Foreign Secy set to take up border disputes with Myanmar

July 8, 2013: The Indian Foreign Secretary is all set to raise the issue of border disputes with the Government of Myanmar and constitute a joint working group, if possible, in order to resolve all border disputes between the two countries.

A high-ranking official of the State Home Department informed that the State Government has forwarded a clear position of its own to the Government of India regarding the vagueness of boundary line beyond border pillar number 9, out of the 380 Kms long border shared between Manipur and Myanmar.

 

The State Government asked the Government of India not to gift away any part of Manipur to Myanmar and also to resolve all border disputes amicably.

 

Indian Foreign Secretary Ranjan Mathai is slated to visit Myanmar this week and he would raise the issue of border disputes with the Government of Myanmar for resolving them amicably. This was informed to the State Government by the Ministry of External Affairs.

 

Ranjan Mathai would also make a proposal to constitute a joint working group which would make field assessments collectively in order to resolve all border disputes.

 

The Foreign Secretary would present the Government of India’s position with regard to the complaint of Myanmar that the Integrated Check Post being constructed at Moreh touches upon Myanmarese territory.

 

As the length of border line covered by pillar no 78 is not clear, Myanmar might have presumed that the integrated check post touches upon their territory and subsequently lodged the complaint, said the official.

 

Notably, the Government of Myanmar lodged a protest questioning the exact location of Zero Point when the Government of India took up border fencing for a length of 10 Kms at Moreh. Subsequently, border fence was done 10 feet insde the Indian territory from the no man’s land.

 

In view of the protracted border disputes, the Government of India earlier offered an exchange formula under which some territories of India would go to Myanmar and vice-versa.

 

In addition, dates for joint survey of border by officials of Survey of India and Myanmarese officials were fixed at the initiative of the Government of India but Myanmarese officials did not come on the specified dates.

 

At Molcham where border pillars have disappeared, Myanmar Nationals have been practising agriculture whereas Manipuris are barred entry, added the source.

 

On June 28, during the Assembly session, Chief Minister O Ibobi had assured that not an inch of Manipur's land would be given to any entity, in response to a point raised by MLA RK Anand.

 

The Sangai Express