Way-forward for India in MYANMAR REFUGEE CRISIS


National level

  • India needs to ensure that no Rohingya refugee in India is deported back to Myanmar until it is safe to do so. With the Rohingya refugees case now in the Supreme Court, any attempt to deport the Rohingya will be complicated
  • At the same time, ensuring basic amenities in refugee camps will be critical.
  • There is an urgent need to guard against further politicisation of the issue in domestic politics.
  • Lack of a national policy framework on refugees has complicated India’s handling of the Rohingya crisis thus we need to have a policy in this regard.


Bilateral level

  • Delhi continues its support to Dhaka with relief assistance for refugee camps in Bangladesh,
  • India has been working closely with both Myanmar and Bangladesh in the security sector. Sharing of information is a key element of security cooperation to prevent terror groups from trying to radicalize Rohingya in refugee camps.


Regional level

  • Delhi has not shown interest in making the Rohingya issue a part of the agenda for the sub regional grouping, Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC), despite prioritising its strategic focus on the grouping in recent years.
  • Delhi’s hesitation to initiate any role through the BIMSTEC grouping may have been influenced by its own experience in SAARC where bilateral issues—particularly the continued hostility between Delhi and Islamabad—has impeded the progress of the association. this strategy should be continued.
  • Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)- The bloc’s inability to deliver on various issues including the Rohingya crisis has come under heavy criticism. Yet, despite its shortcomings, Given the nature of the Rohingya crisis, the issue demands coordination and cooperation among the regional countries. India has a role to play here.


Global level

  • India will need to impress upon the West that sanctions are unlikely to work as Myanmar has alternative economic ties with countries such as China.
  • The most pragmatic approach is to engage both Naypyitaw and Dhaka