PM Narendra Modi and Myanmar: In Search of New Opportunities

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be visiting Myanmar in a few days. His earlier visit was in 2014 to attend the ASEAN-India summit meetings and, therefore, this can be considered as his first bilateral state visit to Myanmar.

Prime Minister Modi is visiting Myanmar at a moment when there is a growing international concern about the sectarian violence in the country. The conflict involving Buddhists and Muslims in the Rakhine province has been simmering for a few years. In the last week of August, the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA), launched a major attack on about 30 police posts, in Rakhine state, resulting in significant casualties. The scale and coordinated nature of this attack have generated deep anxiety within Myanmar’s leadership, on the nature of the security threats they are encountering. The international community is worried about the reports of harsh response of theMyanmar security forces resulting in civilian casualties and forced migration. The Indian Prime Minister, during his visit,will have to navigate this complex and painful terrain of sectarian violence in the neighboring country. A few days ago, Indian officials referred to the need for integrating bothdevelopmental as well as humanitarian aspects in response to the security situation in the Rakhine state.

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