India investigates sanctions breach against Burma with Swedish arms

Discussion in 'Foreign Relations' started by LETHALFORCE, Dec 14, 2012.

  1. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

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    Swedish arms in Burma 'arrived via India' - The Local

    "The Swedish Agency for Non-Proliferation and Export Controls (Inspektionen för Strategiska Produkter, ISP) has requested an expedited answer from India and my state secretary has been in touch with India's ambassador," Trade Minister Ewa Björling said on the floor of the Swedish parliament on Thursday.

    She added that ISP's ability to trace the weapon, a Carl Gustav M3 anti-tank rifle, was evidence that Sweden's export controls work.

    According to Björling, India's ambassador in Stockholm has confirmed information that the weapon in question is the same as the rifles in Burma that the Svenska Dagbladet (SvD) newspaper first reported about.

    She added that the ambassador has promised that India will cooperate with Sweden to investigate how the weapon ended up in Burma, which borders India's restive north-eastern regions.

    "There has been a weapons embargo in place against Burma for a very long time and Sweden hasn't exported any weapons there since," Björling said on the Riksdag floor.

    According to SvD, the Burmese army used a new model of the Carl Gustav in combat with local rebels and against civilian targets in Burma in October.

    When the army withdrew, they left the weapons behind.

    Pictures taken by a Burmese freelance photographer and published in the Swedish media this week show a Carl Gustav M3 anti-tank rifle and ammunition left behind by Burmese government soldiers. They were recovered by Kachin rebels after recent clashes.

    The weapon's serial number is clearly visible in one of the photographs.

    The Swedish defence group Saab, which manufactures the weapon, has previously said it did not sell the rifle to Burma and suggested its military must have obtained it from a third party.

    While Saab is not involved in the current investigation about how the weapon made its way to Burma, representatives have said the company will do whatever necessary to help move the inquest forward.
     
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  3. Yusuf

    Yusuf GUARDIAN Administrator

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    Misleading headline? It's a direct accusation while the Swedes are requesting India to help in the investigation
     
  4. W.G.Ewald

    W.G.Ewald Defence Professionals/ DFI member of 2 Defence Professionals

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  5. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

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    Re: India investigates sanctions breach against Burma with Swedish ar

    Headline edited

    swedes accused India of being possible middlemen in the deal?

    The Swedish anti-tank rifles that ended up in the hands of Burmese soldiers in breach of European Union sanctions were originally exported to India
    , Sweden's trade minister said on Thursday.
     
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  6. Sridhar

    Sridhar House keeper Moderator

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    Re: India investigates sanctions breach against Burma with Swedish ar

    Swedish weapons of Burmese army

    Swedish tank weapons used in the civil war in Burma. But it is not about direct export without the weapons that the Burmese army came over via a third country.
    När den burmesiska armén trängdes tillbaka efter strider i landets norra delar lämnade de kvar en M-3, en av de senaste modellerna av det svenska granatgeväret Carl Gustaf.

    When the Burmese army thronged back after fighting in the north, they left an M-3, one of the latest models of the Swedish grenade rifle Carl Gustaf.

    [​IMG]

    During battles in the mountains of northern Burma in October this year, bombed government forces both local rebels from the Kachin Independence Army (KIA) and civilian targets with new, high-performance rocket propelled grenades.

    When the fighting was over and KIA pushed back government troops left them behind six of the new weapons in their arsenal - and it proved to be an M-3, one of the recent export models of the Carl Gustaf, a Swedish 84 mm mortar.

    This is confirmed by Sebastian Carlsson, Head of Saab:

    - After seeing the pictures we have reported the matter to the responsible authority, the ISP that handles the issue. We will assist the ISP if necessary in their work. We are looking seriously at one of our products have landed in Burma, he says.

    A considerable amount of grenades were also among those Burmese soldiers were not with them when they retreated from the area. Pictures of the Swedish arms was taken by the Burmese freelance journalist John San Lin.

    - We urge the Swedish government to investigate how the Swedish weapons ended up in the hands of the Burmese army, says Zawng Hra, President of the KIA's political wing, the Kachin Independence Organization, the Svenska Dagbladet in the rebel headquarters in Kachinbergen.

    Zawng Hra, now 74 years old, joined the rebel movement in 1963 and has been in northern Burma's forests and mountains since.

    40

    countries, at least, has bought the grenade rifle Carl Gustaf. It has been used in war to include Cambodia, Sri Lanka, Afghenistan, India, Iraq, Burma, and the Falkland Islands.

    Myanmar has long been subject to an EU arms embargo and the general situation in the country - civil war, repression of human rights - would also make it impossible for the Burmese government to buy arms from Sweden. At this new, lighter model of Carl Gustaf weighing only nine pounds, unlike the old, weighing 13 kg, has so far exported only to a few countries, in Asia only to Burma's neighbors, Thailand and India.

    - We accuse no one, says Zawng Hra. We just want clarity on this issue.

    It's not the first time Carl Gustaf pops up in Burma. 1983 I revealed in the Danish newspaper Information to Sweden then sold antitank directly to Burma, contrary to Swedish law. After unveiling suspended Swedish exports and after a few years of fighting against both ethnic and communist rebels took the ammo out.

    But 1989 was used Carl Gustaf again against the Karen people's guerrilla, an ethnic resistance movement in Burma. The Burmese army had by both European and Asian intelligence sources received new shells shipped from Singapore. Grenades were manufactured under license in Singapore but in agreement with Sweden, not intended for export to other countries. Singapore's authorities denied when they violated the Swedish law and further exported ammunition to Burma.

    Now, 23 years later, the Burmese army re-access to both grenade rifles and new shells, but when John San Lin confronted the commander of the Burmese army's northern command in Kachinstaten, General Tun Tun Naung, with pictures of the Swedish arms, he denied all knowledge about them and their origin. "I know nothing," he said.

    The civil war in Burma has been going on for decades, but in the last year, the government has signed ceasefire agreements with several rebel armies, not KIA as of 8000 men and women in arms is one of the largest. They control large areas of Kachinstaten and has so far refused to join the government's offer of a ceasefire - as long as the agreement does not also involve political concessions. Right now raging battles in eastern Kachinstaten. Around 50,000 civilians have fled and now staying in temporary camps along the border with China.

    Google Translate
     
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  7. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

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    Re: India investigates sanctions breach against Burma with Swedish ar

    It will be interesting to see the M3 against Bangladeshi Al-Khalids or
    the recent Chinese tanks.
     

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