Leaders from countries like Myanmar invited to Republic Day?


India has rejected reports speculating on the main guests of the Republic Day event in Delhi (FILE)

New Delhi:

India has dismissed reports that it has contacted leaders of the BIMSTEC group – which includes Myanmar – for next year’s Republic Day celebrations in Delhi.

“We have seen a speculative report in the media regarding the guest of honor on Republic Day 2022. The report is inaccurate and has no factual basis,” said Arindam Bagchi, spokesperson for the Ministry of Business foreigners, about the guest of honor for Republic Day 2022.

Myanmar was put in the spotlight by a coup on February 1, when its army overthrew the elected government of Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi. More than a thousand civilians were killed and several thousand arrests followed as part of the Burmese army’s bloody crackdown on dissent.

Media reported that India is planning to have leaders from the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multisectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation or BIMSTEC countries for the Republic Day event. BIMSTEC is a sub-regional grouping with seven South Asian countries as members: India, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Myanmar, Sri Lanka and Thailand.

Bimstec executives attended the swearing-in of Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the start of his second term in May 2019.

Earlier, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) downgraded Myanmar’s participation in a summit which began today in its harshest rebuke to date against its leaders after the military takeover.

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