India’s Responses to the Complex Rohingya Crisis In Myanmar


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When: Nov 6 2017 - 12:00pm until Nov 6 2017 - 1:30pm
Where: 1819 L St NW, Sixth Floor Conference Room, Washington DC, 20036

India’s Responses to the Complex Rohingya Crisis In Myanmar

An Asia Pacific Democracy and Human Rights Seminar featuring:

Dr. Baladas Ghoshal
Secretary General, Society for Indian Ocean Studies

India’s Responses to the Complex Rohingya Crisis In Myanmar from East-West Center on Vimeo.

Left to right: Baladas Ghoshal and Dr. Satu Limaye

The latest round of the massive refugee outflow of Rohingya Muslims from Myanmar into Bangladesh has created a humanitarian crisis and outrage among the international community. India’s response to the Rohingya issue is conditioned predominantly by its security concerns. In its affidavit to the Supreme Court, the government said that some of the Rohingyas with militant background were found to be very active in Jammu, Delhi, Hyderabad and Mewat. Prime Minister Narendra Modi stood next to Myanmar’s de-facto leader in Nyay Pyi Taw and described India and Myanmar as “partners” in their concern over the loss of lives due to “extremist violence” in Rakhine State. Myanmar is also linked intrinsically to India’s Act East Policy. A heavy-handed Indian approach directly criticizing Myanmar could undermine India's positioning in the region. India is also dependent on Myanmar military’s cooperation to deal with the insurgent groups in the Northeast, who in the past often used to get sanctuary in the Myanmar side of the border. Fault lines of geopolitics also drive India to take a soft approach to Myanmar’s crackdown on the Rohingyas. New Delhi believes the best way to reduce tension in Rakhine is through development efforts, such as the Kaladan transport project there. Finally, rising public anger in Bangladesh about India’s position and Dhaka’s diplomatic overdrive was largely the reason why New Delhi had to modify its position on the Rohingya issue, to also acknowledge that there is now a refugee crisis. Dr. Ghoshal discussed the various strands and stakeholders of India’s response and perspectives on the complex Rohingya Crisis in Myanmar.

 For more images, please visit the album for this event on the East-West Center's Flickr page. 

Baladas Ghoshal is currently Secretary General of the Society for Indian Ocean Studies. Until recently he was the ICCR Chair in Indian Studies at the Russian State University for the Humanities, Moscow. He is also an honorary Distinguished Fellow at the Institute of Peace and Conflict Studies and a Visiting Senior Fellow in Centre for Policy Research. From August 2016, he is also a Visiting Professor of Public Policy in Amity University, Noida. Professor Ghoshal is a former Professor of Southeast Asia and South-West Pacific Studies and Chairman of the Centre for South and Southeast Asian Studies at Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. Between 2004 and 2007, he was a Visiting Professor of International Relations first at the International Christian University, Tokyo and then at Nagoya City University, taught at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (1990-91) National University of Malaysia (1998-1999), University of Malaya (2000) and the Universiti Utara Malaysia (2002-2003). He has held Senior Fulbright Fellowships at Cornell and Rutgers Universities (1983-84); Fellow at the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, Singapore (1985-86); Centre for Asian Studies, University of Hong Kong (Sept.-Oct.2003), East West Centre (2010), Consultant to the United Nations Support Facility for Indonesian Recovery (November 2003-February2004). Professor Ghoshal is a doyen in Southeast Asian Studies program in India. He has published extensively on Indonesian politics, ASEAN and regional security issues, reads, writes and speaks Malay and Bahasa Indonesia. He has also published on Indian and Bangladeshi politics and foreign policy. His most recent publications are a book on India-Indonesia Relations published by the Institute of South Asian Studies, Singapore, and a monograph on China’s Perception of India’s Look East Policy, brought out by Institute of Defence Studies and Analyses, New Delhi.

Primary Contact Info:
Name: Sarah Wang
Phone: 4105076347