Wednesday, January 19, 2011

ULFA chief in China

The Times of India reported earlier this month that arrested United National Liberation Front (UNLF) leader Meghen has confirmed to Indian authorities that Paresh Buruah, leader of the United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA), is residing in China

ULFA is one of the best known separatist groups in northeast India.  It seeks an independent, socialist Assam.

UNLF is the oldest Meitei insurgent group in Manipur.  It aims to achieve an independent, socialist Manipur.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Violence in Assam and Meghalya

The renewed violence in Assam and Meghalaya has been reported widely this week.  The death toll stands at 10 with as many as 40,000 people displaced.  The violence appears to be between tribal groups rather than against the Government of India.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Revival of road connecting northeast to Yunnan province

Asia Times Online today reports that the Stilwell, or Ledo, Road is set to be restored with the Burmese Government's award of a contract to a Chinese company to reconstruct a 312 km section of the road from Myitkyina in Burma to the Pangsau Pass on the Indo-Burmese border.

Running 1736 km from Ledo in Assam's east to Kunming in China's Yunnan province through Burma and Arunachal Pradesh, the Stillwell Road was built during World War II.  China is reportedly most enthusiastic about the road although each on India, Burma and China stand to benefit from its restoration.

Update (10/2): India apparently still has some reservations about constructing its portion of the Ledo Road.  The BBC ran a story yesterday quoting an unnamed Indian foreign ministry official saying a decision is yet to be made and that factors such as "possible dumping of Chinese products" and "security of trade envoys"  must be taken into account.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

BJP makes pitch to northeast

The BJP national executive met yesterday in Guwahati, promising a draft 'North East India 2025 Vision Document' by February, as reported in the Assam Tribune.  The Presidential Speech delivered during the meeting refers to northeast India as a "land of inspiring heroes" and emphasises the BJP's support for local anti-Bangladeshi sentiments.