India condoles killing of Myanmar security personnel
New Delhi, Oct 18 (IANS) India on Tuesday condoled the deaths of Myanmarese police and army personnel in deadly terrorist attacks carried out in the country’s restive Rakhine state earlier this month.
External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj called on State Counsellor and Foreign Minister of Myanmar Aung San Suu Kyi, who is on a three-day state visit to India, and conveyed condolences on behalf of the people of India at the terrorist attacks in which many Myanmarese police and army personnel lost their lives, sources here said.
She also conveyed her condolences at the loss of lives in the recent ferry accident on the Chindwin river.
Over 40 Myanmarese army and police personnel were killed in the attacks on three border guard posts near the Myanmar-Bangladesh border in Rakhine state’s Maungdaw and Rathedaung townships on October 9.
The Myanmar government has blamed an Islamist terrorist organisation whose leader has been trained by the Taliban in Pakistan for the attacks.
On October 15, dozens of people drowned after a ferry capsized in the country’s Chindwin river.
According to the sources, Sushma Swaraj and Suu Kyi discussed the manner in which India could support Myanmar’s agenda of national reconciliation, socio-economic development and strengthening democracy.
Suu Kyi outlined her priorities in the areas of agriculture, training, capacity building, job creation, infrastructure and health care and sought India’s assistance in these areas.
Sushma Swaraj offered all possible assistance from India in keeping with the priorities outlined by the State Counsellor.
After this, the State Counsellor called on President Pranab Mukherjee who congratulated her on her party’s victory in the general elections held in Myanmar in November last year and complimented her on the role that she has played in her country’s path to democracy.
He recalled the discussions during the visit of Myanmar President U Htin Kyaw to India in August this year and conveyed India’s whole-hearted support to the Myanmar government in its efforts to live up to the expectations of the people of Myanmar.
Mukherjee also referred to India’s rich experience in building a federal nation state, taking into account the ethnic and linguistic diversity of its people and offered any assistance desired by the Myanmar government in this regard, according to the sources.
The President also hosted a private lunch for Suu Kyi at Rashtrapati Bhavan.
Earlier on Tuesday, Suu Kyi was accorded a ceremonial welcome here.
Though Suu Kyi is not the President as Myanmar’s constitution bars her from this, the Nobel peace laureate is effectively the de facto leader of the country.
This is the first official visit of Suu Kyi to New Delhi since her National League for Democracy (NLD) assumed power in Myanmar in March this year.
Suu Kyi spent a considerable part of her early life in India and was educated at Lady Shri Ram College in New Delhi.
Prior to reaching New Delhi on Monday for the state visit, she attended the BRICS-Bimstec Outreach Summit in Goa on Sunday.
On Wednesday, Suu Kyi will hold talks with Prime Minister Narendra Modi.