PM Modi shares Myanmar's concerns about extremist violence in Rakhine

The prime minister's visit to Myanmar comes close on the heels of a spike in ethnic violence with Rohingya Muslims in the Rakhine state.

"Prime Minister Modi and Councillor Aung San Suu Kyi meet in Myanmar, discuss further cementing of India-Myanmar relations", PMO said in a tweet.

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He also said that he will review the extensive programme of development cooperation and socio-economic assistance that India is undertaking in Myanmar. "We share your concerns on the extremist violence in Rakhine province and especially the death of security personnel and the loss of innocent lives".

But Modi's choice of empathy for Suu Kyi today and his silence on the unfolding humanitarian crisis stand out even against that track record because of the urgency with which his government had announced plans to deport Rohingya refugees ahead of his visit.

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In response, Myanmar security forces began days of "clearing operations" they claimed were needed to tackle terrorism.

Suu Kyi has visited China twice since she took office and has publicly spoken of her camaraderie with Chinese President Xi Jinping, whose government has lavished loans and investments on Myanmar. He noted that peace and stability in Myanmar are of the highest priority to India and reiterated India's continued support to Myanmar in consolidating democratic institutions in the country and for the emergence of a democratic Federal Republic, the statement said. Several other agreements were also signed between the two countries.

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Earlier on Tuesday, Prime Minister Modi presented a reproduction of an 1841 map of a stretch of the River Salween and a sculpture of Bodhi tree to President of Myanmar U Htin Kyaw. He had earlier come here in 2014 to attend the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean)-India Summit.

■ Would like to thank India for taking a strong stand on the terror threat that Myanmar faced recently: State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi.

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Burmese officials blamed Rohingya militants for the burning of homes and civilian deaths, but rights monitors and Rohingya fleeing to Bangladesh say the Burmese army is trying to force them out with a campaign of arson and killings.

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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