India says it has direct stakes in maintenance of peace and stability in Myanmar

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New Delhi, Mar 10 (PTI) India on Wednesday said it has direct stakes in the maintenance of peace and stability in Myanmar and the recent developments in that country were of deep concern to it.

Last month, Myanmar's military grabbed power in a coup against the civilian government and imposed a state of emergency after detaining Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi and other leaders of her National League for Democracy (NLD).

In response to a question in Lok Sabha, Minister of State for External Affairs V Muraleedharan said India has urged that the rule of law and democratic process be upheld and called upon the leadership of Myanmar to work together to resolve their differences in a peaceful and constructive manner.

He said India will closely monitor the situation in Myanmar and remain in discussion with the international community, including at the UNSC, on the issue.

'India shares a land and maritime border with Myanmar and has direct stakes in the maintenance of peace and stability in the country. As part of our 'Neighbourhood First' and 'Act East' policies, India has supported socio-economic development in Myanmar and facilitated the process of democratic transition in the country,' he said.

'The recent developments in Myanmar are therefore of deep concern,' he added.

The minister also said India's relationship with Myanmar remains independent of its ties with any third country.

Myanmar witnessed massive protests in the last few weeks against the February 1 coup.

To a separate question on vandalisation of a statue of Mahatma Gandhi in the city of Davis in California on January 28, Muraleedharan said India has strongly condemned this 'malicious and despicable act' against a universally respected icon of peace and justice.

He said the Embassy of India in Washington DC has taken up the matter with the US Department of State for a thorough investigation and appropriate action against those responsible for this despicable act.

'The Consulate General of India in San Francisco has separately taken up the matter with the City of Davis and local law enforcement authorities, which have initiated an investigation,' he said.

The minister said the US Department of State has conveyed that the act of vandalism is unacceptable and expressed hope that the perpetrators would be brought to justice as quickly as possible. PTI MPB SMN SMN