Rebel Camps in Myanmar: Will They Hamper the Act East Policy?
Ties between India and Myanmar have transformed a great deal during the past six decades. The active cooperation during the Nehruvian era gave way to a brief interlude of frosty relations after New Delhi supported the pro-democracy movement in Myanmar in the late 1980s. Although both neighbours have moved considerably closer in the past few years, there are issues that have sometimes raised concerns between the two neighbours. New Delhi has firmed up ambitious policies involving Myanmar, such as the Act East Policy (AEP), that envisage gaining access to the fast growing economies of South East Asia. A slew of infrastructure projects are being implemented by the Indian government in Myanmar and efforts are also being made to boost border trade. However, separatist insurgent groups from India’s Northeast continue to operate out of camps at Sagaing Division in the neighbouring country. New Delhi’s repeated pleas for eliminating their bases have failed to elicit a positive response from Naypyidaw. This chapter assesses whether these rebel bases would act as a barrier to AEP, so assiduously pursued by the Indian government.
KeywordsRebels Camps Cultural affinity Stilwell Road Border trade Northeast
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