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Saturday, June 25, 2011

INDO-MYANMAR TIES: Correcting tilt: ''Meeting with Suu Kyi is by itself important''!

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External affairs minister S M Krishna’s visit to Myanmar – the first high level one since the new government took charge there -- has sent out a strong signal of India’s continuing commitment to Myanmar’s development. India has pledged US $10 million, which will go mainly towards building capacity in the agricultural sector. Besides, Delhi will build for Myanmar 10 disaster-proof rice silos. This is aimed at ensuring the food security of the people of Myanmar during natural disasters. It may be recalled that when Cyclone Nargis struck in 2008, hunger took a huge toll in the weeks and months following the cyclone. India’s help should prevent the recurrence of such suffering. India is also setting up an agricultural research centre in Ye Zin, which is located near the capital. On the economic front, India is pressing forward with its infrastructure projects in Myanmar. It signed an agreement for construction of an 80-km road linking Mizoram with Myanmar. The $60 million Rhi-Tiddim road project is expected to provide a boost to trade and the local economy in India’s northeast. India has an investment of $189 million in five projects. 

While some of these like the Kaladan multi-modal transport corridor project are making good progress, work on the Tamanthi hydel project has been unsatisfactory. Hopefully the roadblocks standing in the way of the timely completion of these projects were discussed during Krishna’s interaction with his Myanmarese counterparts.

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