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BurmaIndia relations

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India Burma Further information: Foreign relations of India and Politics of Burma Bilateral relations between Burma (officially the Union of Myanmar) and the Republic of India have improved considerably since 1993, overcoming strains over drug trafficking, the suppression of democracy and the rule of the military junta in Burma. Burma is situated to the south of the states of Mizoram, Manipur, Nagaland and Arunachal Pradesh in Northeast India. The proximity of the People's Republic of China give strategic importance to Indo-Burmese relations. The Indo-Burmese border stretches over 1,600 kilometers.[1]


1 History 2 Economic relations 3 Development of strategic ties 4 Cultural relations 5 Further reading 6 See also 7 References


A South Indian styled Hindu Temple in Yangoon, the capital of Burma. India had long historical relationship with Burma since antiquity, cultural exchanges included Theravada Buddhism and the Burmese script, which was based off the Indian Grantha script. Burma was made a province of British India by British rulers and again separated in 1937. India established diplomatic relations after Burma's independence from Great Britain in 1948. For many years, Indo-Burmese relations were strong due to Burma previously having been a province of India, due to cultural links, flourishing commerce, common interests in regional affairs and the presence of a significant Indian community in Burma.[1] India provided considerable support when Burma struggled with regional insurgencies. However, the overthrow of the democratic government by the Military of Burma led to strains in ties. Along with much of the world, India condemned the suppression of democracy and Burma ordered the expulsion of the Burmese Indian community, increasing its own isolation from the world.[1][2] Only China maintained close links with Burma while India supported the pro-democracy movement.[1][3][4] A major breakthrough occurred in 1987 when the then-Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi visited Burma, but relations worsened after the military junta's bloody repression of prodemocracy agitations in 1988, which led to an influx of Burmese refugees into India.[1][3] However, since 1993 the governments of the Indian Prime Ministers P.V. Narasimha Rao and Atal Bihari Vajpayee changed course and began cultivating ties with Myanmar, as part of a wider foreign policy approach aimed to increase India's participation and influence in Southeast Asia and to counteract the growing influence of the People's Republic of China.[1][3][4]

Economic relations
India is the largest market for Burmese exports, buying about USD 220 million worth of goods in 2000; India's exports to Burma stood at USD 75.36 million.[1] India is Burmas 4th largest trading partner after Thailand, the PRC and Singapore, and second largest export market after Thailand, absorbing 25 percent of its total exports.[5] India is also the seventh most important

source of Burmas imports. The governments of India and Burma had set a target of achieving $1 billion and bilateral trade reached USD 650 million U.S. dollars by 2006.[5] The Indian government has worked to extend air, land and sea routes to strengthen trade links with Myanmar and establish a gas pipeline.[3][5] While the involvement of India's private sector has been low and growing at a slow pace, both governments are proceeding to enhance cooperation in agriculture, telecommunications, information technology, steel, oil, natural gas, hydrocarbons and food processing.[3][5] The bilateral border trade agreement of 1994 provides for border trade to be carried out from three designated border points, one each in Manipur, Mizoram and Nagaland.[5] On February 13, 2001 India and Burma inaugurated a major 160 kilometre highway, called the Indo-Myanmar Friendship Road, built mainly by the Indian Army's Border Roads Organisation and aimed to provide a major strategic and commercial transport route connecting North-East India, and South Asia as a whole, to Southeast Asia.[1] India and Myanmar have agreed to a 4-lane, 3200 km triangular highway connecting India, Myanmar and Thailand. The route, which is expected to be completed by sometime during 2016, will run from India's northeastern states into Myanmar, where over 1,600 km of roads will be built or improved. The first phase connecting Guwahati to Mandalay is set to complete by 2016. This will eventually be extended to Cambodia and Vietnam. This is aimed at creating a new economic zone ranging from Kolkata on the Bay of Bengal to Ho Chi Minh City on the South China Sea.[6]

Development of strategic ties

India's move to forge close relations with Burma are motivated by a desire to counter China's growing influence as a regional leader and enhance its own influence and standing.[1][3][6] Concerns and tensions increased in India over China's extensive military cooperation and involvement in developing ports, naval and intelligence facilities and industries, specifically the upgrading of a naval base in Sittwe, a major seaport located close to the eastern Indian city of Kolkata.[1] India's engagement of the Burmese military junta has helped ease the regime's international isolation and lessen Burma's traditional reliance on China.[1] Both nations sought to cooperate to counteract drug trafficking and insurgent groups operating in the border areas.[3] India and Myanmar are leading members of BIMSTEC and the Mekong-Ganga Cooperation, along with Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia and Thailand, helping India develop its influence and ties amongst Southeast Asian nations.[1][4] India was slow and hesitant in reacting to the 2007 Burmese anti-government protests that had drawn overwhelming international condemnation.[6] India also declared that it had no intention of interfering in Burma's internal affairs and that the Burmese people would have to achieve democracy by themselves as it respects the sovereignty of Myanmar.[3] This low-key response has been widely criticised both within India and abroad as weakening India's credentials as a leading democratic nation.[1][3][6] Indo-Burma relations went into pleasant phase over Burmese steps towards democracy.

Cultural relations
India has agreed to send a team from Archaeological Survey of India to render its services in restoration of 11th century Ananda Temple in Bagan in Mandalay region.

With its 53,414,374 people Burma is the 24th largest country in the world by population. It is the 40th largest country by area with 676,578 square kilometers. Britain conquered Burma over a period of 62 years (1824-1886) and incorporated it into its Indian Empire. Burma was administered as a province of India until 1937 when it became a separate, self-governing colony; independence from the Commonwealth was attained in 1948. Gen. NE WIN dominated the government from 1962 to 1988, first as military ruler, then as self-appointed president, and later as political kingpin. In September 1988, the military deposed NE WIN and established a new ruling junta. Despite multiparty legislative elections in 1990 that resulted in the main opposition party - the National League for Democracy (NLD) - winning a landslide victory, the junta refused to hand over power. NLD leader and Nobel Peace Prize recipient AUNG SAN SUU KYI, who was under house arrest from 1989 to 1995 and 2000 to 2002, was imprisoned in May 2003 and subsequently transferred to house arrest. After the ruling junta in August 2007 unexpectedly increased fuel prices, tens of thousands of Burmese marched in protest, led by prodemocracy activists and Buddhist monks. In late September 2007, the government brutally suppressed the protests, killing at least 13 people and arresting thousands for participating in the demonstrations. Since then, the regime has continued to raid homes and monasteries and arrest persons suspected of participating in the pro-democracy protests. The junta appointed Labor Minister AUNG KYI in October 2007 as liaison to AUNG SAN SUU KYI, who remains under house arrest and only recently gained the opportunity for limited communication with NLD leaders. Burma in early May 2008 was struck by Cyclone Nargis which official estimates claimed left over 80,000 dead and 50,000 injured. Despite this tragedy, the junta proceeded with its May constitutional referendum, the first vote in Burma since 1990, setting the stage for the 2010 parliamentary elections. AUNG SAN SUU KYI's house arrest was due to end in May 2009, but was extended for eighteen months after she was convicted for violating terms o house arrest


India Leader


President: Pratibha Patil President : Thein Sein Population 1,205,073,612 54,584,650 Life Expectancy 67.140 years 65.240 years Capital City New Delhi Rangoon (Yangon) Largest city Mumbai (population: 12,691,800) Rangoon (population: 4,477,640) Human Development Index 0.609 NA GDP per capita $3,700 US $1,300 US Literacy Rate 61% 89.9% Corruption Perception Index 3.4 NA Percentage of Women in Parliament 9.2% NA Wealthiest Citizens Mukesh Ambani ($19.5bn US) NA Unemployment Rate 9.800% 5.500% Death Penalty Legal NA Political System federal republic military junta Independence date 15 August 1947 (from UK) 4 January 1948 (from UK) Religions Hindu 80.5%, Muslim 13.4%, Christian 2.3%, Sikh Buddhist 89%, Christian 4% (Baptist 1.9%, other 1.8%, unspecified 0.1% (2001 census) 3%, Roman Catholic 1%), Muslim 4%, animist 1%, other 2% Languages Hindi 41%, Bengali 8.1%, Telugu 7.2%, Marathi 7%, Burmese, minority ethnic groups have Tamil 5.9%, Urdu 5%, Gujarati 4.5%, Kannada 3.7%, their own languages Malayalam 3.2%, Oriya 3.2%, Punjabi 2.8%, Assamese

1.3%, Maithili 1.2%, other 5.9% note: English enjoys associate status but is the most important language for national, political, and commercial communication; Hindi is the national language and primary tongue of 41% of the people; there are 14 other official languages: Bengali, Telugu, Marathi, Tamil, Urdu, Gujarati, Malayalam, Kannada, Oriya, Punjabi, Assamese, Kashmiri, Sindhi, and Sanskrit; Hindustani is a popular variant of Hindi/Urdu spoken widely throughout northern India but is not an official language (2001 census) Exports petroleum products, textile goods, gems and jewelry, natural gas, wood products, pulses, engineering goods, chemicals, leather manufactures beans, fish, rice, clothing, jade and gems External Debt $289,700,000,000 $ $5,811,000,000 US Exchange Rate Indian rupees (INR) per US dollar - 43.319 (2008 est.), kyats (MMK) per US dollar - 1,205 41.487 (2007), 45.3 (2006), 44.101 (2005), 45.317 (2008 est.), 1,296 (2007), 1,280 (2006), (2004) 5.761 (2005), 5.7459 (2004) note: unofficial exchange rates ranged in 2004 from 815 kyat/US dollar to nearly 970 kyat/US dollar, and by yearend 2005, the unofficial exchange rate was 1,075 kyat/US dollar; data shown for 2003-05 are official exchange rates Military Budget as percentage of GDP 2.500% 2.100% Beijing Olympics Medal Count 3 0 Location Southern Asia, bordering the Arabian Sea and the Bay Southeastern Asia, bordering the of Bengal, between Burma and Pakistan Andaman Sea and the Bay of Bengal, between Bangladesh and Thailand Area 3,287,263 km sq 676,578 km sq Coastline 7,000 km 1,930 km Climate varies from tropical monsoon in south to temperate in tropical monsoon; cloudy, rainy, hot, north humid summers (southwest monsoon, June to September); less cloudy, scant

rainfall, mild temperatures, lower humidity during winter (northeast monsoon, December to April)