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How non-violent measures by Indian Army are keeping the Naga rebels at bay

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northeast India rebels

By NewsGram Staff Writer

The Indian Army is all set to deal with any violence undertaken by the Myanmar based Naga separatist faction. “This time we will deal with the rebels quite differently,” said a top commander.

Lieutenant General, Bipin Rawat, is the commanding officer of the Indian Army’s Kohima-based 3 Corps, which is responsible for the counter-insurgency operations in Nagaland and other northeastern states. He said confidently, “The faction headed by Myanmarese Naga rebel leader S.S. Khaplang can’t do much because it lacks popular support.”

The people in Nagaland have got used to the idea of peace dividends for the last 17 years and any rebellion is not well received by the common people. Military operations affect the normal lives of people and so Khaplang stands isolated, said Lt. Gen Rawat to IANS.

“Other Naga rebel factions and extremist political groups have no stomach for fresh violence, as they have got used to peace. So, they are determined to keep his fighters out of Nagaland,” Lt. Gen. Rawat said.

Khalpang, on the other hand, claimed that Indian intelligence is using other Naga rebel factions because they have given up the demand for the Naga Independence.

Lt. Gen Rawat said, “The locals are supporting us because Khaplang has violated the ceasefire before by assailing the Indian troops and killing 8 of them in the Mon district. The Indian army restrained the troops and owing to it, there was no backlash from the common people.”

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“India Must Stop Buying and Depending on Foreign-Made Weapons”, Says India Defense Chief

Chief of Defence Staff of India General Bipin Rawat believes that India should boost ‘Make in India’ plan

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India Defense Chief
The barrel of an Indian paramilitary soldier's weapon is seen between partially closed doors of an armored vehicle as they drive towards the site of an operation in Awantipora area, south of Srinagar, Indian-controlled Kashmir, on Wednesday, May 6, 2020. (AP Photo/ Dar Yasin). VOA

India must stop buying and depending on foreign-made weapons and instead start manufacturing its own, India’s Chief of Defense Staff General Bipin Rawat told The Times of India in an exclusive interview Saturday. Indian Economy will be enhanced if we follow ‘Make in India’, as suggested by the Prime Minister.

Rawat wants to insure that “Make in India,” a favored slogan of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, becomes a reality.

“We are not expeditionary forces that have to deploy around the globe,” Rawat told the Times. “So, we should not go in for large amounts of imports by misrepresenting our operational requirements.”

India, like the rest of the world, is dealing with the financial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), General Bipin Rawat.
“We are not expeditionary forces that have to deploy around the globe,” General Bipin Rawat. told the Times. Wikimedia Commons

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Only Saudi Arabia surpasses India in the purchase of foreign weapons, the newspaper reports.

Rawat said India has to support its domestic defense industrial base even if the produced weapons perform at “reduced technical specifications” or GSQRs (general staff qualitative requirements).

“We should boost ‘Make in India’ by hand-holding our domestic industry, even if they deliver weapons with only 70 percent of the GSQRs in the beginning,” the general said. (VOA)

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UN Appeals to Aid Rohingya Refugees in Bangladesh

Rohingya Refugee Crisis Has Bangladesh, UN Calling for Help

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Rohingya refugees
Rohingya refugees wait in an area following a boat capsizing accident, in Teknaf. VOA

By Lisa Schlein

The U.N. refugee and migration agencies are jointly appealing for $877 million to aid 855,000 Rohingya refugees, most of whom fled violence and persecution from Myanmar three years ago, and more than 444,000 vulnerable Bangladeshis hosting them.

More than half of the money will provide vital services, including food, shelter, clean water and sanitation.  The rest of the appeal will be used for health, protection, education, site management, energy and environmental needs.

Shahriar Alam of Bangladesh’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs says his government has welcomed this large exiled population within its midst.  But he acknowledges their presence poses challenges and that the solution to the plight of the Rohingya refugees is repatriation to Myanmar when that becomes possible. But this is unlikely to happen, he says, without the vigorous support of the International community.

“We expect that U.N. member countries to do more and work closely and do everything possible to put pressure on Myanmar to take their citizenship back in a manner, a repatriation that is safe, voluntary, and dignified,” Alam said.

Rohingya refugees
Coast guards escort Rohingya refugees following a boat capsizing accident, in Teknaf. VOA

UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Filippo Grandi agrees that Bangladesh deserves support for hosting nearly one million Rohingya.  He laments the short attention span of the media and the international community who quickly move from one crisis to another.

As a consequence, he says the Rohingya have become largely forgotten.  He agrees with the Government of Bangladesh that the solution continues to be in Myanmar.

“The problem is that things that need to be done there to create conditions for refugees to return from Bangladesh into Myanmar are too slow or not happening yet–freedom of movement, return of internally displaced people that are in camps in Rakhine State,” Grandi said.

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Grandi says those who return should be granted housing, land, and property rights and be given the education and training they need to be able to work.  But the most fundamental step of all, he says, is for the Rohingya to be given a path to citizenship.

The Rohingya who have lived in Myanmar for generations were stripped of their citizenship in 1982. (VOA)

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Facebook Removes Fake Accounts From Russia, Iran, Vietnam and Myanmar

Facebook purges more fake accounts from Russia, Iran

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facebook
) Facebook has removed three networks of accounts, Pages and Groups for engaging in foreign or government interference on Facebook and Instagram. Pixabay

Facebook has removed three networks of accounts, Pages and Groups for engaging in foreign or government interference on Facebook and Instagram that originated in Russia, Iran, Vietnam and Myanmar.

The first operation originated in Russia and primarily targeted Ukraine and its neighbouring countries and the second originated in Iran and focused mainly on the US.

“The third network originated in Myanmar and Vietnam and targeted audiences in Myanmar. Each of them created networks of accounts to mislead others about who they were and what they were doing,” Nathaniel Gleicher, Head of Security Policy, said in a blog post late Wednesday.

Facebook removed 78 accounts, 11 Pages, 29 Groups and four Instagram accounts in Russia for violating its policy against foreign or government interference.

facebook
Facebook also removed 6 Facebook accounts and 5 Instagram accounts that were involved in foreign interference as part of a small network originating in Iran that primarily focused on the US. Pixabay

Some of these accounts represented themselves as citizen journalists and tried to contact policymakers, journalists and other public figures in the region.

“Although the people behind this network attempted to conceal their identities and coordination, our investigation found links to Russian military intelligence services,” said Gleicher.

Facebook also removed 6 Facebook accounts and 5 Instagram accounts that were involved in foreign interference as part of a small network originating in Iran that primarily focused on the US.

They shared posts about political news and geopolitics including topics like the US elections, Christianity, US-Iran relations, US immigration policy, criticism of US policies in the Middle East and public figures.

“Finally, we removed 13 Facebook accounts and 10 Pages for violating our policy against coordinated inauthentic behaviour. This Myanmar-focused activity originated in Myanmar and Vietnam,” said the company.

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The individuals behind this network used fake accounts to manage Pages posing as independent telecom consumer news hubs. They also purported to be customers of some of the telecom providers in Myanmar posting critical commentary about those companies and their services.

The investigation found links to two telecom providers — Mytel in Myanmar and Viettel in Vietnam, and Gapit Communications, a PR firm in Vietnam. (IANS)