November 15, 2019
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Manipuris object to Myanmar army camps

The Sangai Express, an Indian newspaper, reported on September 8 that the Immigration and District authorities from Moreh has sent a letter to Tamu region authorities, raising objections against Myanmar army setting up camps at the Indo-Myanmar border and in Hollenphai village in Manipur state in India.

The letter also urged for meetings to resolve the border issue between the two nations as soon as possible.

According to The Sangai Express, the border-region field study committee led by the Secretary of Manipur submitted an assessment report to the government in September, highlighting border fencing work as well as Myanmar army's attempt to set up base camp in Hollenphai.

Consequently the Government of India has set up a border liaison meeting on September 30.

It is also reported that that even as the Manipuri government has chosen to develop Hollenphai into a new township, the Myanmar army is constructing a base camp just across the border in their territory.

However, MP U Myint Aung from Tamu constituency said that the territory has still not been properly demarcated.

“According to our common knowledge, about 3 houses from the Indian side crossed the border. This has happened before too. It happened when we constructed fences between Nan Phar Lone Market gates (1) and (2). Therefore, we have to negotiate with Indian officials so that we do not lose our territory”, he told Mizzima on September 8.

Ko Yan Ko Sii, a resident also informed that Myanmar army has set up camped at the spot to watch over the region.

He explained, “The villagers from Hollenphai built 3 to 5 houses on both sides of the road. There are Indian army on the Indian side which is a furlong away from Hollenphai village.”

The Myanmar army camps are still being constructed and Indian authorities have come to inspect it frequently. There are houses on the side of India but the Myanmar side is uninhabited.

A Myanmar military officer said that the border area in question does not have a natural geographic border, such as streams and gutters. And it is difficult to demarcate the region into India and Myanmar; therefore, the division has to be done with highways.

In July, Manipuri Civil Societies demanded Myanmar's border fencing to be stopped immediately as they are of the opinion that Myanmar has encroached on their land while constructing fences near the Choung Net Kyi village, Tamu district in the Indo-Myanmar border.

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