Wednesday, May 2, 2012

29-4-2012 Appeal for more India role

- Help refugees, Myanmarese exile asks New Delhi
OUR SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT

Imphal, April 29: Tint Swe, heading the National Coalition Government of Burma unit in India, urged India to do more to restore democracy in his country and pay more attention to the needs of the neighbouring country.

The National Coalition Government of Burma is the government-in-exile, formed by dissident Myanmarese.

Swe is currently in Imphal, attending a four-day national seminar on India-Myanmar-China relations organised by the Centre for Myanmar Studies of the Manipur University.

The seminar, held at the university centre, will conclude tomorrow.

“I am not happy with India’s Burma policy. China is very clever but India, though wise, is very slow,” he told reporters in an informal interaction here last evening.

He also said India was helping the military junta more than the pro-democracy people in Burma.

He added that the then President Abdul Kalam had promised the military junta when he visited Rangoon in March 2009, that New Delhi would stand by them at the United Nations and International Labour Organisation meetings when the issue of human rights violations and forced labourers in Burma came up.

He said cases of rights violation and forced labourers were rampant in Myanmar and added that while nations like the US and China were showing a keen interest in Burma, India was lagging behind.

He said India could help Burma in the field of education, healthcare and business.

Contact between the two countries should also increase, particularly among the people living on both sides of the border.

Swe was elected in the 1990 Burma election, which was swept by the National League for Democracy.

After the military junta refused to hand over power, Swe fled Burma, along with many other elected MPs, to avoid arrest, and he has since taken shelter in India.

Swe expressed his gratitude to the Indian government for allowing Burmese refugees to stay and appealed to it not to send the refugees back to Burma.