Indian Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Sringla paid a two-day visit to neighboring Myanmar on December 22. This was the first visit by a top Indian official to the country since Aung San Suu Kyi’s military rule was overthrown in February last year. Observers say that through this, India recognized Myanmar’s military junta. That recognition was given by China six more months ago, in June.

Indian Foreign Secretary Harsh

Harsh Vardhan Sringla took over as Foreign Secretary in January 2020. Eight months later, he visited Myanmar in October of that year. He was accompanied by Army Chief Manoj Mukunda Narvane.

According to media reports, Harsh Vardhan Sringla has given a message of ‘very important’ during this visit. He says India wants a speedy return to democracy in troubled Myanmar. At the same time, it is hoped that the country’s political prisoners will be released, that violence will be completely stopped, and that all disputes will be resolved through negotiations.

According to media reports

The Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi and the Prime Minister of Myanmar Min Aung Hlaing
The Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi and the Prime Minister of Myanmar Min Aung Hlaing
The statement issued by the Indian Ministry of External Affairs after Schringler’s visit contained further details. India’s support for the ASEAN member states’ initiatives, ‘development’ along the Indo-Myanmar border, large-scale project Kaladan and progress on the Indo-Myanmar-Thailand trilateral highway. However, the statement did not elaborate on the plight of the displaced Rohingya people and their efforts to repatriate them. According to political observers, both India and China think that the Rohingya problem is the only problem in Bangladesh.
But there was another important point, Schringler’s visit. That is, despite his best efforts, he could not meet with Suu Kyi.

India Narendra Modi

India’s diplomatic relations with Myanmar are strategic and seemingly good. Since 2014, there have been at least 9 official visits between the two countries. Numerous agreements and MoUs have been signed during these visits. The two countries also have deep ties in security and defense. India is assisting with the construction of Buddhist temples in various parts of Myanmar, including medicine and other equipment during the Corona period.

In this article, we will cover the hidden interests of India’s diplomatic relations with Myanmar, India’s position in the face of competition from regional powers, including China, Schringler’s “prospect of a return to democracy” and Delhi’s agreement with the military government in the past to make it clear to interested readers.

Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi and then State Councilor of Myanmar Aung San Suu Kyi at a conference in Delhi in 2016.
Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi and then State Councilor of Myanmar Aung San Suu Kyi at a conference in Delhi in 2016: AFP
The Indian subcontinent was once under the British Raj. Myanmar or Burma was a state of British India. There are considerable similarities between the two countries not only historically but also culturally. Buddhism has been propagated in Myanmar from India.

hidden interests of India’s

During World War II, Japan occupied Myanmar. Later, the British rulers were able to re-occupy the country by removing Japan. Myanmar gained independence from Britain in 1947. After independence, India-Myanmar formal diplomatic relations began. The alliance of the democratic ruler of India with the military ruler of Myanmar has been going on ever since.

Rich in natural gas and mineral resources, Myanmar is a “tempting” country for regional powers. So India, China, Russia — the three major regional powers are looking at the country.