India bringing Maldives into its security net

Discussion in 'Subcontinent & Central Asia' started by youngindian, Aug 13, 2009.

  1. youngindian

    youngindian Senior Member Senior Member

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    Thursday, Aug 13, 2009

    When Defence Minister A K Antony visits Maldives later this month, he will start the process to bring the island country into India’s security grid. The move comes after the moderate Islamic nation approached New Delhi earlier this year over fears that one of its island resorts could be taken over by terrorists given its lack of military assets and surveillance capabilities.


    Antony, who is expected to visit Maldives on August 22, will be accompanied by senior Navy officers who will share India’s experience of handling security in the Andaman Nicobar islands chain.



    • India will permanently base two helicopters in the country to enhance its surveillance capabilities and ability to respond swiftly to threats. One helicopter from the Coast Guard is likely to be handed over during Antony’s visit while another from the Navy will be cleared for transfer shortly.
    • Maldives has coastal radars on only two of its 26 atolls. India will help set up radars on all 26 for seamless coverage of approaching vessels and aircraft.

    • The coastal radar chain in Maldives will be networked with the Indian coastal radar system. India has already undertaken a project to install radars along its entire coastline. The radar chains of the two countries will be interlinked and a central control room in India’s Coastal Command will get a seamless radar picture. n The Southern Naval Command will overlook the inclusion of Maldives into the Indian security grid.


    • Military teams from Maldives will visit the tri-services Andaman Nicobar Command (ANC) to observe how India manages security and surveillance of the critical island chain.



    While the Maldives government had expressed keen interest in joining the Indian security grid during talks between top political leaders, the proposal took off after a low-key visit to the island nation on June 30 by National Security Advisor M K Narayanan and the then Defence and Foreign Secretaries Vijay Singh and Shivshankar Menon.


    While the two countries already have a security cooperation agreement against sea-borne terrorism and piracy, the framework of a detailed agreement to include Maldives into the Indian coastal security grid was drawn up during the visit. It will be an exclusive security arrangement with India and the island nation will not approach other regional countries for similar agreements.

    • The Indian Coast Guard (ICG) will carry out regular Dornier sorties over the island nation to look out for suspicious movements or vessels.Sources said that the decision was triggered largely by fears of a hostage crisis in Maldives whose economy is driven largely by tourism. The worst threat scenario drawn up by the Maldives government was the takeover of a remote island resort by a terrorist group.



    In the past, the Indian Navy has transferred a fast attack craft to the island nation. The INS Tillanchang was gifted to the country in 2006 by the then Defence Minister Pranab Mukherjee. Besides, a large number of officers of the armed forces of the island nation are given training in various officers training academies in India.The Indian Army also conducts a joint exercise ‘Ekueuvrin’ with the Maldivian National Defence Forces on counter-terrorism while the Indian Coast Guard conducts an exercise on maritime rescue operations and patrolling of seas around Maldives called ‘Dosti’.


    In 1988, India helped foil a coup attempt being assisted by Tamil rebels after it launched Operation Cactus on receiving a distress message from the then President, Maumoon Abdul Gayoom.


    India bringing Maldives into its security net
     
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  3. hit&run

    hit&run Elite Member Elite Member

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    I think more needs to be done. Maldives is our natural friend. When Indian Babus will start auditing stats in INR to MoD; GOI will try to go into dormancy mode from proactive one. As far as this new development is concerned i can not see word 'SECURIY NET' fitting into this.
    But the word of choice should be being 'assertive'. One has to speak it out, one has to be very clear with friend, one has to alight his chest to friend. Then rest is up to the friend, if he really believes in you he will help, if doesn't he never was.

    Very simple, if you can afford then there is no need for twisted like 'jalebi' diplomacy. Its time to make groups with friendly neighbours. Twisted and flexible diplomacy is still feasible and apericable but with distant friends and swing states those who are / or going beyond your par (thanks to our passive approach).
    There is no need to give examples of those states i think
     
  4. Yusuf

    Yusuf GUARDIAN Administrator

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    Maldives is a natural target for India to extend its sphere of influence in the IOR. It can be an ideal base even for the IN. We have good ties with them and helped them once already to put down a coup.
    Not that we want to put our will on them and appear imperialist, we make them allies just like how China has strung the pearls. That will make sure the Chinese dont get any access to Maldives ever.
     
  5. A.V.

    A.V. New Member

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    this is interesting and must be done with efficiency because this would prove to the neighbouring countries how india can help without dictating terms or interfering directly, i hope this will help foster better relations with other neighbouring countries as well in the future
     
  6. natarajan

    natarajan Senior Member Senior Member

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    we should avoid words like target,influenze,control etc because of this mindset we lost control over srilanka,nepal,banagladesh,myanmar etc
     
  7. EnlightenedMonk

    EnlightenedMonk Member of The Month JULY 2009 Senior Member

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    One can certainly think of using this as a stepping stone to deeper influence in Africa...

    We must also seriously think of Madagascar...
     
  8. Pintu

    Pintu New Member

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    Very good initiative started by the Govt. of India , and it should be taken care that 'string of pearls' does not extend any more.

    Regards
     
  9. natarajan

    natarajan Senior Member Senior Member

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    yes we have some sensors and communication staion in madagascar
     
  10. EnlightenedMonk

    EnlightenedMonk Member of The Month JULY 2009 Senior Member

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    I'm talking about possibly a permanent naval base...
     
  11. Yusuf

    Yusuf GUARDIAN Administrator

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    We lost those countries because we didnt target them. China did and thats why its reaping the benifits. What do you think China has told them before making those pearls? That these are gifts for you?
    This is geopolitics. Big and strong countries influence others. Be it economically or militarily. If India has to be strong, it needs to exert its influence in countries around it.
     
  12. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

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    I think we are starting to get some influences back in places; some recent examples are Burma and Sri Lanka.
     
  13. Yusuf

    Yusuf GUARDIAN Administrator

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    Sri Lanka realized that it had better be "used" by India than by China. But it has already made a thorn in indias flesh by giving away Hambantota to the Chinese.
    Burma cannot be trusted. I think a democratic government in Burma may tilt towards India but not this current Junta.
     
  14. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

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    Myanmar protected by its powerful neighours: analysts

    Myanmar protected by its powerful neighours: analysts


    by Staff Writers
    Beijing (AFP) Aug 12, 2009
    The international community has limited leverage over Myanmar because of the ruling junta's close links with its powerful neighbours China, India and Thailand, analysts say.
    The reclusive state sparked global outrage when it extended the house arrest of democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi for 18 months Tuesday, but analysts said its ties with the three Asian nations acted as a buffer to any foreign action.

    "They are a huge block (against international action)," said Ian Holliday, dean of social sciences at the University of Hong Kong and an expert on Myanmar.

    "China is the essential one, and India and Thailand follow in its wake."

    The European Union, United States and other countries have targeted Myanmar with economic sanctions and travel bans, but the military regime has so far proven impervious to these partly due to support from nations such as China.

    The Asian giant has long helped keep Myanmar afloat through trade ties, arms sales, and by shielding it from UN sanctions over rights abuses as a veto-wielding, permanent member of the Security Council.

    In return, China is assured of a stable neighbour and gets access to Myanmar's natural resources -- overall, trade between the two grew 26.4 percent to 2.6 billion dollars in 2008, according to China's ministry of commerce.

    On Wednesday, it called for respect of Myanmar's judicial sovereignty in reaction to Suu Kyi's house arrest.

    India was once a staunch supporter of Suu Kyi but shifted its strategy in the mid-1990s as security, energy and strategic priorities emerged.

    It is also eyeing oil and gas imports from Myanmar, needs Yangon's help in countering separatists operating along their common border, and is particularly concerned about not losing strategic ground to China in the military state.

    "It would not be appropriate for India to join US-led efforts if it wants to retain any influence in Myanmar," said C. Uday Bhaskar, head of the Delhi-based National Maritime Foundation think tank.

    Thailand has long maintained diplomatic, defence and trade ties with Myanmar despite its human rights record.

    Myanmar's biggest source of foreign exchange earnings is by far the revenue it receives from gas sales to Thailand -- some three billion dollars annually.

    Thailand, meanwhile, is largely dependent on Myanmar for its energy needs, and also has investments in telecommunications there.

    Lalit Mansingh, a former Indian foreign secretary, said that pressure needed to come from regional bloc ASEAN -- the Association of Southeast Asian Nations -- of which Myanmar is part.

    "It is gentle pressure that is going to succeed," he said.

    But overall, the three Asian nations' ties with the military junta -- and particularly China's influence -- make it difficult for the wider international community to influence Myanmar, analysts said.

    "It's helpful that India also takes the same line as China, it's helpful that Thailand is not too critical," said Holliday.

    "But even if they were to change their policy, the fact that China can supply just about everything that Burma needs is really essential."

    And in the current global crisis, China's increasing economic and political clout make it even harder for the international community to make a move against Myanmar, according to experts.

    "That is (due to) the Chinese economic power in the current international downturn that has also increased their political power," said Colonel R. Hariharan, a retired Indian intelligence officer.

    "The countries would not want to 'offend' China as they would have done very happily some years back."
     
  15. Yusuf

    Yusuf GUARDIAN Administrator

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    India is a forced supporter of Burma as it wants to stop China from completely dominating that country. If chinese presence was not an issue then India might have been with the west on this issue.
    Natural resources is a good tool in the hands of a few countries. It makes the US do business with Saudi Arabia even though its a major funder of terrorism. Everyone follows its own policy to further its national interest. India can support democratic movements if the west does the same unhypocratily every where and not chose. Till such time, India will/shouldl continue to "encourage" democracy but do biz with anyone that suits its purpose.
     
  16. kautilya

    kautilya Regular Member

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    This is truly India's problem. No initiative. Why should we ape the west. Even if the west were to turn all clean(fat chance) I refuse the contention we should too. We should do exactly what suits our interests at whatever point of time regardless of what the world will or will not do.

    Of course we're doing all this for the good of the world. Anyone who doesn't see that is an enemy of peace and international goodwill. :thank_you2:
     
  17. NiketRC

    NiketRC Regular Member

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    India should increase similar cooperation with Thailand Malaysia Singapore to counter chinese influence
     
  18. RPK

    RPK Indyakudimahan Senior Member

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    India to seal defence pact with Maldives


    Amid fears by Maldives that one of its island resorts could be taken over by terrorists in the absence of military assets, India will sign a defence pact with that country during Defence Minister A K Antony's three-day visit there.

    The agreement envisages Indian help to Maldives in setting up a network of ground radars in all its atolls and linking them with the Indian Coastal Command.

    Indian Navy and Coast Guard warships would patrol Maldives' pirate-infested waters and secure it from terror threats under the agreement which comes after Male conveyed its fear to New Delhi.

    Antony, who will lead a high-level delegation, will hold discussion with Maldivian President Mohammed Nasheed, apart from government leaders and the military top brass.

    He will also hold bilateral discussions with his counterpart Ameen Faisal on ways of expanding military cooperation between the two countries, a Defence Ministry spokesperson said today.

    The Defence Minister's delegation will comprise ministry's Secretary Pradeep Kumar, Armed Forces Medical Services Director General Lt Gen N K Parmar, Coast Guard Director General Vice Admiral Anil Chopra and Deputy Chief of Navy Staff Vice Admiral D K Joshi.Antony will also attend the closing session of the India-Maldives Friendship event, besides paying a visit to the Indira Gandhi Memorial Hospital, the most visible symbol of Indo-Maldives cooperation and friendship.

    The 200-bed general and speciality hospital, established by India, has over the years provided Maldives greater self-reliance in the field of medical care.

    The two countries share ethnic, linguistic, cultural, religious and commercial links steeped in antiquity and enjoy close, cordial and multi-dimensional relations.

    India was among the first to recognise Maldives after Independence in 1965 and to establish diplomatic relations with the country.

    New Delhi's prompt assistance during the 1988 coup attempt, when Indian armed forces repulsed the Sri Lankan Tamil military group's attack on Maldives but withdrew after the crisis was defused, marked a watershed in bilateral ties. India was the first to rush relief and aid to Maldives when Tsunami struck the island in 2004.

    In April 2006, India gifted a fast attack craft, INS Tillanchang, to Maldives as a goodwill gesture.
     
  19. Flint

    Flint Senior Member Senior Member

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    All three countries have strong navies.
     
  20. RPK

    RPK Indyakudimahan Senior Member

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    Antony to seek greater defence cooperation during Maldives visit | Sindh Today - Online News

    New Delhi, Aug 19 (IANS) Indian Defence Minister A.K. Antony will Thursday embark on a three-day visit to the Maldives during which a pact for greater defence cooperation is expected to be signed even as New Delhi looks for a greater foothold in the Indian Ocean region.

    According to defence ministry sources, the island nation has sought greater defence cooperation from India in terms of coastal security and patrolling of the waters around it.

    “Shortly after his arrival at the Maldivian capital in Male, Antony will call on President Mohammed Nasheed. He will hold talks with the top leadership of the government and the Maldives National Defence Force,” an official statement said Wednesday.

    Antony will lead a high-level delegation to the Maldives. He will be accompanied by Defence Secretary Pradeep Kumar, Director General Armed Forces Lt Gen N.K. Parmar, Director General Coast Guard Vice Admiral Anil Chopra and Deputy Chief of Indian Navy Vice Admiral D.K. Joshi.

    “Antony will have bilateral discussions with his counterpart Ameen Faisal on ways of expanding defence cooperation between the two countries,” the statement added.

    With the Maldives, there is a proposal to link its coastal security network with the Indian coastal radar network. The step would help India in securing its more than 7,500 km long shoreline.

    During his visit, Antony is likely to hand over one Indian Coast Guard helicopter to the Maldives and a second one from the Indian Navy will be supplied later.

    Antony will also attend the closing session of the India-Maldives Friendship function besides paying a visit to the Indira Gandhi Memorial Hospital. The 200-bed general and specialty hospital has over the years provided the Maldives greater self-reliance in the field of medical care.

    The Maldives consists of over 1,100 islets of which around 200 are inhabited and has shared “ethnic, linguistic, cultural, religious and commercial links” with India.

    India was among the first to recognise the Maldives after independence in 1965 and to establish diplomatic relations with it. India’s prompt assistance during the 1988 coup attempt, which diffused the crisis, represents a watershed in India-Maldives relations.

    More recently, when tsunami waves hit the Maldives on Dec 26, 2004, India was the first country to rush relief and aid there. In April 2006, India gifted a fast attack craft, INS Tillanchang, to the country.

    For India, the Indian Ocean region, which straddles from Australia to Africa, has become strategically important with China also striving to increase its footprint. The Indian Navy has been working towards expanding its influence over about 30 countries in the region, including Maldives.
     
  21. youngindian

    youngindian Senior Member Senior Member

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    Antony leaves for Maldives, seeking enhanced defence ties

    August 20th, 2009

    New Delhi, Aug 20 (IANS) Seeking a greater foothold in the Indian Ocean Region, Defence Minister A.K. Antony Thursday left for a three-day visit to the Maldives during which a pact for greater defence cooperation is expected to be signed.
    According to defence ministry sources, the island nation has sought greater defence cooperation from India in terms of coastal security and patrolling of the waters around it.

    “Shortly after his arrival at the Maldivian capital in Male, Antony will call on President Mohammed Nasheed. He will hold talks with the top leadership of the government and the Maldives National Defence Force,” an official said.

    The minister will also hold bilateral discussions with his counterpart Ameen Faisal on ways of expanding defence cooperation between the two countries,” he added.

    Antony is accompanied by a high-level delegation comprising Defence Secretary Pradeep Kumar, Director General Armed Forces Lt Gen N.K. Parmar, Director General Coast Guard Vice Admiral Anil Chopra and Deputy Chief of Indian Navy Vice Admiral D.K. Joshi. There is a proposal to link Maldives coastal security network with the Indian coastal radar network. The step would help India in securing its more than 7,500 km long shoreline.

    During his visit, Antony is likely to hand over one Indian Coast Guard helicopter to the Maldives; a second one from the Indian Navy will be supplied later.

    Antony will also attend the closing session of the India-Maldives Friendship function besides visiting the Indira Gandhi Memorial Hospital. The 200-bed general and specialty hospital has over the years provided the Maldives greater self-reliance in the field of medical care.

    The Maldives consists of over 1,100 islets of which around 200 are inhabited and has shared “ethnic, linguistic, cultural, religious and commercial links” with India.

    India was among the first to recognise the Maldives after independence in 1965 and to establish diplomatic relations with it. India’s prompt assistance during the 1988 coup attempt, which defused the crisis, represents a watershed in India-Maldives relations.

    For India, the Indian Ocean region, which straddles from Australia to Africa, has become strategically important with China also striving to increase its footprint. The Indian Navy has been working towards expanding its influence to over about 30 countries in the region, including Maldives.

    Antony leaves for Maldives, seeking enhanced defence ties
     

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