Myanmar situation is precarious, says India after fall of key border town | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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Myanmar situation is precarious, says India after fall of key border town

Apr 12, 2024 09:42 PM IST

Staff of the Indian consulate in Sittwe were temporarily relocated to Yangon, while the consulates in Mandalay remains “fully functional”

NEW DELHI: India on Friday described the security situation in Myanmar as precarious, with diplomats being moved out of the consulate in the port city of Sittwe amid advances by anti-junta resistance forces.

Lightning illuminates the sky behind the gunner on a Thai military armored vehicle, as he keeps watch along the Moei river in Mae Sot in Thailand's Tak province on Friday. Thailand's foreign minister has urged Myanmar's military authorities not to violently respond to its army's loss of an important border trading town to its opponents, and that so far it seems to be exercising restraint. (AP)
Lightning illuminates the sky behind the gunner on a Thai military armored vehicle, as he keeps watch along the Moei river in Mae Sot in Thailand's Tak province on Friday. Thailand's foreign minister has urged Myanmar's military authorities not to violently respond to its army's loss of an important border trading town to its opponents, and that so far it seems to be exercising restraint. (AP)

Staff of the Indian consulate in Sittwe were temporarily relocated to Yangon, while the consulates in Mandalay remains “fully functional”, external affairs ministry spokesperson Randhir Jaiswal told a regular media briefing.

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The security situation in Myanmar remains “precarious” and is deteriorating, Jaiswal said.

“We are closely monitoring the security situation in Myanmar, particularly in the Rakhine state. Necessary steps have been taken to ensure the safety of our citizens,” he said.

People cross the Thailand-Myanmar Friendship Bridge as a stream of people, some of them fearing air strikes, queued at a border crossing to flee Myanmar early on Friday. (REUTERS)
People cross the Thailand-Myanmar Friendship Bridge as a stream of people, some of them fearing air strikes, queued at a border crossing to flee Myanmar early on Friday. (REUTERS)

HT had reported on April 10 that India had withdrawn two diplomats who were posted at the consulate in Sittwe, where the port was developed under a $120-million project with an Indian line of credit.

Asked about reports about the kidnapping of three Indian nationals who were reportedly taken from the northeast towards Myanmar earlier this month, Jaiswal said the Indian embassy is working on the matter and hoped they would be back home soon.

“Our embassy is seized of the matter. They are working on it and hopefully, we will be able to get them out,” he said.

Instability and violence in Myanmar spiked amid intense fighting between the military junta, which seized power in a coup in February 2021, and resistance forces. The resistance forces have captured several border trade and crossing points on the frontiers with India, Bangladesh, China and Thailand.

A general view of Myanmar’s Myawaddy town is seen from across the Thai side in Mae Sot district on April 11, 2024. Myanmar junta troops have withdrawn from their positions in Myawaddy town, a major trade hub near the Thai border following days of clashes, an ethnic armed group said on April 11, 2024, in a further blow to the embattled military (AFP FILE)
A general view of Myanmar’s Myawaddy town is seen from across the Thai side in Mae Sot district on April 11, 2024. Myanmar junta troops have withdrawn from their positions in Myawaddy town, a major trade hub near the Thai border following days of clashes, an ethnic armed group said on April 11, 2024, in a further blow to the embattled military (AFP FILE)

The anti-junta forces seized control of several military bases and a command centre at Myawaddy on the border with Thailand last week, marking another humiliating defeat for the junta.

The fall of Myawaddy is significant as it is Myanmar’s main transit point for trade with Thailand.

Myanmar has witnessed widespread protests for the restoration of democracy since the coup three years ago. Since three powerful armed groups launched a coordinated offensive against government forces last October, the junta has seen its grip on power shrinking to the central parts of Myanmar.

Military personnel stand guard, as a stream of people, some of them fearing air strikes, queued at a border crossing to flee Myanmar early on Friday, a day after the strategically-vital town of Myawaddy adjoining Thailand fell to anti-junta resistance that has been growing in strength, in Mae Sot, Tak province (REUTERS)
Military personnel stand guard, as a stream of people, some of them fearing air strikes, queued at a border crossing to flee Myanmar early on Friday, a day after the strategically-vital town of Myawaddy adjoining Thailand fell to anti-junta resistance that has been growing in strength, in Mae Sot, Tak province (REUTERS)

The capture of key towns and military bases near the border with India has fuelled concerns in New Delhi over possible ramifications for the security situation in Manipur and Mizoram.

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