‘Precarious’ security situation in Myanmar: India relocates staff from consulate in Sittwe

NEW DELHI, Apr 12 : India on Friday said it relocated its staff from its consulate in Myanmarese city of Sittwe to Yangon in view of the precarious security situation in that region of Myanmar.

External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Randhir Jaiswal said India is closely monitoring the situation in Myanmar, adding the Indian consulate in Mandalay remains functional.

Asked about reports of kidnapping of three Indian youths, he said the Indian embassy is working on the matter and hoped that they would be back home soon.

Several parts of Myanmar have been witnessing intense fighting between the military junta and resistance forces. The resistance forces have already captured several towns.

The anti-junta forces seized control of several military bases and a command centre at Myawaddy last week.

Jaiswal said the security situation in Myanmar remains “precarious” and is deteriorating.

“We are closely monitoring the security situation in Myanmar, particularly in the Rakhine State. Necessary steps have been taken to ensure the safety of our citizens,” he said at his weekly media briefing.

“We have temporarily relocated our staff at CGI (Consulate General of India) Sittwe to Yangon. Our Consulate in Mandalay remains fully functional,” Jaiswal said.

The fall of Myawaddy was seen as significant as it is Myanmar’s main transit point for trade with Thailand.

The resistance forces have already captured many key trading points along the borders with India, China and Bangladesh.

Myanmar has been witnessing wide-spread violent protests demanding restoration of democracy since the military seized power in the coup on February 1, 2021.

Rakhine state and many other regions have reported severe fighting between armed ethnic groups and the Myanmarese military since October last year.

The hostilities between the two sides saw a rapid spike since November in several key Myanmarese towns and regions near the border with India as well fuelling concerns in New Delhi over the possible ramifications for security of Manipur and Mizoram.

On the reports of abduction of three Indians, Jaiswal said “our embassy is seized of the matter. They are working on it and hopefully, we will be able to get them out.” (PTI)