Bharat – Myanmar/Burmese relations date to antiquity and cultural exchanges included Buddhism and thus the Burmese script, which was supported by the Indian Grantha script. Especially, Theravada has tremendously influenced Burmese society and culture for millennia, with around 90% of Burma’s population continuing to follow the religion.
Myanmar (formerly Burma) was made a province of British India by British rulers and again separated in 1937.
It had been in Japanese-occupied Burma that Indian nationalist Subhas Chandra Bose delivered his “Give me blood which I will be able to provide you with freedom!” slogan, and Prime Minister Narendra Modi highlighted Burma’s role within the Indian independence movement.
Bharat established diplomatic relations after Myanmar’s independence from Great Britain in 1948. for several years, Indo-Burmese relations were strong because of Myanmar previously having been a province of Bharat, because of cultural links, flourishing commerce, common interests in regional affairs, and thus the presence of an enormous Indian community in Myanmar
Bharat’s move to forge close relations with Myanmar are motivated by a desire to counter China’s growing influence as a regional leader and enhance its own influence and standing. Concerns and tensions increased in Bharat over China’s extensive military involvement in developing ports, naval and intelligence facilities, and industries, specifically the upgrading of a naval base in Sittwe, a significant seaport located on the brink of the eastern Indian city of Kolkata.
BHARAT AND MYANMAR FRIENDSHIP ROUTE
- On 13 February 2001 Bharat and Myanmar inaugurated 250-kilometer Tamu-Kalewa-Kalemyo highway, popularly called the Indo-Myanmar Friendship Road, built mainly by the Indian Army’s Border Roads Organisation and aimed to supply a serious strategic and commercial transport route connecting North-East Bharat, and South Asia as an entire, to Southeast Asia.
- Bharat and Myanmar have agreed to a 4-lane, 3200 km triangular highway connecting Bharat, Myanmar, and Thailand. The route, which is predicted to possess completed during 2016, runs from Bharat’s northeastern states into Myanmar, where over 1,600 km of roads were built or improved.
- The route begins from Guwahati in India and connects to Mandalay in Myanmar, the route continues to Yangon in Myanmar then to Mae Sot in Thailand, which then continues to Bangkok.
- Bharat is undertaking two sections of the Trilateral Highway namely, (i) construction of the Kalewa-Yagyi road section in Myanmar, and (ii) construction of 69 bridges on the Tamu-Kyigone-Kalewa (TKK) road section in Myanmar.
- The Kaladan Multi-Modal Transit Transport Project will connect the eastern Indian seaport of Kolkata with Sittwe seaport in Myanmar by sea; it will then link Sittwe seaport to Lashio in Myanmar via Kaladan riverboat route and then from Lashio on to Mizoram in India by road transport. The project was scheduled to be completed by 2014 according to Governor of Mizoram Vakkom Purushothaman., but as of Nov 2014, it is likely to be completed by 2016.
- During a 2017 visit to Nay Pyi Taw, Prime Minister Modi announced that India would offer gratis/no-cost visas to all Myanmar citizens visiting India.
BHARAT AND MYANMAR SECURITY
Bharat and Myanmar troops administered jointly Operation Sunrise and Operation Sunrise 2 in 2019 in their respective territories to destroy several insurgent camps. However, the threat to the Kaladan multi-modal transit transport project, Bharat’s gateway to Southeast Asia continues.
Bharatian has also supported Myanmar in its efforts to combat Rohingya insurgent groups a bit like the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA) and Aqa Mul Mujahideen (AMM) after Indian intelligence agencies found the ARSA and AMM to possess links with terror groups a bit like the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) also as reported Rohingya terrorists fighting alongside Pakistani extremists in Kashmir
India and Myanmar share an extended land border of over 1600 km and a maritime boundary within the Bay of Bengal. Nurturing all-round relations with Myanmar is crucial to the economic transformation of India’s north-eastern states. Myanmar is additionally critical to Bharat’s national security.