Compiled by Angshuman Choudhury
Since the Myanmar military took power from the civilian government in a coup on 1 February 2021, India has made several statements on the worrying situation in its eastern neighbour.
Here’s a roundup of what India has said so far on the Myanmar situation. This list is continually updated with latest information.
(Note: Sentences in italics indicate paraphrasing of statements as reported by the media, rather than the exact words.)
1 February (MEA statement):
We have noted the developments in Myanmar with deep concern. India has always been steadfast in its support to the process of democratic transition in Myanmar. We believe that the rule of law and the democratic process must be upheld. We are monitoring the situation closely.
26 February | Statement by India’s Permanent Representative to the UN, Ambassador TS Tirumurti, after a UNGA Informal Meeting on Myanmar:
See below for full statement:
31 March | Tweet by Ambassador TS Tirumurti after a closed-door UNSC meeting:
made these points: Condemn violence, Condole loss of lives, Urge maximum restraint, Our steadfast commitment to democratic transition, Release of detained leaders and welcome @ASEAN efforts.
9 April | Remarks by Ambassador Nagaraj Naidu Kakanur, Deputy Permanent Representative, after UNSC ARRIA meeting on Myanmar:
24 April | MEA statement after announcement of ASEAN’s ‘Five-Point Consensus’ on Myanmar:
We welcome the ASEAN initiative on Myanmar agreed to at the ASEAN Summit held on April 24. Our diplomatic engagement with Myanmar will be aimed at strengthening these efforts. India, as a friend of the people of Myanmar, will continue to play a constructive and meaningful role aimed at resolving the current situation in Myanmar. India’s support to the democratic process in Myanmar remains steadfast.
30 April | Statement by Amb TS Tirumurti after private UNSC meeting on Myanmar attended by ASEAN Chair’s Special Envoy on Myanmar, Erywan Yosuf:
Ambassador T S Tirumurti tweeted that in the Council, he said India welcomes the ASEAN’s initiative and five-point consensus. He added that India will strengthen ASEAN’s efforts; the Security Council and the UN should support their efforts. He added that India continues to insist on the release of detained leaders and end to violence and that New Delhi’s overall stand on the situation is consistent. (Source: The Week)
19 June | Explanation of India’s abstention on UNGA resolution voting by Amb TS Tirumurti:
India welcomed the ASEAN’s five-point consensus, reaffirmed the UN Security Council’s call for an “early visit of the ASEAN Special Envoy”, condemned the “use of violence” and expressed “steadfast” support for the process of democratic transition (“there can be no turning back on this”). It also recognised that the instability in Myanmar could spill over beyond its borders, and called for “greater engagement” to “peacefully resolve all issues”. It reiterated that a “consultative and constructive approach involving the neighbouring countries and the region remains important” in peacefully resolving the issue.
“The fact that there is lack of support [on the resolution] from all neighbouring countries and from several countries in the region itself should hopefully serve as an eye-opener to those who chose to pursue a hasty course of action.”
See this analysis of mine for more details and context on India’s remarks.
2 August | Statement by Amb TS Tirumurti at a UN press conference:
Myanmar is an extremely important neighbour for us….So what happens in Myanmar is extremely important for us and we have a direct stake in the situation in Myanmar. We are deeply concerned about the developments in Myanmar. We have condemned the use of violence in Myanmar. We have urged maximum restraint. We believe that there can be no falling back on the path to democracy in Myanmar. We have repeatedly called for engagement from their side without preconditions and for the peaceful and urgent resolution. So, we need a constructive and also a coordinated approach. What we do not want is an action on the part of the international community which will further destabilise the country because any instability in the country will directly affect India. It’s completely incorrect that we are rejecting people (from Myanmar). We have several thousands of them in India.
17 August | Tweet by Ambassador TS Tirumurti after chairing a closed-door UNSC meeting on Myanmar:
Chaired closed UN #SecurityCouncil meet on Myanmar. Appreciate briefing by Foreign Minister II of Brunei Darussalam HE Dato Erywan Yusof, who is ASEAN Special Envoy to Myanmar. India welcomes @ASEAN ‘Five-Point Consensus’ & looks forward to early visit to Myanmar of ASEAN Envoy.
22 September | Statement at UN Human Rights Council following remarks by UN Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights in Myanmar, Tom Andrews:
For a country that shares a long land and maritime border with Myanmar, the escalating situation in Myanmar is a matter of concern. Continued instability in Myanmar has direct implications for India. We have also been facing the situation of people crossing over the border into India from Myanmar. As a democratic neighbour of Myanmar, India remains committed to strengthening the process of democratic transition in Myanmar. We have worked with various stakeholders in Myanmar to develop capacities on democratic systems and practices and we are continuing these efforts. We urge the international community to work together and lend constructive support to the people of Myanmar. Our developmental and humanitarian efforts in Myanmar, including in the Rakhine state, have been aimed at the socio-economic development of the country. We welcome the appointment of Brunei’s second minister of foreign affairs Erywan Pehin Yusof as special envoy of the ASEAN chair on Myanmar. We look forward to the visit of the Asean special envoy to Myanmar and early implementation of the five-point consensus.
28 October | Statement by Secretary (East) at the MEA, Riva Ganguly Das, at ASEAN-India virtual summit:
India remains engaged on providing humanitarian aid, including vaccines and medicines, to Myanmar. As a close neighbour of Myanmar, India will continue to support restoration of peace and democratic process in Myanmar for it to emerge as a stable, democratic federal union.
7 December | MEA spokesperson’s response to media query on proceedings against Aung San Suu Kyi:
We are disturbed at the recent verdicts. As a neighbouring democracy, India has been consistently supportive of the democratic transition in Myanmar. We believe that the rule of law and the democratic process must be upheld. Any development that undermines these processes and accentuates differences is a matter of deep concern. It is our sincere hope that keeping their nation’s future in mind, efforts would be made by all sides to advance the path of dialogue.
22-23 December | Press Release after visit of Indian Foreign Secretary, Harsh Vardhan Shringla, to Myanmar:
Full text of press release here.