Myanmar pro-democracy leader appeals to India to play proactive role

March 10th, 2012 - 1:09 am ICT by IANS  

Guwahati, March 9 (IANS) A former parliamentarian of Myanmar and active member of the nation’s National League for Democracy (NLD) Tint Swe has appealed to the Indian government to play a more proactive role towards Myanmar, particularly when the country is going through a transitional phase.

“While the China has already been there in Burma (Myanmar), USA and the EU have been marching ahead at faster pace towards Burma. So, India needs to change its attitude towards Burma for the benefit of both the countries,” said Swe while attending a function to release a book “India-Burma Relations Trends and Developments 1990-2011″ at the Guwahati press club here on Friday.

He said that India has been playing a role towards installation of democracy in Myanmar but said India’s role is not very visible. “The democratic experience of India, its democratic institutions and the peoples’ movement of India could be very useful for Burma, which is going through a transition period,” he said and added that the civil society groups in India and Myanmar must work together.

A close associate of NLD chief Aung San Suu Kyi, Swe said that India, particularly the northeastern states of India could play a vital role towards Myanmar particularly ahead of the April 1 by elections for 48 parliamentary seats.

“India and China are more interested in investment in Burma unlike the USA, who had initiated projects to improve human resources in the country,” he said. “India can help Burma in terms of Information Technology, education and agriculture sector,” he pointed out.

THe pro-democracy leader also said that the Arab Spring or the Arab uprising that began on Dec 18, 2010 and changed the fate of several nations in Middle East had also affected the fate of Myanmar, which continued to suffer under the Military Junta’s misrule for last several years.

“The reforms in Burma started after the Arab spring. Apart from the release of Aung San Suu Kyi from house arrest, all the reforms in Burma like release of political prisoners, formation of human rights commission, relaxation of media censorship and others took place after the Arab Spring,” he said.

He said the April 1 by elections in Burma will be a key test to ascertain on how far the government has progressed in its process of reforms.

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