Accounts of Kabow valley – Naoroibam Indramani


Contd. From 2nd December 2018: The Burmese Government were also informed by the Government of India, and they were requested to depute, in November 1833, two officers of rank to meet two British officers, who would deliver over to the Burmese The towns of Khambat, Tamu, .Thangthwot etc., “and fix and point out the line of hills which may be selected as the future boundary between Ava and Manipur.” It was said that the eastern foot of the hills known in Manipur as the Marling hills and supposed to be the same as that called by the Burmese Yoma Doung, would form a good line of demarcation between the possessions of the two States.

Captain Pemberton was at the same time directed to proceed to the Kabow valley in November in company with Captain Grant, to make it over to the Burmese. Captain Pemberton’s instructions are important as showing the right asserted at the time by the British Government to fix the boundary and not to allow the Burmese Government to interfere at all in the matter. The instructions were as follows:-

“Early in the month of November you will proceed in company with Captain Grant in the direction of the Kubbo Valley, taking with you any officer whom Gumbheer Sing may wish to depute. You will there be met by Commissioners on the part of the King of Ava to whom you will make over the Kubbo Valley. These , functionaries will probably be accompanied by Captain Macfarquhar but they will be given distinctly ‘to understand that they are not to interfere at all in the settlement of the boundary, which is to be fixed by yourself and Captain Grant, taking the eastern base of the Muring range of hills as the line of demarcation. You will further point out to the Burmese Commissioners the line of demarcation which you may fix as the boundaries to the north and south of the Kubbo Valley”.

When the Commissioners met, the Burmese claimed the Maring hills, as the Yoma Doung range was a little to the westward of them. The British CorniniSsioners, in order to terminate the discussion, tendered a copy of that part of their instructions above quoted debarring the Burmese Commissioners from interfering. The Woondouk was told that the cession of the Kabow valley was a favour, for which the British Government had consented to make compensation to the king of Manipur, and that if he did not agree to the line of boundary laid down by the British Commissioners, they could not under the instructions they had received, consent to give up any of the territory, but would leave the Manipur Timms on the Ningthee just as they stood. This greatly embarrassed the Woondouk, and he begged hard for a delay of 13 days to enable him to represent the matter to Burma, he even solicited the aid of the Manipur officers in obtaining the required delay, but the British Commissioners fully expressed their inability to consent to the postponement.

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The Woondouk objected to the Manipur Thanna of Moreh being so close upon Burmese territory, and expressed a desire that it should be removed to some more distant spot, as quarrels were likely to arise from the inconsiderate conduct of the people there. He was told that as Moreh was on the Manipur side of the line, the king had as much right to establish a Thanna there as the Burmese had to establish one at Tamu. The Woondouk was also anxious that the tribes occupying the eastern face of the hills between Manipur and Kabow valley should be called and examined in his presence as to their desire of living under the Burma or Manipur rule, but this was refused on the grounds that it would be a direct infringement of the orders of Government expressly prohibiting the Burmese from ever interfering with these Khyens, but it was added :-

“that if hereafter any inhabitants of these hills chose to run away and seek Burmese protection, they would not be demanded, but that if any Burmese Agents were detected tampering with their fidelity, they would be liable to any punishment, however extreme, which the Manipuri officers might inflict upon them”.

To the justice of this he assented. After another request for delay by the Woondouk. which was not granted, Captain Pemberton drew up the agreement.

A Burmese translation was made for the Woondouk’s perusal, but he objected to it and prepared another in Burmese form containing many objectionable passages. To this agreement, the British Commissioners objected. The Manipuri interpreter declared that the Woondouk would never sign the agreement drawn up by the Commissioners as it was not according to Burmese form. Captain Pemberton remarked that – “the reply to this was evident, paper was ours, and in accordance with our forms, and that if the Woondouk refused to receive and sign such a document as we should tender to him we would not surrender possession of the country.”

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The boundary was then laid down, and the agreement regarding the boundaries signed as originally prepared with some trifling alterations. The Burmese Commissioners added a note to the effect that the Burmese Ministers would address the British Government regarding the small strip of country between the eastern base of the Yoma Doung range and the Mating hills which they had expected to get the Court of Ava, however, formally acquiesced in the boundary laid down and so the matter then ended.

The following is the English version of the agreement :
(Secret cons, 24th Arpril 1824, No.11)

First : the British Commissioners, Major Grant and Captain Pemberton, under instructions from the Right Hon’ble the Governor-General in Council agree to make over to the Woondouk Mahamengyan Raja and Tsaradaugee Ni Myookyawthoo, Commissioners appointed by the King of Ava, the towns of Tummoo, Khumbat, Sumjok and all other villages in the Kubo Valley, the Ungoching Hill and the strip of valley running between their eastern foot and the western bank of the Ningthee or Khyendwen River.

Second : The British Commissioners will withdraw the Muneepooree ‘Marinas now stationed within this tract of country and make over immediate possession of it to the Burmese Commissioners on certain conditions.

Third: The conditions are that they will agree to the Boundaries which may be pointed out to them by the British Commissioners, and will respect and refrain from any interference, direct or indirect, with the people residing on the Muneepooree side of those boundaries.

Fourth : The boundaries are as follow –

1st — The eastern foot of the chain of mountains which rise immediately from the western side of the plain of the Kubo Valley. Within this line is included Moreh and all the country to the westward of it.

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2nd — On the south, a line extending from the eastern foot of the same hills at the point where the river, called by the Burmahs,

Nansaweng, and by the Muneepoorees, Numsaulung, enters the plain upto its sources, and across the hills due west down to the Kathe Khyoung (Muneepooree River).

3rd — On the north, the line of boundary will begin at the foot of the same hills at the northern extremity of the Kubo Valley and pass due north upto the first range of hills, east of that upon which stand the villages of Choeetar, Noongbree, Noonghur, of the tribe called by the Muneepoorees Loohooppa and by the Burmahs Lagwensoung, now tributary to Muneepoor.

4th — The Burmese Commissioners hereby promise that they will give orders to the Burmese officers, who will remain in charge of the territory now made over to them, not in any way to interfere with Khyens or other inhabitants living on the Muneepoor side of the lines of boundary above described, and the British Commissioners also promise that the Muneepoorees shall be ordered not in any way to interfere with the Khyens or other inhabitants of any description living on the Burmah side of the boundaries now fixed.

Seal (Sd.) F.J. Grant, Major,
Seal (Sd.) R.B. Pemberton, Capt.,
Sunmyachil, Ghaut, Ningthee River, 9th January 1834.

Compensation to Manipur for the lose of the Kabow Valley:

By the following agreement, dated 25th January, 1834, Manipur was granted 500 Sicca rupees monthly as compensation for the loss of territory thus involved :

“Major Grant and Captain Pemberton under instructions from the Right Hon’ble the Governor-General in Council having made over the Kubbo Valley to the Burmese Commissioners deputed from Ava are authorized to state —

First — That it is the intention of the Supreme Government to grant a monthly stipend of five hundred Sicca rupees to the Raja of Manipur to commence from the ninth day of January one thousand eight hundred and thirty four, the date at which the transfer of Kubbo took place as shown in the agreement mutually signed by the British and Burmese Commissioners.

to be contd.


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