Wednesday, March 4, 2009

5-8-2007 Why India is selling weapons to Burma

“Why India is selling weapons to Burma“
August 5th, 2007
By Dr. Tint Swe (NCGUB)

“Why India is selling weapons to Burma“, has been repeatedly answered that it was in need of help against separatist fighters. As I wrote: Is that purpose fulfilled partially if not completely? I have also asked, by providing arms to the regime of Burma, was India furnishing her own insurgency?

There are additional motivations. Developed countries try to sell out or give away old stock to the developing nations. Burma got narrow gauge rail tracts from India and it is still in use. This is true for the rising China and India which are disposed to sell third and second grade arms to Burma. When that rationale was revealed from the democratic opposition radio, to make things worse, India is going to give sophisticated weapons on the request of the military junta of Burma. Why not the junta asked for help from successful Mr. Lalu’s ministry?

Is the objective of Indian arm sale hitting the target, to suppress anti-India insurgency? The acquired military hard ware and training are merely to suppress Burmese ethnic armed groups who want their legitimate rights in the Union of Burma. Till today, behind the scene, Indian military officials admit that even not a single bullet has been fired against ULFA or NSCN or UNLF. Yet again the strategists know that only joint military operations can not root out those groups from Burmese soil. While safe haven is provided by the military authorities and who else are feeding the anti-India groups? They are the cease-fired groups who have good terms with the State Peace and Development Council. As long as that SPDC and alike is in power, it is nonsense to expect that NE is to be peaceful and developed.

The ambitious tri-nation road, Asian highway, rail road link, Morh-Mandalay bus line, and else must pass through Moreh-Tamu. The businessmen argue that insurgents just want money that they can deal with. I doubt if the government foresees influx of small arms, drugs, other-country-made goods, refugees and HIV. I don’t want go further the international religious extremism, which has seeds already there in NE. If America is right to back General Musharraf for Al-Qaeda, then India is correct too to support the SPDC for NE.

But I never believe in military solution for political problems. Nagaland has been more undisturbed because of ceasefire. Israel-Palestine problem is now tamed not by wars. The war machine of world super power is far from victory against the extremism. The world finally acknowledged last week that Kim Jong-il is the man who keeps promise. Indian MEA knows how many promises they have got from SPDC.
India is sandwiched between the 12th Pakistan and the 14th Burma, the failed states. It is obvious that Pakistan and Burma failed because of military rule. If India wants them to devastate, then it is precisely right to fuel the military dictatorship.

There are areas that India and China can help Burma. Instead of scholarship for military officers, they should help printing primary school text books for poor Burmese school children because increased impoverishment is resulting in a greater number of children being unable to complete primary education. More than 40% of the children enrolled are unable to do so.

The interest and investment of the neighbors should not only be in gas and oil but also in community health services in Burma because less than 1% of 52 million Burmese people have 24-hour electricity and gas to cook. All gas from Bay of Bengal is supposed to be heading for China and India while poor Akaranese would have to aggravate global warming. In that State the rate of moderately underweight children under 5 years of 60% is the highest in Burma.

The US and EU have imposed not only arms embargo but different degrees of economic and political sanctions while all neighbors are doing more business in Burma. So China, India and ASEAN countries are more capitalistic than Americans and Europeans. I wonder how strong socialist and communist forces in India are to formulate the foreign policy.

I pray for help from India which elected a woman President. Burmese people don’t need arms to be killed but for women and children who are especially vulnerable to survival threats. The mortality rates for infants, children under five and mothers are alarmingly high and trafficking and sexual exploitation are on top of the list of protection issues.

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