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India-developed (sittwe port) are under more strain as a result of the anti-junta forces’ advancement in Myanmar.

Since 2014, India has maintained a consulate in sittwe port, Rakhine State, but there is no reliable estimate of the number of Indian citizens residing there.

According to people with knowledge of the situation, pressure has mounted on sittwe port, the developed port city supported by India and home to an Indian consulate, following the anti-junta forces’ recent occupation of several major cities in Rakhine State.

Minister Sarbananda Sonowal of India and Admiral Tin Aung San of a neighboring nation jointly opened the Sittwe port in Rakhine State, Myanmar, in May 2023.

sittwe port

Almost all roads and waterways have been cut off to sittwe port, the capital of Rakhine State, since the Arakan Army, also known as the Chin National Front (CNF), took control of nearby towns like Pauktaw, Kyauktaw, and Minbya. Confidentiality was a prerequisite for speaking.

The Arakan Army reportedly declared last week that it had taken control of the Ponnagyun Township police station, which is located 30 kilometers from sittwe port. The military command of Myanmar’s junta in the state capital of Rakhine State has reportedly been advised to “surrender or face defeat.”

The Kaladan Multimodal Transit Transport Project, which is funded by India, depends on the development of the sittwe port port, which is being done as a $120 million project with an Indian credit line. After the Sittwe port was developed, the first cargo vessel from Kolkata arrived in May 2023 to officially open the port.

According to one of the people cited, the $484 million ambitious Kaladan project, which was supposed to link Mizoram by road and Kolkata port by sea, now appears to be “dead in the water.” Since its inception in 2008, the project has encountered multiple setbacks. Its objective was to convey cargo from Kolkata by sea to Myanmar, and from there via roads and waterways to the northeastern states of India.

Since 2014, India has maintained a consulate in sittwe port, Rakhine State, but there is no reliable estimate of the number of Indian citizens residing there. The Indian government issued a travel advisory to its citizens earlier this month about Rakhine, citing a serious lack of supplies and deteriorating security conditions along with communications outages.

Authorities in India are reportedly keeping a careful eye on the situation and making plans for every eventuality. That being said, the most recent round of fighting between the Arakan Army, the Ta’ang National Liberation Army (TNLA), and the Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army (MNDAA) near the India-Myanmar border since the Three Brotherhood Alliance’s aggressive start last October has brought attention to the junta’s growing vulnerability in the area of India’s strategically important northeastern states.

Most regions close to the border between India and Myanmar, ranging from the Sagaing area to the states of Chin and Rakhine, are currently governed by non-military forces. According to former Indian ambassador to Myanmar Rajiv Bhatia, this has an impact on India-Myanmar relations because up until now, the military has been India’s primary contact in Myanmar.

India has not publicly criticized the junta’s actions since taking over after a coup two years ago, but it has consistently demanded an end to all forms of violence and supported constructive dialogue aimed at achieving inclusive and federal democracy. India’s position has been associated with worries about not applying pressure to the junta to move it closer to China and about preserving peace in India’s northeastern states, which emphasizes the critical role Myanmar plays.

Both Paletwa and Sittwe are significant for Indian interests, according to Angshuman Choudhury, Associate Fellow at the Center for Policy Research (CPR), who keeps a close eye on developments in Myanmar. China is heavily present in sittwe port, the state capital, with its deep sea ports and projects such as the SEZ in Kyaukphyu. Paletwa is home to an intermodal river terminal where goods from Sittwe will be transported to Mizoram via road.

In order to maintain the Kaladan Project ndia will have to work with a non-state actor following the Arakan Army’s seizure of Paletwa. In addition, the CNF asserts Paletwa, refuting the Arakan Army’s assertion. India may face difficulties as a result of this he stated.

According to him, sittwe port offers vital access to India’s ongoing Shwe gas project, and it is critical for New Delhi to continue to have a presence in the city.



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