With 11 MoUs, PM Modi Ends His First Bilateral Visit to Myanmar

PM Modi has announced the release of 40 Myanmarese citizens lodged in Indian jails.

Updated09 Sep 2017, 03:49 PM IST
India
8 min read

India and Myanmar inked 11 MoUs on Day 1 of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s first visit to the country. PM Modi’s first bilateral visit to the country came amid a spike in violence in Myanmar’s Rakhine, after a military counter-offensive against insurgents killed at least 400 people and triggered the exodus of nearly 90,000 villagers to Bangladesh since 25 August.

Modi and Myanmar State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi stressed on rooting out terror in a joint press conference. Catch all the live updates on The Quint.

Snapshot
  • PM Modi justified demonetisation during his address to the Indian diaspora at Yangon
  • At a joint press conference, Modi and Aung San Suu Kyi stressed on rooting out terror, with the PM expressing concern for the Rakhine violence
  • Breaking silence on the Rohingya crisis, Suu Kyi said it was unreasonable to expect Myanmar to solve the issue in 18 months
  • Modi announced the release of 40 Myanmarese citizens lodged in Indian jails and grant visas for Myanmar citizens who wish to visit India
  • Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar said a land border crossing agreement has been negotiated between India and Myanmar
  • This is the PM’s first bilateral visit to Myanmar, which is currently drawing global ire for its treatment of Rohingya Muslims
5:31 AM, 07 Sep

Modi Ends Myanmar Visit

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday left for home after concluding his first bilateral visit to Myanmar during which he held wide-ranging talks with State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi and vowed to combat terror.

"My Myanmar visit covered significant ground in giving a much needed impetus to India-Myanmar relations & deepening bilateral cooperation," Modi tweeted before he left for India.

"I thank the people and Government of Myanmar for their exceptional hospitality during my visit to the beautiful nation of Myanmar," Modi said in another tweet.

6:02 AM, 07 Sep

Need to Differentiate Terrorists from Innocents: Suu Kyi on Rohingya Crisis

Aung San Suu Kyi said the Rohingya crisis cannot be solved in 18 months.

It is a little unreasonable to expect us to solve the issue in 18 months. We have to decide how to differentiate terrorists from innocents. You in India would be well-versed with this. Our duty is to take care of our citizens and we will try our best. Our resources are not as complete and adequate as we would like them to be. We want to make sure that everyone is entitled to the protection of the law.
Aung San Suu Kyi
5:09 AM, 07 Sep

Modi Pays Respect to the Founder of Modern Myanmar

Modi also paid his respects to the national heroes of Myanmar at Martyrs' Mausoleum in Yangon. Suu Kyi accompanied Modi at the Bogyoke Aung San Museum which is dedicated to General Aung San, the founder of modern Myanmar and also the father of Suu Kyi.

With 11 MoUs, PM Modi Ends His First Bilateral Visit to Myanmar
(Photo Courtesy: Twitter/@PMOIndia)

He also paid a visit to Yangon’s Kalibari.

With 11 MoUs, PM Modi Ends His First Bilateral Visit to Myanmar
(Photo Courtesy: Twitter/@PMOIndia)
3:00 AM, 07 Sep

PM Modi Visits Shewdagon Pagoda

Prime Minister Narendra Modi visits Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon on Day 2 of his Myanmar visit. He planted a bodhi tree sampling there to symbolise the reinforcement of the common cultural heritage between India and Myanmar.

With 11 MoUs, PM Modi Ends His First Bilateral Visit to Myanmar
(Photo Courtesy: Twitter/@MEAIndia)
With 11 MoUs, PM Modi Ends His First Bilateral Visit to Myanmar
(Photo Courtesy: Twitter/@MEAIndia)
4:54 PM, 06 Sep

PM Justifies Demonetisation Amid Criticism

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, on Wednesday, justified his government’s demonetisation move. The government was not afraid of taking “big” and “tough” decisions in the interest of the country, he said.

Addressing the Indian diaspora in Myanmar, Modi said his government could take such decisions because it considers the country above politics. “In the national interest, we are not afraid of taking big and tough decisions because for us, the country is above politics. Whether it be the surgical strikes, demonetisation or GST, all decisions were taken without any fear or hesitation,” Modi told the gathering at Thuwunna Stadium in Yangon.

1:22 PM, 06 Sep

Watch: PM Modi Addresses Indian Diaspora at Thuwunna Stadium in Yangon

Prime Minister Modi addressed the Indian community at the Thuwunna Stadium in Yangon. “We share not only a border but also a lot of sentiments,” Modi told the diaspora.

“We are not merely reforming India, we are transforming India. An India free from poverty, terrorism, corruption, communalism, casteism is being created,” Modi said.

He further said that any talks of India’s freedom struggle is incomplete without mentioning Myanmar. He further reminded the diaspora that it was at Myanmar that leader Subhash Chandra Bose said the words – “tum Mujhe khoon do, mai tumhe azaadi doonga (You give me blood, I will give you freedom.)”

1:15 PM, 06 Sep

Land Border Agreement Negotiated With Myanmar: S Jaishankar

After the Modi-Suu Kyi meet on Wednesday, foreign secretary S Jaishankar said that a land border crossing agreement has been negotiated between India and Myanmar.

“Along with physical connectivity, we have negotiated a land border crossing agreement which will be formalised in coming days. Large part of discussions focused on development assistance and we are among the largest development assistance providers to Myanmar,” S Jaishankar said.

He also mentioned that India would open two more industrial training centers in the near future in Myanmar. India is also committed to building a hospital in Nay Pyi Taw, Jaishankar said.

12:18 PM, 06 Sep

PM Modi Arrives in Yangon to Meet Indian Community

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has arrived in Yangon. He will be interacting with the Indian community at an event.

11:04 AM, 06 Sep

PM Modi Visits Ananda Temple in Bagan

Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited the Ananda temple in Bagan on Wednesday.

11:22 AM, 06 Sep

Suu Kyi slams Iceberg of 'Misinformation' Over Rohingya

Global outrage over Myanmar's treatment of its Rohingya Muslims is being fuelled by “a huge iceberg of misinformation”, Aung San Suu Kyi said on Wednesday, after the UN led calls for her government to end violence that has forced 146,000 to flee to Bangladesh.

Rohingya refugees have poured over the border with Bangladesh, fleeing a massive security sweep in western Rakhine state by Myanmar forces following a series of deadly ambushes by Rohingya militants on 25 August.

Suu Kyi's government has faced growing international condemnation for the army's response with refugees bringing with them renewed stories of murder, rape and burned villages at the hands of soldiers.

5:41 AM, 06 Sep

11 MoUs Signed Between India and Myanmar

With 11 MoUs, PM Modi Ends His First Bilateral Visit to Myanmar
(Photo Courtesy: Twitter/@PMOIndia)

India and Myanmar today signed 11 agreements in a range of sectors, including one on maritime security cooperation, to further strengthen their multifaceted partnership.

The MoUs were signed after Prime Minister Narendra Modi held wide-ranging talks with Myanmar's State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi.

India and Myanmar signed an MoU to strengthen maritime security cooperation.

5:08 AM, 06 Sep

Watch: Modi and Suu Kyi Address a Joint Press Conference

Addressing the press conference with Aung San Suu Kyi, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said:

We totally understand the challenges that you are tackling in Myanmar. We share your worries about extremist violence and killings of innocent people in Rakhine. We hope that all stakeholders will together work towards the unity, peace and democracy of Myanmar. Your (Aung San Suu Kyi) courageous leadership to the Myanmar peace process needs to be lauded.

"We would like to contribute to Myanmar's development efforts as part of our 'Sabka saath sabka vikaas' initiative," Modi said.

He also announced the release of 40 Myanmarese citizens currently lodged in Indian jails. Additionally, he also announced gratis visa for all Myanmar citizens who wish to visit India. Suu Kyi said:

Would like to thank India for taking a strong stand on the terror threat that Myanmar faced recently. Together we will ensure that terror is not allowed to take roots in our country, on our soil or in neighboring countries.

The meeting between Modi and Suu Kyi came on a day she was quoted as telling Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan that global outrage over Myanmar's treatment of its Rohingya Muslims was being fuelled by "a huge iceberg of misinformation".

Sympathy for the Rohingya was being generated by "a huge iceberg of misinformation calculated to create a lot of problems between different communities and with the aim of promoting the interest of the terrorists", Suu Kyi was quoted by an official statement as telling Erdogan in a call.

Suu Kyi has come under fire in recent days for failing to speak out against violence targeting Rohingyas, particularly given her previous image as a champion of human rights.

Hundreds have died since Rohingya militants raided police posts in Myanmar's Rakhine State.

4:43 AM, 06 Sep

Deepening Ties With Myanmnar is India's Priority: Modi

In the bilateral meeting, Modi said, “Deepening relationship with Myanmar is a priority for India, as a neighbour and also in the context of 'Act East Policy'.”

Deepening relationship with Myanmar is a priority for India, as a neighbour and also in the context of ‘Act East Policy’.
3:54 AM, 06 Sep

Modi Meets Suu Kyi

PM Modi meets Myanmar State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi in Nay Pyi Taw.

5:22 PM, 05 Sep

PM Modi's Gifts For The Myanmar President

PM Modi presented the Myanmar President Htin Kyaw with a reproduction of a 1841 map of the Salween river, as well as a sculpture of a Bodhi tree.

With 11 MoUs, PM Modi Ends His First Bilateral Visit to Myanmar
(Photo Courtesy: Twitter/@ANI)
With 11 MoUs, PM Modi Ends His First Bilateral Visit to Myanmar
(Photo Courtesy: Twitter/@ANI)
12:13 PM, 05 Sep

PM Modi Meets Myanmar President Htin Kyaw

Modi met Myanmar President Htin Kyaw minutes after landing in the country for his first bilateral visit.

11:58 AM, 05 Sep

Modi Gets Ceremonial Welcome at Presidential Palace in Myanmar

PM Modi inspects guard of honour in Nay Pyi Taw.
PM Modi inspects guard of honour in Nay Pyi Taw.
(Photo Courtesy: Twitter/@ANI)
PM Modi at the Presidential Palace in Nay Pi Taw.
PM Modi at the Presidential Palace in Nay Pi Taw.
(Photo Courtesy: Twitter/@ANI)
10:26 AM, 05 Sep

PM Modi Arrives in Myanmar

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has arrived at Myanmar's capital Naypyitaw for his first bilateral visit.

10:51 AM, 05 Sep

Modi Leaves For Myanmar For His First Bilateral Visit After Attending BRICS Summit

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday left for Naypyitaw for his first bilateral visit to Myanmar, with an aim of charting a roadmap for closer cooperation between the two countries.

Modi left for Myanmar from Xiamen, where he attended the annual BRICS summit and held bilateral talks with Chinese President Xi Jinping, and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Before leaving to Myanmar, Modi tweetedL

8:21 AM, 05 Sep

His first bilateral visit comes amid a spike in violence in Myanmar’s Rakhine, after a military counter-offensive against insurgents killed at least 400 people and triggered the exodus of nearly 90,000 villagers to Bangladesh since 25 August

Modi will discuss rising violence in Rakhine state during the visit, officials have said.

Modi is scheduled to call on Myanmar President Htin Kyaw later on Tuesday. President Kyaw is also scheduled to host a banquet for Modi on Tuesday.

The Prime Minister will hold wide-ranging talks with State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi on Wednesday.

Modi had earlier said that India and Myanmar will look at strengthening existing cooperation in areas of security and counter-terrorism, trade and investment, infrastructure and energy, and culture. He hoped his visit will help in charting a roadmap for closer cooperation between the two countries.

8:21 AM, 05 Sep

Modi had visited Myanmar in 2014 to attend the ASEAN- India Summit, while the Myanmarese president and Suu Kyi had visited India in 2016. Myanmar is one of India's strategic neighbours and shares a 1,640-km-long border with a number of northeastern states, including militancy-hit Nagaland and Manipur.

India is seeking to boost economic ties with Myanmar to counter Chinese influence and step up connectivity with a country it considers its gateway to Southeast Asia.

Two-way trade has grown to around 2.2 billion dollars as India courted Myanmar following the gradual end of military rule, but Indian-funded projects have moved slowly.

(With inputs from ANI, Reuters and PTI)

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Published: 05 Sep 2017, 08:52 AM IST

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