On The Border


Trade across India’s northeastern land border with Myanmar has come to a halt, according to Surinder Singh Patheja, general secretary of the Moreh Border Trade Chamber of Commerce.
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Thai authorities seized a stash of smuggled weapons in the border town of Mae Sot over the weekend, arms which sources claim could have been bound for one of Burma’s ethnic armies or for gangs operating in the area.
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Smuggling gold from Dubai, Bangkok and Singapore by flight-hopping couriers now appears to have become passe, with customs officials discovering that the yellow metal is entering India by land from Myanmar.
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A new shipping route from Qinzhou Port in south China’s Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, to Myanmar has been launched, sources with Guangxi Beibu Gulf Int. Port Group said Sunday.
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This article is part of “Southeast Asia: Refugees in Crisis,” an ongoing series by The Diplomat featuring exclusive articles from scholars and practitioners tackling Southeast Asia’s ongoing refugee crisis. All articles in the series can be found here.
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Myanmar and Thailand discussed on Monday bilateral cooperation to prevent and solve cross-border haze, as the smog problem has affected people’s health and cross-border tourism for several years.
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Last week, India and Myanmar inked an agreement to facilitate coordinated patrols among them.

On February 16, the navies of the two countries signed the standard operating procedure (SOP) for India-Myanmar Coordinated Patrol (IMCOR) at the Tri-Service Headquarters in Port Blair at the Andaman and Nicobar Islands following the fourth iteration of their coordinated patrols. The agreement was signed by Commodore Atul Anand VSM from the Indian Navy and Commodore Aung Zaw Hlaing from the Myanmar Navy in the presence of Gautam Mukhopayhaya, India’s ambassador to Myanmar.
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Flows of Indian white sugar to Myanmar, a gateway for smuggling into China, are slowing down, while Brazilian sugar is becoming more competitive due to cheaper freight.
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Unity among the Karen people was the theme in nearly all of the ethnic leaders’ speeches on the recent occasion of Karen Revolution Day. It was estimated that over 10,000 Karen people from Burma, Thailand and the rest of the world gathered to celebrate the event.
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Myanmar has arranged security plans to stop illegal entry from Bangladesh, said Colonel Thit San, head of Rakhine State police.
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Who would ever have imagined it – singing karaoke, dancing and joking. This was not some theatre vaudeville event but the closing ceremonies of the bleak, humourless, military-dominated parliament of Myanmar before yielding to a largely democratically elected new parliament.
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Accounts surfaced this week that authorities in Mong La, a special administrative region known as a hub for illicit activity on the Sino-Burmese border, may have executed a Chinese national after he was found guilty of homicide and arson.
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The ban on barter has almost shut down overland trade with India, local merchants say. Since the popular barter system was suspended at the Myanmar-India border post of Tamu, cross-border trade has slumped.
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Two miles north of Muse, on Myanmar’s border with China, a company is negotiating with farmers to buy their land with a view to building a dry port.
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Security forces plan joint patrol on a 30-km stretch in Kabaw valley on the border on a pilot basis.
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As the methamphetamine drug known in Thailand as “yaa baa” spreads among Bangladesh youth, the authorities seized 2.8 million tablets this week in two raids.
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A man was gunned down in broad daylight on Wednesday in Sagaing Division’s Tamu, a township on the border with India, with the shooter still at large.
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Thailand and Myanmar are set to double bilateral trade to between Bt350 billion and Bt420 billion within two years, while also promoting cross-border trade to Bt300 billion, under closer cooperation through the Joint Trade Commission (JTC) and Asean integration.
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Authorities are offering financial help to rebuild damaged homes of nearly 2,000 people after a strong earthquake that struck India’s remote northeast along the border with Myanmar early Monday. (more…)

Road transportation between India and Myanmar got a boost on Wednesday when the Indian cabinet approved the construction of 69 bridges including approach roads on the Tamu-Kyigone-Kalewa (TKK) road section of the trilateral highway in Myanmar.
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