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HindustanTimes Thu,17 Apr 2014

Language lessons for India, Myanmar

Jayanth Jacob, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, August 24, 2013
First Published: 21:39 IST(24/8/2013) | Last Updated: 21:44 IST(24/8/2013)

India and Myanmar have decided to break the language barrier to further cement their military and security tie-ups.

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In order to have better coordination and understanding between the forces from both sides, India will conduct training in English language for the Myanmar security personnel. It has also been decided that select Indian officers will be learning Burmese language.

New Delhi has long felt the need for bringing greater institutionalised cooperation between the two country’s security and military forces, which includes greater interaction among them.

According to sources, breaking the language barrier will further help this objective.

Of late, India has increased the training slots for Myanmar army personnel and some 70 officers are being trained by India now. Myanmar shares 1,643 km land boundary with India’s four northeastern states-besides a maritime boundary.

The Ulfa  (United Liberation Front of Assam) faction led by Paresh Barua and the National Socialist Council of Nagaland (Khaplang) are among the eight insurgent groups that have bases in Myanmar.

Though Myanmar has taken baby steps into democracy, the military still has a decisive influence in the country’s polity as well as Parliament. The army has 25% seat reserved in Parliament.  Defence minister AK Antony visited Myanmar early this year. And all three service chiefs had visited Myanmar in the recent past.

Myanmar also holds an important role in India’s look-east policy. It is the only country in Association of South East Asian Countries (ASEAN) group that has a land boundary with India.

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