Mizzima News (www.mizzima.com) , February 6, 2006
India should play a leading role in promoting national reconciliation and democracy in Burma, according to Indian member of parliament Dr Nirmala Deshpande.
Speaking to Mizzima at the two-day National Reconciliation in Burma conference in New Delhi today, Deshpande said India needed to help the Burmese people mobilise to demand political change.
“We need to start from simple step… Some kind of non-violence programs which can mobilise people more and more. People without being big numbers, nothing would be possible,” said Deshpande, who is also a member of the Indian Parliamentarian’s Forum for Democracy in Burma.
The Indian government has called for a democratic transition in Burma but has stopped short of calling for the release of National League for Democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi or condemning the military’s consistent abuses of human rights laws.
Many Burma groups say India helps keep the Burmese military in power by trading with the country and allowing the ruling generals to reap the financial benefits.