September 5, 2023
As world leaders gather for the G20 summit in New Delhi this weekend, Burma Campaign UK is calling on G20 members to put pressure on Prime Minister Modi over India arming, financing, and providing diplomatic support for the Myanmar/Burmese military.
A report earlier this year by the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the situation in Myanmar revealed that India-based entities have supplied $51 million worth of arms and related materials to the military since February 2021.
Indian companies have entered into business relationships with the military or are working for the Burmese military, helping to finance the military and providing it with technology enabling it to arrest human rights and democracy activists.
Diplomatically, India has been working regionally to undermine ASEAN’s five-point consensus and assist the military in gaining the international legitimacy it craves, while also attempting to protect the military at a global level, including at the UN Security Council, negotiating to weaken a resolution on Burma and then refusing to vote in favour of it.
The Burmese military were already facing charges of genocide and crimes against humanity even before their attempted coup began in 2021, and India continued to arm them despite this. Since the coup, United Nations investigators have said the military is committing an increasing number of human rights violations which could be classified as war crimes and crimes against humanity. Numerous Burmese civil society organisations have documented daily atrocities by the Burmese military.
More than 2 million people have been forced to flee their homes, thousands killed and almost 25,000 arrested. Airstrikes and long-range artillery are used to target schools, hospitals, homes and religious buildings.
India has been mistreating refugees from Burma, refusing to give them legal sanctuary and arresting, beating and detaining refugees, and threatening them with deportation.
“We have seen a succession of world leaders visiting India and failing to challenge Modi on his support for the Burmese military,” said Anna Roberts, Executive Director of Burma Campaign UK. “The G20 is an opportunity for world leaders to come together and collectively pressure Modi to stop arming the Burmese military. Modi must not be allowed to use the summit to promote himself while at the same time arming a military which bombs schools and hospitals.”