Last Updated on February 18, 2023 by SPN Editor
In the midst of the uproar over the loss of a large portion of the state’s territory to Myanmar in the Tengnoupal district, the United Committee Manipur (UCM) reported that the state is also losing significant land to its neighbors in Kamjong district.
Taking serious note of the situation, UCM has urged the Union Minister of State for external affairs, Dr. RK Ranjan, to take swift action to protect the state’s boundary, while warning of a public outpouring if no action is taken soon.
The CSO has also urged all 60 legislators in the State Assembly to study the protracted boundary dispute between India and Myanmar over the 398-kilometer-long Manipur sector and take a firm resolution to resolve it.
The UCM further urged the State Government to forward the State Assembly resolution to the President of India, Prime Minister, Union Home Minister, and Minister of External Affairs in order to permanently resolve the boundary issue.
According to a statement issued by the UCM, the boundary between India and Myanmar (Burma) should be based on the traditional boundary, which was signed on March 10, 1967, in Rangoon.
President of UCM, Konthoujam Joychandra expressed dissatisfaction with the government’s failure to follow through on their resolutions and protect the borders in accordance with the agreement.
“Both the state government and Centre had failed to prevent Myanmar encroachment or protect their border pillars,” he said.
He also drew the attention of Union Minister of State for External Affairs Dr. RK Ranjan, an expert on boundary issues, and urged him to resolve the dispute during his tenure.
The external affairs minister is a native of the state, he said, and he also welcomed Rajya Sabha MP Leishemba Sanajaoba’s remark in parliament about the boundary issue, as well as his appeal to halt border fencing until the boundary issue is resolved.
Joychandra reiterated that the UCM will never compromise the state’s boundary under any circumstances and that the committee will mobilize the public and launch a public movement unless the union MoS takes the necessary steps in this regard as soon as possible.
The United Committee Manipur (UCM) and a team of media personnel inspected border pillar number 104 in Kamjong district on Wednesday, as part of their ongoing inspection drive of border pillars along the India-Myanmar border. Nampisha and Phaikoh villagers in Kamjong district claim that several villages in the district have been included on Myanmar’s side of the border.
According to S Choro village headman Kaphungyui Asare, three stone pillars still stand at the current location of BP 6, marking the traditional border between Manipur and Myanmar.
However, the government is now installing the new pillars around 6 kilometers into the state’s territory from the actual boundary, he said, carving out a large portion of the state’s land.
Both Manipur Lok Sabha MPs had previously visited the village but did not inspect the border pillars.
The government has been ignoring the state’s boundary as well as the village, which has been protecting the boundary for centuries, according to the village headman.
P Hungyo, the head of K Asang Khullen, also stated that border pillar number 8 has been given a new number (102) and is now located within the state’s territory, more than 6 kilometers from the traditional boundary.
The area’s traditional boundary was a triangle, but it has been straightened since the installation of the new BP. They don’t know if the new BP was installed by Myanmar authorities, Indian authorities, or both, he said, pointing out that the carved-out portion following the installation of the new BP has long been villagers’ farmland.
He welcomed the UCM team to the village to assess the border pillars and expressed hope that the committee would take up the issue and pursue it with the government.
He also chastised the two Lok Sabha MPs for failing to act despite their assurances during their visit to the village.
It stated that villages on the borders of India and Myanmar can be identified by consulting the village recognition book, which is based on census reports from 1951 and 1961. It is a historical and undeniable fact that the Kabaw Valley once belonged to Manipur.
For taking possession of Kabaw Valley, the Government of Myanmar paid 500 Sikkas annually to Manipur starting from the days of monarchy till Manipur was merged into the Indian Union.
Given this, the territory surrounding Kabaw Valley must rightfully belong to Manipur, according to the UCM. The stoic silence maintained by the Government of India and the Government of Manipur despite knowing that India (Manipur) has lost significant territory to Myanmar, it said, is an act of timidity.
The UCM categorically stated that the ongoing boundary fencing work must be suspended until the boundary issue is resolved, and warned that if the boundary fence is built secretly, there will be turmoil in the state.