Never too close, never too far from its giant neighbours
Senior General Than Shwe visit to India went on well, both for himself and his hosts. India got assurances of cooperation over tackling ‘non-conventional security threats’ and the Myanmarese junta walked away with financial and technical aid, besides that rare diplomatic red-carpet.
But even before Gen Than returned home to Yangon, the junta made it known that Myanmar’s newly minted Prime Minister, Soe Win, plans to visit China next week. Crude as it may seem, the announcement suggests that the junta has no plans to abandon its time-tested strategy of flirting with both India and China.
The immediate aftermath of Gen Than’s visit has been bad news for insurgents in India’s north-east — Myanmar has turned the heat on ULFA and NSCN-K leaving them gasping for breath. Before the happy memories of Gen Than’s India trip wear off, the Indian government would do well to complete the job of wiping out ULFA and other insurgents militarily. Bangladesh remains theie last bastion, but then it may not be able to hold onto this position for long as its role comes under the spotlight.