• Brisbane, Australia

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Regarding Harsh V. Pant’s July 18 article: “India trying to woo Myanmar from China“: It should not be hard for India to woo the friendly, but fiercely independent, Burmese if it closely studies the foreign policy of the neutral Southeast Asian nation.

Since independence from Britain in 1948, Burmese governments — civilian or military — have pursued a policy of nonalignment and noninterference in the internal affairs of other countries; friendly relations with all countries; and acceptance of aid from all sources as long as the aid does not carry political preconditions. If only Western nations had a better understanding of our history, they would not be preaching democracy and free elections to the Burmese.

Why did the “free world” fail to support Burma’s democracy in the past? … The Burmese were voting in democratic elections in the late 1940s and in the ’50s. Shedding crocodile tears today is the West’s hypocrisy at its finest.

India should follow an uncomplicated strategy to forge closer ties with Burma: Do not ape some Western nations by interfering in the internal affairs of other nations. Learn from the Chinese.

The opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are the writer’s own and do not necessarily reflect the policies of The Japan Times.

rich mookerdum

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