India assists Myanmar in development endeavors

By Monitoring Desk
Saturday – May 12, 2018
NAYPYIDAW (Myanmar): Indian foreign minister Sushma Swaraj signed 7 memorandum of understandings (MoUs) with the government of Myanmar (GoM) on Friday, an MoU will enable people from both countries to cross the border by land route using passport and visa as tourists, for accessing health, education services and to perform religious pilgrimages.

According to an official statement, Swaraj reiterated India’s readiness and commitment to helping the GoM in addressing issues related to Rakhine state.

She welcomed GoM’s continued commitment to implement the Rakhine advisory commission’s recommendations and noted that, under the aegis of the bilateral Rakhine state development programme (RSDP), India was already in the implementation stages of various projects that will respond to the needs of different sections of the Rakhine state population.

The first major project is the construction of prefabricated housing in Rakhine state to meet the needs of displaced persons. Swaraj underlined the need for safe, speedy and sustainable return of displaced persons to Rakhine state.

An MoU on restoration of pagodas at Bagan underlines the enduring cultural and historical links between the two countries, the other MoUs on technical assistance and capacity building reflect India’s continuing support to Myanmar in accordance with Myanmar’s own development plans and priorities.

The MoUs included: (i) agreement on land border crossing, (ii) MoU on restoration and preservation of earthquake damaged pagodas in Bagan, (iii) MoU on assistance to the joint ceasefire monitoring committee, (iv) MoU on training of Myanmar foreign service officers, (v) MoU on setting up industrial training centre (ITC) at Monywa, (vi) MoU on ITC at Thaton and (vii) exchange of letters on extending a maintenance contract for ITC Myingyan.

Swaraj, during her visit to Myanmar, called on Myanmar president Win Myint and met Myanmar state councellor/foreign minister Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and discussed boundary and border related issues, peace and security matters, developments in the Rakhine state, including return of displaced persons, India’s development assistance to Myanmar, ongoing projects, and other issues of mutual interest.

She also met Myanmar armed forces (MAF) commander in chief (CIC) senior general Min Aung Hlaing.