Friday, July 30, 2010

India and Myanmar Sign five agreements

India and Myanmar Sign five agreements
2010-07-30 05:45:55 - 30 July 2010 New Delhi Nksagar - Sagar Media Senior General Than Shwe received a ceremonial reception at Rashtrapati Bhavan on 27 July 2010. He was received by the President of India, who hosted a banquet in his honour. Shri M. Hamid Ansari, Vice President of India, Shri S. M. Krishna, External Affairs Minister and Smt. Sushma Swaraj, Leader of Opposition called on Senior General Than Shwe. Senior General Than Shwe had a meeting with the Prime Minister of India, Dr. Manmohan Singh, which was followed by delegation level talks.

India and Myanmar has signed series of Mou according to a press release by India's Ministry of External Affairs, the two countries agreed to enhance their economic and defense cooperation, among other areas.Both signed a treaty for mutual assistance in criminal matters and cooperation in science and technology. The agreements also include three MoUs offering India's assistance in implementation of
small developmental projects, as well as cooperation in the conservation and restoration of Ananda Temple in Bagan, a major archeological zone in central Burma.

India will also provide high-speed patrol boats, rifles with night vision devices and armored personnel carriers to help combat Indian insurgent groups operating along the Indo-Burma border.

EXIM bank of India also agreed to provide a US $60 million line of credit to fund various railway projects, and New Delhi pledged $10 million for the purchase of modern agricultural equipment.

Burma also welcomed a “substantial additional investment” by two Indian oil companies for the development of projects in Burmese offshore blocks A-1 and A-3, including a natural gas pipeline now under construction at Ramree, an island off Burma's Arakan coast, said a joint statement released by MEA.

Under the telecommunication agreement, the official fiber telecommunication link between India and Burma via Moreh and Mandalay will be upgraded to a microwave link which will be financed by a $6 million line of credit from India. A new optical fiber link between Monywa in upper Burma to Rhi-Zawkhathar will also be undertaken with Indian assistance.

Agreements were also signed for direct banking links between the two countries, tourism, human resource development such as language training, a center to enhance IT skills, a scholarship program for officials and the construction of an industrial training center in Pakokku.

Agreements signed between India and Myanmar during the visit of Chairman,
State Peace and Development Council of Myanmar July 27, 2010
Treaty India Myanmar on Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters H.E. U Nyan Win
Minister of Foreign Affairs Shri P. Chidambaram Hon’ble Minister of Home Affairs
Second is Memorandum of Understanding regarding Indian Grant Assistance for Implementation of Small Development Projects H.E. U Soe Tha Minister for National Planning and Economic Development Shri S.M. Krishna Hon’ble Minister of External Affairs.
Third Agreement on Cooperation in the fields of Science & Technology H.E. U Kyi Thein Ambassador of the Union of Myanmar, New Delhi Shri T. Ramasami
Secretary, Department of Science & Technology.
Fourth Memorandum of Understanding on Information Cooperation H.E. U Kyaw Hsan Minister for Information Shri Raghu Menon Secretary, Ministry of Information & Broadcasting.
Fifth Memorandum of Understanding for the Conservation and Restoration of the Ananda Temple in Bagan H.E. U Kyi Thein Ambassador of the Union
of Myanmar, New Delhi Shri Jawhar Sircar Secretary, Ministry of Culture.
Media agencies

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Sunday, July 25, 2010

New Delhi red-carpet welcome to Gen Than

25 July 20110 -New Delhi - Sagar Media -Nksagar -: Myanmar's ruling military junta Gen Than Shwe arrives in India on Sunday for a state visit during which the two countries are expected to forge closer security and economic ties.Shwe begins his five-day visit at Bodh Gaya tomorrow before arriving in Delhi on Tuesday to a red-carpet welcome at the Rashtrapati Bhawan.

General to hold talks with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on economic and security co-operation and a series of trade deals are expected to be signed during the visit.Shwe is also expected to seek India's help to restore the famous Buddhist pagoda, Ananda Temple, in Myanmar.Shwe, who is Chairman of the State Peace and Development Council (SPDC), will meet also meet
President Pratibha Patil, and External Affairs Minister S M Krishna.

Gen Than Shwe arrived Bodh Gaya,the Buddhist pilgrimage sacred city to begin his five-day tour is located in the eastern state of Bihar. Later general is scheduled to fly to New Delhi to meet the Indian prime minister, Manmohan Singh. The two leaders were expected to sign a series of military and trade deals over two days.

Burma Centre Delhi an NGO in an open letter to Indian prime minister Dr. Manmohan Singh letter is endorsed by 38 civil society organisations and 71 individuals which comprise intellectuals, prominent activists, lawyers, film makers, writers etc from India has asked India to put pressure on Burma’s military regime to hold genuinely free and fair elections.The letter endorses key steps towards democratization process be initiated with release all political prisoners including Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, and to end attacks against ethnic groups, engage in genuine political dialogue, review the 2008 Constitution and 2010 Election Laws, conduct free, fair elections under the supervision of the United Nations and the international community.

Gen Than Shwe to visit, the scheduled for July 25 to 29, Hyderabad, capital of Andhra Pradesh to the manufacturing facility of Tata, the largest car maker in India, which intends to launch operations in the "cheaper" Myanmar. General Shew comes next week, with investment opportunities in his country, including in hydro-power, oil and natural gas projects for an energy-hungry India.

General Myanmar junta plays religion, not business, trump card as he tries to win over Indian hearts. Shwe named the “world’s third-worst dictator” behind North Korea’s Kim Jong Il and Zimbabwe’s Robert Mugabe by the Foreign Policy magazine to start his Indian sojourn from Bodh Gaya and seek India’s assistance to help to restore a famous Buddhist pagoda, Ananda Temple, in Myanmar. Myanmar wants the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) to restore the over 900-year-old structure. The temple whose architecture is similar to temples in Bengal and Orissa is located in Myanmar’s Bagan region.

In Shwe itinerary is to meet President Pratibha Patil, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Sonia Gandhi LK Advani and leaders during the July 25-29 visit. On business list to deliberate with Ratan Tata possibly to set up a vehicle plant. Myanmar produces only Jeeps and there is a huge demand of four-wheeler trucks and cars. He is likely to visit to ICT cos,infotech and pharmaceutical companies in Hyderabad .

Monday, July 19, 2010

Than Shwe new political outfit USDP

Union Solidarity and Development Association led by Senior General Than Shwe is in the process of disbanding and its assets are being transferred to sister political group, the Union Solidarity and Development Party, a party official said.

The dissolution of the often violent USDA, which has stood as a nationalist social organisation for 17 years, will result in its merger with the recently established party led by serving Prime Minister Thein Sein, a well-placed source in the Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP) campaign team told Mizzima. Observers say his recent resignation as an army general was designed to give the appearance of distance between the party and the ruling military junta.

“We will stand as a sole organisation called the USDP. The USDA will be no more. We are removing USDA signboards from all our offices across the country and those who want join our party can join and those who do not can do as they wish”, the party official said.

Removal of the USDA signboards was allowed only early this month but in Rangoon and some townships, they had been removed since last month and replaced with USDP displays.

The assets of the USDA were already transferred to the USDP early this month.

USDA spokesman Thura Myint Oo told the BBC’s Burmese Service that: “We received permission to dissolve our organisation on July 6. We shall stand as a party in future and are in the preparatory stages of dissolution. All [branches] are being dissolved stage by stage, part by part. All levels of our association have passed resolutions to transfer all of our assets and belongings to the newly established USDP.”

The USDA was established on September 15, 1993, two weeks after the junta announced it would hold a national convention to write a new constitution. It was set up as a nationalist social organisation and targeted recruitment drives at government employees and students. Observers speculated it was created to disseminate support for the new law when it was finally announced. The USDA was registered with the Ministry of Home Affairs and was not to be a political party. Rather, its explicitly mandated role was to support the activities and policies of the military.

The junta once announced that USDA had over 24 million members.

Thailand-based Burma observer and analyst Aung Thu Nyein, on the dissolution, said: “The government itself established this organisation as a ‘necessity for the country’ and for “aspirations and objectives of the national cause”. It spent more than two billion Kyats as seed money and government employees contributed to it with labour and money.

“It held many congresses too. In this situation, this USDA has been abruptly changed to USDP which suggests this has been done by a single strongman. It’s very clear,” Aung Thu Nyein said.

A party source said its strength could not yet be disclosed as the party was still scrutinising the membership applications it had received from USDA members and some of its members were minors (aged under 18 and therefore ineligible as party members). Party membership cards had been sent to all USDA members in townships across the country.

“We allow anyone to join the party if they wish to do so. Everyone is writing their own history,” a USDP organiser in Rangoon Division said. “If they [USDA members] wish to oppose the party and the general election, it’s up to them because joining the party is not mandatory. Their opposition to the general election will not have any impact.”

A former USDA member in Thingangyun Township, Rangoon Division told Mizzima: “We have not yet joined the party [USDP]. We have our higher authorities and do not yet know what their decision will be on it [joining the party]. We also don’t yet what will be our authority in the new party. We are still negotiating with them.”

As most of the former USDA members were government staff and student members, these pro-USDA votes might become swing votes for the opposition camp, Aung Thu Nyein said.

“The USDP has not yet announced details of its constitution and officer bearers. Can ethnic leaders play a leading role in this new USDP? Can women play a leading role in the new USDP? These questions remain unanswered. As far as we know, the retired generals will also take the key posts in this new USDP,” he said.

The USDA was part of the junta’s “people’s war strategy” to create a “people’s militia” to protect the transition process (from military to civilian government) from internal and external threats. The 2008 constitution’s section 340 lays out the role of the “people’s military” under the leadership of the defence forces.

The State Law and Order Restoration Council (Slorc), the official name of the military regime of Burma that seized power in 1988, was the USDA’s original patron. Slorc was abolished in 1997 to be reconstituted as the State Peace and Development Council (SPDC), the junta’s current name for itself. The USDA received direct and indirect support from the junta at various levels and was it is best known for its anti-democratic rallies and activities.

One of the most notable incidents was when it attacked National League for Democracy members’ and Aung San Suu Kyi’s political tour convoy in Depayin in May 2003. At least 70 people associated with the NLD were killed in a well-organised attack by a government-sponsored mob, widely reported to have comprised at least 5,000 USDA members.

Reports circulated at the time said the USDA played a key role in what was described as a murder attempt against Suu Kyi.

In the September 2007 anti-junta protests across Burma, USDA members blocked roads, and harassed and arrested civilians and monks as they took to the streets.

In December last year, around 20 USDA members attacked the Union of Myanmar National Political League during an election campaign talk show in Ahlat Chaung village, in Kyimyindine Township.Mizzima

General Than Shwe to visit India

Myanmar head of state Senior General Than Shwe will be undertaking a crucial visit to India later this month as he tries to garner international support for his regime's efforts to bring about what he calls "disciplined democracy".Aung San Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy (NLD) has rejected the regime's move a decision that is said to have split the NLD with another group willing to contest the polls.
Than Shwe have ordered his cabinet colleagues to take retirement from the military ahead of the polls in order to provide a civilian veneer to the current regime but this decision has apparently not gone down well with his colleagues as 25 per cent seats in the new parliament are reserved for serving military officers.
Than Shwe heads to New Delhi to meet Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and do the Buddhist circuit thus to improve his International relations.
India,moving ahead in improving road connectivity and reopening the historic Stillwell Road. India in the past proposed to help Burma with institution building thus offered parliamentary training programmes to Myanmar's officials.Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao visit to Myanmar's new capital Nay Pyi Taw for consultations in March,conveyed India is eager to increase investment in the infrastructure sector besides further cooperation in oil and natural gas exploration.

US initiating a dialogue with Myanmar when did not find the Myanmar regime to road of democracy,US envoy Kurt Campbell has cancelled his next visit. With Myanmar image building exercise, Than Shwe planned electoral exercise to improve Myanmar's image his visit to India in July last week is being seen in image building perspective.More significant is that he has decided to first visit India and then make a trip to China after a few weeks.For eighteen years Than Shwe ruled Myanmar through a cluster of military officials nodal part of the State Peace and Development Council with twenty one senior military officials chief organizers of the 1988 coup under Gen Saw Maung, Than Shwe took over the reigns in 1992 after Saw Maung suddenly resigned then pulled Myanmar into military rule for nearly two decades, the regime has been under immense international pressure to restore democracy.

Than Shwe visit to China will ease tension in Sino-Myanmar relationship.Military regime wants to revisit some of the China-brokered agreements with ethnic minority groups in North-East Myanmar where these ethnic groups been allowed to retain their arms back in the late 80s with a degree of assured autonomy.
Beijing used the common border and ethnic affinity in those areas to keep the groups under its influence which has always irked the military regime,has sought to project itself as the unifier in Myanmar.

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