Sunday, December 19, 2010

Nepal as insurgent sanctuary

Following the recent arrest of the United National Liberation Front (UNLF) chairman in Bihar, there is speculation in The Hindustan Times that northeast insurgents are using Nepal as a safe haven from the Indian Government in the face of increasingly cordial relations between India and Bangladesh.

Bangladesh to upgrade trade ties with northeast

Bangladesh announced plans to upgrade its presence in the northeast in a bid to increase trade earlier this month, as reported in The Assam Tribune and a number of other publications.

There have also been reports of an Indian Government announcement to improve road and rail links with Bangladesh to facilitate increased trade.  The new infrastructure will link Tripura with the Chittagong port.

Wikileaks: Indo-Burmese cooperation against insurgents

As with many of the United States cables being progressively published by Wikileaks, a cable released this week on India's relationship with Burma reinforces conclusions already drawn by interested onlookers rather than offering anything revelatory.  The cable, dated 2 November 2004, reports on a meeting with a senior Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) bureaucrat in the wake of visit to New Delhi by Burmese military junta leader Than Shwe.

It states that India does not believe insurgents on the Indo-Burmese border are receiving support from the Burmese government as that would not be in its "strategic interests" and moreover that Burma's military build up on that border is not directly in its own interests but is rather a symptom of the increased interdependence of Indian and Burmese interests in the region.  India's concerns about Chinese influence in Burma are also laid bare in the cable.

MPP condemns tripartite talks

The leader of the Manipur People's Party (MPP) this week called for the cessation of tripartite talks between the Government of India, government of Manipur and the United Naga Council which began earlier this month.  The MPP appears to be concerned about an increased intensity of efforts to create a Naga state crossing existing state lines, a move that would carve out parts of Manipur.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Identification numbers introduced

The official launch of a new program to issue all Indians with identity numbers was held in Tripura earlier this month.  The program represents an ambitious attempt to address illegal migration, something which is perceived to be a particular problem in the northeast. 

Human Rights Watch 2010 World Report

Human Rights Watch's 2010 World Report states that in "Manipur and elsewhere in the north-east" (and Jammu and Kashmir) citizens have "lost confidence in the state's willingness to hold perpetrators of human rights violations accountable", citing the public outrage at the killing of a 27 year old Manipuri man by police in July (pp. 299).

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Four killed in Meghalaya

A gun battle between Indian security forces and suspected separatists last week resulted in the death of at least four rebels in the normally relatively quiet state of Meghalaya.  Those killed were suspected to be from the Garo National Liberation Army (GNLA).