Indian Army Chief Reacts To Military Coup In Myanmar, Says ‘India Wants Stable Neighbour’

Indian Army Chief MM Naravane
Indian Army Chief MM Naravane

During a virtual conference hold on Wednesday, in his first comments on Myanmar coup, Army Chief MM Naravane pointed out India’s wish for a ‘stable’ Myanmar.

Indian Army Chief MM Naravane on Wednesday, in his first comment on the military coup in Myanmar, asserted that India wants a “stable” Myanmar. Acknowledging Myanmar as a bridge between India and the South Asian countries, the Army Chief said, “Myanmar plays a key role in India’s foreign policy.

I think the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) has already stated the country’s position in this regard that – we support the process for transition to democracy and that is what we should be looking forward to.” Naravane was attending a virtual conference on the role of the Indian Army in dealing with the contemporary national security challenges. 

Naravane went on to highlight the Myanmar Army’s role in the fight against insurgency along Indian borders in the north-east states, and stated, “As far as military to military level interaction is concerned, we share a good repo, especially on the border where we conversate quite often. 

Over the last two years, we had a good number of co-ordinated operations in border areas along with Nagaland and Manipur.” 

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“Myanmar Army has carried out operations in flushing out various Indian insurgent groups, who were taking temporary shelters across the border. AS a result of that, a large number of insurgent group surrender took place”, he added. 

The military coup in Myanmar

The Myanmar military overthrew the democratically elected government of Aung San Suu Kyi on February 1 and declared a year-long state of emergency hours before the newly-elected parliament was about to convene. The military accused Suu Kyi’s government of rigging the November elections. Aung San Suu Kyi’s party National League for Democracy (NLD) managed to win 396 of the 476 parliamentary seats of the ones that are not reserved for the military.  

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Protest against the coup

On Sunday, February 21, large numbers of people stormed the streets to protest against the February 1 military coup. According to reports, two protestors were killed on Saturday after security forces opened fire on them. 

The killing of protestors did not stop people from coming out on the streets. Anti-coup protestors in Myanmar’s two largest cities also paid tribute to a young woman who died a day earlier after being shot by police in a rally.