Modi, Morrison Express Concern Over Myanmar Situation

Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla said both Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Australian counterpart Scott Morrison were concerned about the violent situation, protection of the citizens, and humanitarian access in Myanmar during the India-Australia virtual summit on Monday.

Addressing a special briefing following the conclusion of the summit, Foreign Secretary said both sides spoke about supporting the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) initiative in Myanmar.

“Both sides were concerned about the violent situation (in Myanmar) and that the civil population should be protected and humanitarian access to Myanmar was also emphasised,” Shringla said.

“We stressed that our relationship with Myanmar is historical and based on people to people ties. Both sides spoke about supporting the ASEAN initiative in Myanmar and the International community must also come together for humanitarian assistance to Myanmar,” Foreign Secretary said today.

The ASEAN’s five-point consensus, which includes dialogue, humanitarian assistance, and an end to violence, was reached last year.

The Myanmar military junta took control of the country following a coup on February 1 last year. Myanmar’s junta has carried out a brutal nationwide crackdown to suppress those opposing military rule.

The junta’s systematic and pervasive abuses, including mass killings, torture, arbitrary arrests, and indiscriminate attacks on civilians, amount to crimes against humanity and war crimes, the Human Rights Watch (HRW) had said.

Since the coup, security forces have killed at least 1,600 people and detained more than 12,000, according to the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners.

Over 500,000 people have been internally displaced since the coup, while tens of thousands have fled as refugees to Thailand and India, the HRW report had further said citing United Nations refugee agency, United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) data. (ANI)

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