Myanmar

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  • Enlisting Myanmar’s help in tackling North East Guerrillas

    Vice President Hamid Ansari’s four-day visit to Myanmar from February 5 to 8, 2009 was significant for business matters as India and Myanmar signed agreements with regard to Tata Motors setting up a truck manufacturing unit in Myanmar, cross-border transport, telecommunications, the establishment of English Language training Centre and Industrial Training Centre at Pakokku.

    February 18, 2009

    Oil Politics in the Bay of Bengal

    Hydrocarbon rich Bay of Bengal seems to be emerging as another centre of oil politics. This was recently manifested by a standoff between Myanmar and Bangladesh, when Dhaka sent three naval vessels to stop Myanmar from conducting exploration activities in their disputed Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZs). The crisis has since been diffused, though it is far from over.

    November 27, 2008

    Referendum for Myanmar’s Constitution in the wake of Cyclone Nargis

    Howsoever much others may want to distance India from mlitary-ruled Myanmar, the widespread devastation caused by Cyclone Nargis has brought India into the spotlight. That it occurred barely a week prior to Myanmar’s proposed constitutional Referendum on May 10 brought this out in bold relief.

    May 12, 2008

    The Economic Consequences of Military Rule in Myanmar

    The recent public protests against the general price rise in Myanmar and the government crack down once again drew the world’s attention to the plight of the Myanmarese. But the focus has generally been on the political aspects, particularly the possibility of peaceful reconciliation and subsequent installation of a democratic government. In contrast, this paper attempts to peep into the economic aspects of military rule and its impact on the general public and concludes with certain possible implications for neighbouring countries like India.

    January 28, 2008

    Bangladesh Factor in the Indo-Myanmarese Gas Deal

    With the discovery of substantial gas in Myanmar's Sittwe region in the Rakhine state, India was keen to acquire gas from some of the new finds in the Shwe gas field, divided in several blocks, of which A-1 and A-2 blocks were closer to India and also estimated to have the best recoverable reserves. Given the geographical location, overland pipelines transiting through Bangladesh are the most cost-effective way of getting gas from Myanmar to India. Despite its initial enthusiasm, Bangladesh backtracked from its earlier willingness to be a partner to the tripartite pipeline.

    January 2008

    Recent Developments in Myanmar

    International pressure on Myanmar’s military government has intensified following the recent political upheaval triggered by a hike in fuel prices in August. This has brought into sharp focus the policies of Myanmar’s neighbours – China, India and the ASEAN States – whose reaction to the Naypyidaw regime has differed from capitals that are relatively distant. The UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy to Myanmar Ibrahim Gambari held consultations with leaders in New Delhi besides meeting Singapore’s Foreign Minister George Yeo recently.

    November 02, 2007

    The Unfolding Crisis in Myanmar

    Myanmar has been in the eye of the storm in recent months. In August, the State Peace and Development Council (SPDC), as the Myanmarese military regime led by Than Shwe is known, arbitrarily increased the fuel prices from US $1.18 to $1.96 per gallon. This sudden decision caught the country's impoverished people by surprise, who subsequently began a massive non-violent protest. Similar mass protests had taken place in 1988 against the military regime's removal of bank notes from circulation resulting in loss of savings for the common people.

    October 19, 2007

    Energy and Turmoil in Myanmar

    Thomas Friedman noted that "the price of oil and pace of freedom always move in opposite directions." This trend, which he cited in the case of Russia, Iran, and Venezuela, can be equally applied to Myanmar as well. Though pro-democratic forces have been active in Myanmar earlier as well, the public display of dissent in recent days is unprecedented and demonstrates the increasing disenchantment against almost two decades of military rule. Since the junta came to power, economic conditions have deteriorated and poverty has increased.

    October 04, 2007

    Burma in the Balance: The Geopolitics of Gas

    A new great game is under way in Myanmar. The huge offshore gas findings stretching from the borders of Bangladesh down to Thailand have resulted in a flurry of diplomatic manoeuvring with China, Thailand and other ASEAN countries as well as United States, India, the European Union, Australia and Russia all playing key roles. The equations are bound to change and many countries, for fear of losing influence with Yangon, are seeking a more 'pragmatic' approach.

    July 2007

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