New Delhi, Nov.22 (ANI): A renowned London University scholar on Myanmar has confirmed that "North Korea is present in Myanmar and is engaged in work not open to public".
Dr. Marie-Carine Lall, a senior lecturer at the University of London, was responding to a question on reports about North Korea helping the Myanmar regime in nuclear activities, after delivering a talk on Myanmar at Observer Research Foundation here today.
Dr. Marie Lall said while the North Korean presence is confirmed, she does not think Myanmar regime was into constructing nuclear reactors or weapons.
"Myanmar is rich enough to buy nuclear weapons. If it wants, it can buy from open market," she said, adding "it (Myanmar) has a long way to go" (if it wants to build nuclear weapons").
Criticising US President Barack Obama's policy on Myanmar, the South Asia specialist said the policy of sanctions and non-engagements had been a failure, failing to make any impact on the military dictatorship regime while it has made the poor people poorer and increased their sufferings.
"There had been no impact at all on the regime," while it had helped China increase its influence, she said.
Dr. Marie Lall suggested that India should continue its engagement with Myanmar, and in fact broadbase it by engaging with all stake-holders, including new and old political parties, ethnic and religious groups and the NGOs.
Saying that Myanmar is keen to balance its policy towards India and China, she asked the Government to take pro-active steps in time to check Chinese influence.
Describing Aung San Suu Kyi, the former National League for Democracy leader who was released recently by the military regime, as a "liability" in political terms, Dr. Marie Lall said the elections and the process for new governments have created "a power vacuum for 90 days with zero budget" during which nobody knows whom to approach - "which institution, which ministry or which official".
She did not see any future for Suu Kyi unless she changes her policy towards other parties and ethnic and religious groups and try for reconciliation.
Mr. Bhaskar Mitra, a former Indian ambassador to Myanmar, suggested that more and more private companies should come forward to join business ventures in Myanmar, especially in the oil and gas sector. (ANI)