Upset with China, Myanmar looked other way

Upset with China, Myanmar looked other way

Yangon extended tacit support to Indian Army to carry out surgical strikes on militant camps inside Myanmar, not only because two neighbours had pacts for bilateral security cooperation, but also due to growing strains in its ties with Beijing.

Yangon ensured that its armed forces looked the other way when commandos of the Indian Army early on Tuesday went into Myanmar to carry out raids by the militant outfits operating in the northeastern States of India. The decision of President Thein Sein’s Government in Yangon to provide tacit support to Indian Army’s offensive came at a time when Yangon’s ties with Beijing is also being strained by reports of Chinese intelligence agencies’ support to unite some armed rebel groups in Myanmar.

The tacit security cooperation between New Delhi and Yangon yielded results on the ground just a day before Myanmar’s opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi began her first visit to China. Though Myanmar’s Army and the Government did not object to her visit to China, Beijing’s bonhomie with the Nobel laureate democracy icon has not amused Yangon.

New Delhi has received intelligence inputs about Chinese intelligence agencies’ role in bringing together nine insurgent groups operating in North-East India and floating United National Liberation Front of Western South East Asia, which claimed responsibility for the deadly attack on Indian Army personnel at Chandel district of Manipur last Thursday.

Myanmar, according to the sources, has also been upset with Beijing’s purported role in floating the Myanmarese Nationalities Democratic Alliance Army. The MNDAA is led by ethnic Kokang militia commander Peng Jiasheng, who was in exile in China since 2010, and it has been targeting Myanmarese Army personnel in Shan State of Myanmar. 

The ‘surgical strike’ carried out by the Indian Army on rebel camps inside Myanmar early on Tuesday was in retaliation to the killing of 18 soldiers by the rebels in the recent attack in Manipur.

Sources told Deccan Herald that New Delhi had late last week suggested to Yangon that the armed forces of the two countries should carry out a joint operation on the rebel camps located inside Myanmar, along India’s border with the neighbouring country in northeastern States of Manipur and Nagaland. Yangon, however, cited its inability to mobilize its forces for a joint operation and also indicated its reluctance to publicly flout its own ceasefire with the National Socialist Council of Nagaland faction led by S S Khaplang.

The NSCN-K’s ceasefire agreement with New Delhi expired last April and it was not renewed. The outfit however has a separate agreement with Myanmarese Government.

The NSCN-K is one of the constituent of the UNLFWSA.

Though Yangon was not ready for a joint operation by both countries’ armed forces against the rebels, it did agree to look the other way when Indian Army would enter Myanmar and carry out the offensive.

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