Live: PM Modi visits Ananda Temple In Bagan, India, Myanmar ink 11 deals
Nay Pyi Taw: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday met Myanmar’s state counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi, and held discussions on wide-ranging topics, including the violence in the Rakhine state. Modi said on Wednesday that India shared Myanmar’s concerns over the violence in Rakhine and said all parties must respect Myanmar’s unity as a nation.
Modi spoke after talks with State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi during a visit aimed at expanding commercial ties as part of its “Act East” policy and push back against Chinese influence.
Myanmar’s president Htin Kyaw and Suu Kyi had visited India last year. Here are the latest updates and developments from Modi’s visit to Myanmar:
■ PM Narendra Modi pays respects at Ananda Temple, the most historical and venerated temple in Bagan, Myanmar.
■ Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrives in Bagan. He will be visiting Ananda Temple shortly, ANI reports.
■ PM Narendra Modi emplanes for Bagan from Nay Pyi Taw. Preparations are reportedly underway for Indian community event in Yangon to be addressed by PM Modi later today. (ANI)
■ Prime Minister Narendra Modi today presented Myanmar State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi with a special copy of the original research proposal she submitted for her fellowship in 1986.
“Presented Daw Aung San Suu Kyi a special reproduction of original research proposal she submitted for fellowship at IIAS (Indian Institute of Advanced Study), Shimla in May 1986,” Modi said in a tweet. “Research proposal was titled ‘The Growth & Development of Burmese & Indian Intellectual Traditions Under Colonialism: A Comparative Study.”
Presented Daw Aung San Suu Kyi a special reproduction of original research proposal she submitted for fellowship at IIAS, Shimla in May 1986 pic.twitter.com/1qkGgoXC9U— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) September 6, 2017
■ Suu Kyi has a strong connection with India. She studied political science from the Lady Shri Ram College in Delhi and graduated in 1964. She was also a fellow in Shimla at the prestigious Indian Institute of Advanced Studies. Suu Kyi had also spent time with her husband Michael Aris and two sons Kim and Alexander in the former summer capital of the British India. (PTI)
■ India said on Wednesday that it shares Myanmar’s concerns over the “extremist violence” in the Rakhine state and urged all stakeholders to find a solution that respects the country’s unity. The two leaders also vowed to combat terror and boost security cooperation with Modi emphasising that it was important to maintain stability along the long land and maritime borders of the two countries.
Modi’s first bilateral visit here comes at a time when the Myanmarese government led by Nobel laureate Suu Kyi is facing international pressure over the 125,000 Rohingya refugees that have poured across the Bangladeshi border in just two weeks after Myanmar’s military launched a crackdown in the Rakhine state.
Modi, in his joint press statement with Suu Kyi after the talks, said India understands the problems being faced by Myanmar. He said India shares Myanmar’s concerns over the “extremist violence” in the Rakhine state, especially the loss of innocent lives of the people and the military personnel.
“When it comes to a big peace process or finding a solution to a problem, we hope that all stakeholders can work together towards finding a solution which respects the unity and territorial integrity of Myanmar,” Modi said. At the same time, the solution can bring about peace, justice, dignity and democratic values for all, he said. (PTI)
■ Read full text of Prime Minister’s statement during the joint media briefing with State Councillor of Myanmar in Naypyidaw.
■ India and Myanmar today signed 11 agreements in a range of sectors, including one on maritime security cooperation, to further strengthen their multifaceted partnership. The MoUs were signed after Prime Minister Narendra Modi held wide-ranging talks with Myanmar’s State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi.
— India and Myanmar signed an MoU to strengthen maritime security cooperation.
— The two sides also signed an agreement for sharing white shipping information to improve data sharing on non-classified merchant navy ships or cargo ships.
— The MoUs include one between the Election Commission and Union Election of Myanmar, the national level electoral commission of Myanmar.
— An MoU was also signed to organise cultural exchange programme for the period 2017-2020, according to a statement issued by Ministry of External Affairs.
— India and Myanmar also signed agreements on cooperation between Myanmar Press Council and Press Council of India, extension of agreement on the establishment of India-Myanmar Centre for Enhancement of IT skill.
— The two countries also signed agreement to cooperate in ‘Medical Products Regulation’ and in the field of health and medicine.
— They also signed MoU on enhancing the cooperation on upgradation of the women’s police training centre at Yamethin in Myanmar.
Listof MoUs/Agreements signed during State visit of Prime Minister to Myanmar.
■ Together we can ensure that terrorism is not allowed to take root on our soil or on the soil of neighbouring countries: Suu Kyi.
■ Would like to thank India for taking a strong stand on the terror threat that Myanmar faced recently: State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi.
■ We want all stake holders to work towards preserving Myanmar’s unity and territorial integrity: PM after talks with Aung San Suu Kyi.
Earlier, AFP reported Suu Kyi as saying on Wednesday that a “huge iceberg of misinformation” was distorting the picture of the Rohingya crisis, which has forced 125,000 of the Muslim minority to flee to Bangladesh. In her first comments since Rohingya militant attacks sparked unrest on 25 August, Suu Kyi said fake news was “calculated to create a lot of problems between different communities” and to promote “the interest of the terrorists”.
■ It is important to maintain security and stability along the long land and maritime borders of India and Myanmar: PM Modi.
■ India stands with Myanmar over the issue of violence in the Rakhine state which has led to loss of innocent lives: PM Modi.
■ Citizens of Myanmar who wish to visit India will be given gratis visas, and 40 Myanmarese citizens in Indian jails will be released: PM Modi (ANI)
■ Your (Aung San Suu Kyi) courageous leadership to the Myanmar peace process needs to be lauded: PM Modi. (ANI)
■ PM Narendra Modi : Deepening relationship with Myanmar is a priority for India, as a neighbour and also in the context of ‘Act East Policy’.
■ PM Narendra Modi: We would like to contribute to Myanmar’s development efforts as part of our ‘Sabka saath sabka vikaas’ initiative.
■ “Meeting a valued friend. PM @narendramodi with the State Councillor Aung San Suu Kyi,” external affairs ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar tweeted.
■ Prime Minister Modi on Tuesday presented Myanmar President Htin Kyaw a sculpture of Bodhi tree.
■ The prime minister’s visit to Myanmar comes amid a spike in ethnic violence against Rohingya Muslims in the Rakhine state. He is expected to raise the issue of the exodus of the ethnic Rohingyas into neighbouring countries.
The Indian government is also concerned about Rohingya immigrants in the country, and has been considering to deport them. Around 40,000 Rohingyas are said to be staying illegally in India.
■ India and Myanmar were also looking at strengthening existing cooperation in areas of security and counter- terrorism, trade and investment, infrastructure and energy, and culture, Modi had said ahead of his visit.
■ Modi arrived in Myanmar on the second leg of his two-nation trip during which he travelled to southeastern Chinese city Xiamen where he attended the annual Brics summit and held talks with Chinese President Xi Jinping, Russian President Vladimir Putin and other world leaders.
This is Modi’s first bilateral visit to Myanmar. He had visited the country in 2014 to attend the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean)-India summit. Myanmar is one of India’s strategic neighbours and shares a 1,640-km-long border with a number of northeastern states including militancy-hit Nagaland and Manipur.
— Agencies contributed to the live updates