Kaladan Project Can Be Completed In Myanmar | Arakan Army

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LOOKEAST REPORT |

THE Arakan Army is fighting with the objective of uprooting the military dictatorship in Myanmar. After the end of the military dictatorship, the ethnic groups in each region will decide for themselves on how to build their own future, said a spokesperson of the United League of Arakan (ULA) or Arakan Army.

The ULA spokesperson also said that the future of the Kaladan Multimodal Transit Transport Project (KMMTTP) is safe and it would not come under any harm.

■ Kaladan River port at Paletwa | Archive

“It is totally safe for KMMTTP to accomplish the completion at the earliest after we (ULA/AA) re–capture Kaladan and Laymro river deltas. We have no problem with India and are ready to cooperate for mutual benefit,” said the spokesperson on condition of anonymity.

The KMTTP connects the port of Haldia in West Bengal with the port of Sittwe in Myanmar that was built with funding from India. The corridor then links Sittwe with Paletwa town in Chin State of Myanmar via the Kaladan river boat route. Paletwa is then linked with Mizoram by road. All components of the project, including the Sittwe port, have been completed, except the under-construction Zorinpui-Paletwa road.

■ A bailey bridge at Mizoram’s Zorinpui, on the Indo–Myanmar border, leads into the neighbouring country. Zorinpui is the point where the roadways section of the Kaladan project enters India | Amrita Nayak Dutta

 

It is time for our neighbours (including India) to revise their military–centred policy towards Myanmar and they should engage with new partners/stakeholders. We want to have better relations with them and work together for mutual interest

 

Union Minister for Ports, Shipping and Waterways Sarbanand Sonowal and Deputy Prime Minister and Union Minister for Transport and Communications of Myanmar Admiral Tin Aung San had jointly inaugurated the Sittwe port in the Rakhine State of Myanmar in May last year.

The KMMTP is one of India’s most ambitious projects that would link the country with Myanmar via the Bay of Bengal and is subject to completion of a 109 km road (between Paletwa in Myanmar to Zorinpui in Mizoram). The $484 million project was initially expected to be completed in 2014, and the last deadline was December 2023 but the political instability in Myanmar has been a roadblock.

■ Arakan Army troops | AA

The Arakan Army is an ethnic armed organisation based in Myanmar’s Rakhine state. It is an armed military wing of the ULA and was founded in April 2009. At present, it is the most powerful ethnic group in Myanmar — out of the seven major ethnic groups that are at loggerheads with the military junta.

“It is time for our neighbours (including India) to revise their military–centred policy towards Myanmar and they should engage with new partners/stakeholders. We want to have better relations with them and work together for mutual interest,” the spokesperson said.

The unrest in Myanmar began when the junta took over in 2021.

“Our main objective is to eliminate the military dictatorship. For us Arakanese, we want to decide for ourselves and build with our own hands the future we envision together,” he added.

“What is certain is that the present nationwide operation is being conducted with the aim of changing the country’s political dynamics. We therefore strongly believe that there will be many changes for the better in this country after the civil war,” he added. ■

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