanmar in 1988, China started supporting the Generals as Myanmar is rich with oil. To fuel the growing economies of India and China, fuel is one of the most important ingredients. That's one reason why Indian and Chinese companies are buying foreign oil fields and oil companies in Africa and the former Soviet States.

Myanmar is a gateway for China into the Indian Ocean. Any ship that is going to China has to pass through Indian Ocean and through the narrow Malacca Straits. In a future war with America, China is worried that if Malacca Straits is blocked by the navies of America, Australia, Japan and India, it will have to face grave danger of shortage of fuel. So, it wants a foothold in the Indian Ocean and Myanmar is the best opportunity they have.

India cannot afford a Chinese presence in its neighborhood. Chinese already have a "listening radio station" on one of Myanmar's islands which is very close to India's Andaman and Nicobar Island. There is every valid reason for India to worry.

So, India started befriending the Idiotic Generals of Myanmar. Moreover, The Myanmarese Generals are helping the Indian Army in crushing the Christian dominated North East Indian Terrorists who are based in the deep jungles of Myanmar.

Ideologically, India supports any pro-democracy movement either led by Aung San Suu Kyi in Myanmar or by Yasser Arafat in Palestine, but the hands of the policy makers in India are also tied up. Even though we hate it, we are forced to ignore the Monk's protests and indirectly support the Generals.

What India should do is to "talk" to the generals and exert pressure on them to let Democracy take root in their country. Give them financial sops and try to bring them on board rather than put sanctions on them. Nothing has come out with the sanctions already in place past decade. New sanctions would not make any difference.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your analysis is very true...India has always remained a soft nation & has been soft towards its neighbours until it itself feels the pinch. We all know what happened with Tibet vis-a-vis India & China and in Myanmar too India is simply remaining quiet, but with the Chinese supporting the Myanmarese generals, it should be a matter of concern for India also & it should take a upper-hand in this to pave way for democracy there.

4:13 pm  
Blogger Sathiya said...

Good analysis. I never thought in this direction. I can now see what dictatorship is through these ongoing issues in Myanmar and Pakistan. I really hate dictatorship, war and violence. I don't know what they are going to achieve in fighting with other countries, occupying more land, finding new weapons/nuclear test etc etc. Atleast India should follow Gandhigiri. Life is very short, enjoy it.

9:27 am  

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