In yet another show of solidarity with Myanmar, India has refused to be a part of a declaration adopted at an international parliamentary forum conference in Indonesia as it carried "inappropriate" reference to violence in Rakhine state from where 1,64,000 Rohingyas have fled to Bangladesh.
An Indian parliamentary delegation, led by Speaker Lok Sabha Sumitra Mahajan, distanced itself from the Bali Declaration adopted at the “World Parliamentary Forum on Sustainable Development” held in Nusa Dua, Indonesia.
"This was in view of the fact that the declaration, which was to be adopted at the conclusion of the Forum, was not in line with the agreed global principles of “sustainable development," a press statement issued by the Lok Sabha (Lower House of Parliament) Secretariat on Thursday night said.
India reiterated its stance that the purpose of convening the parliamentary forum was to arrive at mutual consensus for implementation of Sustainable Development Goals which requires inclusive and broad-based development processes, it said.
"Therefore, the proposed reference to the violence in Rakhine state in the declaration was considered as not consensus-based and inappropriate," the statement said.
The part of the declaration to which India objected spoke of the forum expressing "deep concern on ongoing violence in the Rakhine state of Myanmar, amongst others..."
The conference declaration went on to "call on all parties to contribute to the restoration of stability and security, exercise maximum self-restraint from using violent means, respect the human rights of all people in Rakhine state regardless of their faith and ethnicity, as well as facilitate and guarantee safe access for humanitarian assistance."
The Lok Sabha statement said “the country-specific amendment to the draft declaration was proposed at the eleventh hour by selective countries which referred to the violence in Rakhine state of Myanmar.
"India argued that specifying a particular country is unjustified as this forum is focused on Sustainable Development Goals and inclusive development for all countries based on cooperative and collaborative approach to achieve the 2030 Agenda for the world," according to the statement.
“Never before country-specific issues have been included in the declaration as these dilute the objective of these Forums which require unity and focused efforts of all the countries," the Lok Sabha Secretariat statement said.
The Indian delegation took the stance on a day Prime Minister Narendra Modi wrapped up his maiden three-day bilateral visit to Myanmar where he backed the government of that country in the face of extremist violence in Rakhine state.
Modi had, during a joint appearance before the media with Myanmar’s State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi, had urged all stakeholders to find a solution that respects the country’s unity.