Myanmar’s military ruler General Than Shwe visits India, signs wide-ranging agreements; India agrees to consider providing assistance to Myanmar in three critical areas;
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  • During Myanmar’s military ruler General Than Shwe’s five-day long visit to India this week, a number of agreements were signed between the two countries to boost the bilateral relationship. Under the treaty on mutual legal assistance in criminal matters, both the countries agreed on close cooperation in tackling terrorism, drug trafficking, arms smuggling, money laundering and transnational organized crime. Both sides pledged not to let use their territory for terror and insurgent activities against each other.1

    India has also agreed to consider providing assistance to Myanmar in three areas i.e. information technology, industrial development and infrastructure development. India is to assist Myanmar in restoring its major tourist site, Ananda temple which is a noted Buddhist shrine. Keeping in mind its energy interest in Myanmar, India has already begun working on an ambitious transport corridor across Myanmar that would enable the northeast states in India to get access to the Bay of Bengal through Burmese port city Sittwe.2 While the Indian government has pledged to give US$10 million to Myanmar to purchase agricultural machinery, the EXIM Bank of India has agreed to provide Myanmar with a credit fund of US$60 million to fund various railway projects.3

    During his recent four-day visit to South Korea, Malaysian Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyddin Yassin, who is also serving as the Education Minister, emphasized on enhancing the bilateral ties between the two countries by collaborating in curriculum development, teacher’s training, vocational and technical as well as sports development in schools. A MoU is to be signed soon in this regard.4