- In a boost to cross-border anti-insurgency efforts, India and Myanmar conducted a joint military operation named ‘Operation Sunshine 2’.
In focus: Operation Sunshine 2
- The India-Myanmar joint military action, named ‘Operation Sunshine 2’ is primarily targeted at Indian insurgent groups in Myanmar and Burmese insurgent groups in India and along the 1600km-odd border area.
- It is a follow-up to Operation Sunrise conducted in February 2019.
- The Indian side of the joint military action primarily targeted the Burmese insurgent group Arakan Army in the Indian Territory
- The Myanmar Army have stepped up operations against NSCN(K) bastions in Saingang area of Myanmar.
- NSCN (K) is an insurgent group in India that is hindering the conclusion of Naga Peace Accord in India.
Insurgency in Myanmar
- Myanmar being a multi-cultural society has been witnessing ethnic conflicts since the pre-colonial period.
- Besides, Myanmar underwent political transformation from governments run by military junta to democratic elected representatives in 2015 with democratic forces led by Aung San Suu Kyi winning the elections.
- Myanmar is home to a number of ethnic armed organizations fighting for demands ranging from more power within as federal units to complete independence.
- One such ethnic armed organization is in Kachin state.
- The recent Rohingya crisis has led to formation of Arakan Army under the Kachin Independent Army in the Rakhine state.
- The Kachin Independent Army and most recently Arakan Army are the major insurgent groups in Myanmar having cross-border relations with India insurgent groups namely NSCN (K), ULFA (I) etc.
- Backed by China, these groups have been severely opposing the Kaladan Multi-Modal Transit Project between India and Myanmar.
About Kaladan Project: Act East Policy of India
- The Kaladan project was conceived by India and Myanmar in 2008.
- It is primarily aimed at building a viable alternative to movement of cargo to India’s north-eastern states through Myanmar.
- The current route is through the Siliguri Corridor (Chicken’s neck) which is over-stretched as it cannot handle heavy cargo like machinery.
- Thus under Kaladan Project, a sea link will be constructed between Kolkata to Sittwe port in Myanmar and thereafter to Mizoram by road road to rest of Northeast.
- The insurgency has been one of the main reasons for sluggish implementation of the project with challenges across the border from insurgent groups.
NSCN insurgency in India
- Naga insurgency is one of the oldest political battles in India.
- The Naga Nationalism has manifested in the form of a separatist demand in the aftermath of Indian independence under the leadership of Naga National Council.
- The Shillong accord in 1975 between GoI and Naga Nationalist Council, Nagas agreed to function under the framework of Indian Constitution.
- However due to varied interpretation of the Shillong Accord by India and a divide within the Naga society.
- Nationalist Socialist Council of Nagaland formed in 1980 by lsak Chishi Swu, Thuingaleng Muivah and S.S. Khaplang opposed the Shillong Accord of 1975, and wanted to establish ”Nagalim”, free from India.
- Further NSCN split into 2 factions namely NSCN-K led by S S Khaplang, and the NSCN-IM, led by Isak and Muivah.
- While NSCN (IM) is advocating a shared sovereignty between Centre and Nagalim, NSCN (K) is a separatist group asserting full sovereignty.