India: Military Aid to Burma Fuels Abuses

The Indian government is offering a package of military assistance to the Burmese army, which is likely to use such arms and training to attack against civilians in its war against ethnic insurgents, Human Rights Watch said today. Human Rights Watch called on the Indian government to cease its support for the Burmese military, halt arms sales and press the government to stop its attacks on civilians.

India’s air force chief, S. P. Tyagi, offered a multimillion dollar aid package to Burma’s military when he visited Burma’s new administrative capitol at Nay Pyi Taw on November 22 to meet the leaders of the military government, the State Peace and Development Council (SPDC). This aid package includes counterinsurgency helicopters, avionics upgrades of Burma’s Russian- and Chinese-made fighter planes, and naval surveillance aircraft. This followed recent pledges in early November by Indian army chief of staff, J. J. Singh, to help train Burmese troops in special warfare tactics.

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