The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Delhi nudges Yangon

Oct. 4: The weekend spiral of violence in the Northeast claimed more lives in Assam and security agencies struggled to crack the mystery of the deadly blasts in neighbouring Nagaland.

Making use of a coincidental diplomatic opportunity, Delhi nudged Myanmar, one of the countries accused by Assam of housing camps run by Indian militants on the run, to act.

Foreign secretary Shyam Saran met Myanmarese leaders in Yangon today and urged them to beef up security and vigil along the border.

The diplomatic effort was given another push by a meeting in Delhi between Myanmarese deputy minister for home affairs Phone Swe and Indian home secretary Dhirendra Singh this afternoon.

At the meeting here and as well as the one in Yangon, the stress was on security-related issues. In a statement, the two countries reaffirmed their determination not to allow territories to be used for terrorist activities.

Foreign ministry officials pointed out that both Saran's visit to Yangon and Swe's meeting in Delhi were scheduled much earlier and were not arranged in the wake of the terror strikes in the Northeast.

But they agreed that emphasis was laid in both capitals on ways to tackle insurgents.

The foreign secretary's main meeting was with his Myanmarese counterpart and deputy foreign minister U. Kyaw Thu. He also called on a number of other key leaders, including Prime Minister U. Than Aung.

The chairman of the State Peace and Development Committee of Myanmar ' the ruling junta in Yangon ' General Than Shwe is also coming to Delhi at the end of the month.

The flurry of activity comes at a time when there is a growing demand from the Assam government that Delhi moot a proposal for a joint operation in Myanmar and Bangladesh to dismantle the alleged camps.

In central Assam, six persons, including four members of a businessman's family, were killed in continued attacks by National Democratic Front of Boroland militants at Sonitpur.

The mystery over the Nagaland blasts, in which over 26 people died, deepened today. The Naga insurgent group, NSCN (Khaplang), gave a clean chit to the Ulfa, with which it had been linked, and asked other Assam outfits to declare whether they had any role in the attacks.

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