Myanmar crisis: Silence Won’t Help
India can’t take the ongoing crisis in Myanmar lightly by the virtue of a 1643 km-long open border shared by the two countries. The situation in the neighbouring country can have an impact here, as it can create a conducive situation for the influx of refugees as well as create law and order problem in the strategically important Northeast India. It is reported that more than 5000 refugees, including some soldiers, from the strife-torn country have crossed over to India. The number may swell if the situation worsens in the coming days. As a matter of fact, reports have indicated that the ongoing conflict between the ruling junta and the rebel groups has worsen with the Myanmar military having started deploying the country’s air force to quell the dissidents. Should the international community remain silent amid the escalation of violence? The International community should put pressure on the Myanmar junta to find an amicable solution to the ongoing crisis through negotiation. India should take the lead in this as it will bear the brunt, more than any other nations, if the ongoing fire in Myanmar is not doused on time.
The south Asian region has faced similar problems in the past. For instance, a new nation –Bangladesh — was born in 1971, after a prolonged struggle against Pakistan as the Bangladeshis felt that they were deprived of their rights and their grievances ignored. India, reeling under a huge refugee burden because of the crisis, had appealed to the international community not to treat the issue as an internal matter of Pakistan, but to ensure the rights of lakhs of people, who were being deprived of their genuine rights due to majoritarian rule. The international community responded positively to India’s plea, and thus Bangladesh became an independent democratic country. Similar effort is necessary for Myanmar, to restore democracy as well as ensure that the citizens of this multi-ethnic country enjoy their rights.
The Myanmar junta should take a lesson from history that no power on earth can survive by ignoring reality. While the civil-strife is not something new for the country, what is disturbing is the fact that no concrete effort has been made to resolve the differences so far. The crisis can only be averted by providing equal rights to every citizen of the country. However, that is not possible under military rule. So, the United Nations should ask the Myanmar military junta to hand over the reins of the country to an elected government. If required, the UN can step in to ensure a smooth transition. The strife in Myanmar can only be resolved by handing over the power to the people.