India eyes strategic interests in Myanmar

By Tribune India

The coup in Myanmar is in its third month with battle lines drawn clearly between the military and an effective non-violent campaign threatening to blow up into a civil war. The Tatmadaw (military) did not expect people’s resistance on this scale and intensity, making the coup a miscalculation.

It peaked on Armed Force Day (March 27) when 110 persons were killed, taking the coup death toll to 560. The coup has united the people though Buddhist monks have not joined. While the junta has established a State Administration Council (SAC), an underground group of NLD lawmakers calling itself the Committee Representing National Parliament (CRPH) has declared the 2008 military-drafted Constitution void replacing it with an interim charter. It has secured an alliance with the Ethnic Armed Organisations (EAOs) as a federal army against the junta.

The Civil Disobedience Movement (CDM) of unarmed protesters has escalated vertically and horizontally with bank and revenue officials, hospital staff and garbage collectors on strike. The General Strike Committee of Nationalities has urged the EAOs to support CDM.

In the industrial zone of Yangon, 32 Chinese-owned factories and shops of Myanmar Economic Holdings linked to the military were set ablaze causing damage worth $34 million and anti-Chinese sentiment due to Beijing’s muted criticism of the coup.

The military is suspicious of China and seeks India’s countervailing influence. China’s objective is to protect its $100 billion China-Myanmar Economic Corridor connecting Yunan province with oil and gas fields in Rakhine state.

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