Former CM Ibobi Singh suggests ‘re-survey border’

Pothashang News Service: imphal, June 9, 2018: Foremer chief minister Okram Ibibi Singh has suggested that the present boundary issue can be resolved only after conducting a re-survey and re-demarcation of the whole Manipur sector, on the basis of agreement signed on March 10, 1967 between government of India and Myanmar, the traditional boundary demarcation and field verification.

Ibobi was addressing the at Manipur PCC office, Imphal.

My suggestion is that surveyor general of India, external affairs ministry, with the initiative of government of Manipur to resurvey the boundary to resolve the issue at the earliest, said the former chief minister.

The re-survey and re-demarcation should be conducted by involving all stake holders including the state government and the people living at the border, added Ibobi.

The issue came to light when Tengnoupal deputy commissioner Tombikanta inspected the new border pillar 81 set up on June 22 along the Indo-Myanmar boundary. He claimed it was erected at least 3km inside Indian Territory.

Tombikanta had said central government officials had instructed him to sign on papers regarding border pillars but he declined to sign them.

The issue at Kwatha Khunnou seems to be of two categories. The first is shifting of original
pillar No. 81 deep into Indian Territory and the second is fixation of subsidiary pillars between original pillar number 81 and 82 and at other places of Kwatha Khunnou area. As the villagers living on the border area are the custodians of our boundary, what they say cannot be ignored without proper consideration, said Ibobi.

Boundary agreement between government of India and Union of Burma (present Mynamar) at Rangoon (Yangon) was signed on March 10, 1967 by K. Kannamply on behalf of
government of India and Kyi Maung on behalf of government of Burma (both plenipotentiary).

The agreement was basically emphasised on ‘traditional boundary. The contracting parties agreed to demarcate the boundary beginning from the southern extremity (Mizoram sector) ending to the northern extremity (Arunachal sector).

Total length of Indo-Myanmar boundary is 1643 Km. Out of which un-demarcated portion on Kabaw Valley sector of Manipur was 35 Km as per Cabinet Memo No.31 of 1999.

Kabaw Valley sector of Manipur broke up in two areas. Tuivai-Molcham Area –between border pillar numbers 64 to 68; Tamu-Moreh Area – Between Border pillar Nos.75-79; and Choro Khunnou   area -between Border Pillar Nos. 88-95 as per Cabinet Memo No. 31 of 1999, says Manipur PCC.

Now in view of present crisis at Haolenphal and Kwatha khunnou, it is clear that controversies over boundary pillars have cropped up at other places too due to delay on the part of government of India to resolve the issue, said Ibobi.

MPCC says, letters on Indo-Myanmar boundary on Manipur sector were corresponded from time to time, latest being Memorandum submitted in 2013 by the all political party delegation led by the then chief minister Okram Ibobi Singh, the then deputy chief minister Gaikhangam to the then Prime Minister of India, Manmohan Singh.

A memorandum was also submitted by the Manipur Pradesh Congress Committee (MPCC) on July 2 (this year) to the President of India,Ram Nath Kovind, PM of India Narendra Modi and Home minister of India Rajnath Singh, reiterating the earlier Memorandum of all political party delegation and highlighting the present crisis at Kwatha Khunnou.

In the memorandum submitted by all political parties, almost all the issues pertaining to boundary on the Indo-Myanmar sector was addressed including the present impasse at Kwatha khunnou and Haolenphai.

“During our regime 10 km at the border was sanctioned. We have made it clear that boundary fencing cannot be done until and unless the controversy is resolved. We have visited the border, in 2013,” said Ibobi.



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