Conflicts & War

India condemns Myanmar violence, maintains tight border controls

New Delhi, Apr 2 (efe-epa).- India on Friday condemned the post-coup violence in neighboring Myanmar and called for the country to return to democracy but fell short of saying whether it had relaxed its borders to allow refugees to flee.

“Let me be very clear. We condemn any use of violence. We believe that the rule of law should prevail. We stand for the restoration of democracy in Myanmar,” Arindam Bagchi, the foreign ministry spokesman, said.

He added: “We have urged the release of political prisoners and supported any attempts at resolving the current situation, including through the efforts of ASEAN.

“We remain engaged on this issue with our international interlocutors and at the UN Security Council in an effort to play a balanced and constructive role.”

More than 540 people have been killed by security forces in Myanmar since the Feb. 1 coup, most of them dying of bullet injuries.

New Delhi came under criticism last week when it sent a representative to a military parade in Naypyidaw, which was presided over by Armed Forces chief Min Aung Hlaing, leader of the coup and the junta.

The spokesman on Friday said the presence of an Indian official at the parade was part of their “regular and diplomatic responsibilities.”

“Nothing more should be read into this,” he added.

Bagchi was much more ambiguous when it came to discussing the 1,600-kilometer border between India and Myanmar.

“As far as border crossings are concerned, we are dealing with it as our laws and humanitarian considerations,” he said, without going into detail as to whether the government would revise its tough border controls for refugees.

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