INDIA EXPECTS ALL HER NEIGHBOURS TO BE HER FRIEND LIKE BHUTAN. WILL BURMA NOD BEFORE HER IN THE BHUTANESE WAY.
India-Myanmar home secretary-level talks from today
New Delhi, Sep 11:
Steps needed to curb smuggling of arms and ammunition and illicit trafficking in narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances will come up for discussion at the forthcoming Home Secretary level India-Myanmar talks.The meeting, to be held here from September 13 to 16, will also review the progress of various cross-border projects over which the two countries have agreed to cooperate, an official release said today.The meeting, held annually to discuss various issues related to maintenance of peace and tranquility along the border, is likely to discuss action against Indian Insurgent Groups (IIGs) present in Myanmar territory and effective border management.With reports of northeast insurgent groups operating from Myanmar, India will press for measures to flush them out like Bhutan's crackdown on the ULFA in 2003, MHA sources said.There are reports on the activities of insurgent groups in Myanmar and their whereabouts and New Delhi will utilise the four-day talks to make the demand for flushing them out, besides raising issues like drug trafficking and smuggling.They said some insurgent groups from Manipur and Nagaland were operating from Myanmar and cited instance of killing of some Assam Rifles personnel by insurgents a few months back.Though Bhutan launched 'Operation All Clear' to flush out ULFA militants nearly three years ago, Myanmar has not so far agreed to similar action against IIGs.The northeastern states have been voicing concern over this issue, pointing out the importance of Myanmar as the gateway to East Asian countries from the strategic point of view. Border management and fencing are among the issues expected to be discussed at the talks. They are likely to be taken up in the light of recent reports indicating the smuggling of Chinese grenades and counterfeit Indian currency through the Myanmar border.While the Indian side will be led by Union Home Secretary V K Duggal, Deputy Minister Birg Gen Phone Swe will lead the Myanmar side.Sources said during the last meeting, held at Yangon in October last year, issues related to security, drug trafficking, border trade, border management and proposed infrastructure projects in Myanmar were discussed.Both sides had agreed to further strengthen cooperation in tackling the activities of insurgents, arms smugglers, drug peddlers and other hostile elements along the India-Myanmar border.The status of various infrastructure projects in Myanmar, particularly in the road and power sectors, for which the two countries have agreed to cooperate, was reviewed at the last meeting and a follow up is expected this time.India and Myanmar had signed an agreement for maintenance of peace and tranquility in the border areas in 1994, under which Home Secretaries of both countries are to meet once a year while Joint Secretaries are to hold sectoral meetings every six months. The last sectoral meeting was held in Kolkata in July last year.