Despite intense international pressure to chastise the military leadership of Myanmar for its vicious crackdown on pro-democracy protests in that country, India offered the Myanmar Junta a face-saver, urging it to order a probe into the suppression of democratic protests that claimed dozens of lives in the past fortnight.
External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee made the suggestion during a meeting with Myanmar Foreign Minister U Nyan Win, according to a statement issued by the Ministry of External Affairs on Tuesday.
The meeting in New York on the margins of the UN General Assembly session was the first high-level contact between the two countries since the crisis erupted in Myanmar.
Resisting US pressure for a stronger international reaction, Mukherjee said sanctions from the UN Security Council should only be imposed as a “last resort”.
He also called for democracy, saying, “the process of national reconciliation and political reform, initiated by the government of Myanmar, should be taken forward expeditiously”. He felt the world should try to engage Myanmar “in negotiations, in talks, in dialogue”.