Birmanie : la mauvaise politique du voisin indien

NEW DELHI – Au moment où une mise en scène d’élections ratifie les conséquences de trente années de régime militaire en Birmanie, la perspective de son voisin indien peut permettre d’expliquer pourquoi la communauté internationale continue d’accepter cette junte militaire au pouvoir depuis si longtemps.

La Birmanie faisait partie de l’empire britannique indien jusqu’en 1935 et les liens entre les deux pays sont restés forts après l’indépendance de la Birmanie en 1947. Une communauté d’hommes d’affaires indiens a prospéré dans les grandes villes birmanes et les affinités culturelles et politiques étaient bien établies. Le dirigeant nationaliste et premier Premier ministre de l’Inde Jawaharlal Nehru était un proche de l’héroïne nationaliste birmane Aung San, dont la fille, Aung San Suu Kyi, prix Nobel et chef de l’opposition, fit ses études à New Delhi.

Pendant de longues années, l’Inde a sans ambigüité pris le parti de la démocratie, de la liberté et des droits de l’homme en Birmanie – et de manière bien plus tangible que la rhétorique des critiques occidentaux du régime. Lorsque les généraux réprimèrent le soulèvement populaire en 1988, annulèrent les élections qui avaient donné une victoire écrasante à la Ligue Nationale pour la Démocratie de Aung San Suu Kyi en 1990, assassinèrent des étudiants et mirent sous les verrous les dirigeants nouvellement élus, le gouvernement indien a dans un premier temps réagi comme l’entendait la majorité des Indiens. L’Inde accordât l’asile aux étudiants en fuite et leur offrit une base pour leur mouvement de résistance (ainsi qu’une aide financière), et un soutien pour le journal et la radio qui se faisaient l’écho de la voix démocratique.

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