NEW DELHI: In its strongest statement on Myanmar so far, India shed some of the ambiguity that marked its reactions to the overthrow of the NLD regime and condemned violence witnessed in the country since the military coup, urged maximum restraint and sought release of detained leaders.

The Indian statement came in the form of remarks by its permanent representative to the UN T S Tirumurti in a closed UNSC debate. The official later tweeted his comments in which he also condoled the loss of lives, expressed India's “steadfast commitment” to democratic transition and welcomed ASEAN’s efforts to resolve the situation.

The remarks were direct and marked a change from the diplomatic tightrope India has walked as it tried to maintain ties with the Myanmar military, which had helped act against anti-India insurgents.

India Wary of China Extending Its Influence In Myanmar

India’s permanent representative to the UN T S Tirumurti said during the meeting, he emphasised that the “situation be resolved peacefully, needed greater engagement, met the hopes of the people and extend assistance to Rakhine state development program”.

For some time now, India has been wary of China extending its influence in Myanmar, even as it worked with the military as well as the ousted government of Aung San Suu Kyi. India’s position so far has been marked by ambiguity with the government even choosing to be represented at Myanmar’s Armed Forces Day parade the day scores of protesters were massacred by the junta. The remarks by the Indian official didn’t specify who was committing the violence in Myanmar.

Last week, UN secretary general Antonio Guterres condemned in the “strongest terms” the killing of dozens of civilians, including kids and young people, by security forces in Myanmar. “The continuing military crackdown is unacceptable and demands a unified and resolute international response. It is critical to find an urgent solution to this crisis,” the UN chief had said on March 27, when security forces killed at least 107 people.