Thursday, May 28, 2009

Burmese Army delegates in Kolkata

By Salai Pi Pi

New Delhi (Mizzima) – A Burmese Army delegation led by Brig Gen Tin Maung Ohn, Deputy Commander of the Northwest Military Command, arrived in Kolkata, West Bengal on Wednesday on a goodwill visit.

The delegates’ Kolkata leg of the visit came after it attended the 36th bi-annual Indo-Burma border meeting held on May 26, at the Assam Rifles headquarters in Imphal, capital of Manipur state in northeast India.

While details of the Kolkata visit are still unknown, a military source in the city said, the Burmese team has arrived on a good will visit and will meet several Indian Army officials.

Brig-Gen Tin Maung Ohn heading a 15-member delegation met the 17 member team led by Assam Rifle’s Maj Gen AK Choudhury during the 36th bi-annual Indo-Burmese liaison meeting in Imphal.

India and Burma in recent years have stepped up bilateral relations including military cooperation and have been regularly holding meetings between the defence establishments of the two countries.

An Indian journalist, who has long covered Indo-Burma relations, said both Indian and Burmese military delegates have discussed a final strategy to crackdown on northeast rebel groups, several of which are reportedly operating from Burmese soil.

“They have come to finalize the plans for a counter insurgency operation in Sagaing Division,” the journalist told Mizzima, referring to the North-western division in Burma, bordering India’s Nagaland and Manipur states.

A similar meeting was also held in Nagaland in April 2008. The meeting focused on issues related to cross-border insurgency, arms smuggling and border management.

During his last visit, Brig Gen. Tin Maung Ohn and his team also travelled to Kolkata, and met Lt. Gen. V.K Singh, the General Officer Commanding-in-Chief of the Eastern Command and Lt. Gen. P.K. Goel, the Chief of Staff of the Eastern Command.

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