Burmese troops set up a “temporary” base near the border town of Manipur.

IMPHAL, August 23: Referring to the news report and photos published in local daily newspapers on August 23 last that personnel of Myanmar Army have started building their post along the Indo-Myanmar border, the Manipur Peoples’ Party (MPP) has stated that ‘the mainland India’ might not have taken the issue seriously but to the State of Manipur, it is of paramount importance.

A statement issued by Heikrujam Nabashyam, spokesperson MPP alleged that after Jawaharlal Nehru, the then Prime Minister handed over the Kabow Valley, known as Kiyam Lamjao erstwhile to the Burmese leader U Nu in 1953 without considering the consent of the people of the State; the Govt of India is now again in the process of giving large portion of State’s land to Myanmar.

The statement further continued that such acts of the government could only propel bloodshed between Manipuris and Myanmarese though the two groups have been existing in a friendly manner for long.

In order to solve violent issues in North East India including in Manipur, the Govt of India by changing its present attitude and mindset should bring a political solution keeping proper boundary lines of all the north eastern States, he maintained.

Saying that the MPP party would give a befitting reply to the Chief Minister O Ibobi on the latter’s remarks that Congree party could only bring development and growth in the State, he further demanded immediate halt of fencing works being done along the Indo-Myanmar border.


The Manipur government has taken a serious view of the Myanmarese Army preparations to construct a temporary Army camp at Holenphai village, located 3 km from the police station at Moreh — the border town of Manipur. The State government is in contact with the Centre regarding the development, according to official sources.

Attempts to defuse the crisis by dissuading the Myanmarese Army officers from suspending the work till a final settlement is brought about were not fruitful as the officers said that they cannot do anything against the orders from their higher officials.

(Left) Trees have been cut down for the construction of a camp by the Myanmar Army at Holenphai village in Manipur; (right) a Myanmar Army officer talks to Indian officials near Moreh - the border town of
(Left) Trees have been cut down for the construction of a camp by the Myanmar Army at Holenphai village in Manipur; (right) a Myanmar Army officer talks to Indian officials near Moreh – the border town of

Meanwhile, several voluntary organisations and political parties in Manipur have been demanding the suspension of the work by Myanmarese Army personnel to erect a border fence as large chunks of the State’s land will be lost. Once the fence is erected, almost half of the 14 tribal villages in Chandel district will go to Myanmar. In the case of Choro in Ukhrul district, the entire village will be on the Myanmarese side of the fence. These political parties and NGOs have been threatening massive agitations to protect Manipur’s land.

Earlier, on the basis of complaints from Myanmar, erection of the 10 km-long border fence at Moreh had been suspended; Myanmar had said that its land had been encroached upon. The construction of the Integrated Check Post office was also suspended on similar ground.

The Myanmarese Army had started cutting trees at Holenphai village for the construction of the temporary Army base-camp, following which the village chief informed the district officials about the development. Robert Khetrimayum, Additional Collector of Moreh, accompanied by sub-divisional police officer H. Balram and Moreh police commando unit office-in-charge Sadananda visited the village on Thursday.

The official team found the Myanarmese Army cutting trees in the village. The Additional Collector told the commanding officer of 87 Light infantry of the Myanmarese Army to suspend the work till a settlement is brought about. However, the commanding officer was not happy that the Indian officials had come inside the “territory” of Myanmar. He told the Indian officials that he cannot do anything unless his higher officials gave him orders.

He also told the Indian officials that according to a map of the Britishers, this area is well within Myanmar.


‘Manipur alive to fence intruding on border’


The Manipur Chief Minister Okram Ibobi has said that the government will examine whether Manipur’s land will be encroached upon when border fence will be erected in some parts of the Manipur-Myanmar border. He was reacting to the demands from several political parties to suspend the erection of border fence during a brief meeting with journalists on Wednesday night. He further said that the state government had already requested the Union government to look into the matter.

Several political parties say that the proposed border fence will divide at least 14 tribal villages. Besides all political parties except the ruling Congress are convening a meeting shortly to discuss the issue. It may be recalled that the erection of the 10 km long border fence at Moreh, the border town was suspended following complaints from Myanmar that its land had been encroached upon.


Officials have taken up steps to check the unlicensed roadside factories of ice creams, breads and other edibles in and around Imphal following the reports that maggots were found in the ingredients of ice creams manufactured for sale to the people. The students’ wing of the Committee on Inner Line Permit System in Manipur and some journalists raided three roadside ice cream factories in Imphal on Wednesday.

In the first raid on the ice cream factory run by a father and son duo from Bihar, the team found that they were using highly contaminated water drawn from a roadside creek. Live maggots were found in the water to be used in the manufacture. In the second raid in the Imphal city, there was no basic food safety. Besides the ice cream factory is also manufacturing ice for cold storage of fish. Plastic sheets smeared with fish blood were found covering the ice cream ingredients. The third factory had a licence. But there was no food safety measure.

Following the news reports in local media on Thursday the officials concerned were galvanised into a flurry of activity. Sources said that the roadside factories having no licence will be closed down. Besides sale of such health hazard ice creams by the hawkers is banned with immediate effect.


Troopers of 40 Assam Rifles deployed at Lilong about 20 km from Imphal arrested three Muslims on Wednesday midnight along with contraband drugs and illegal arms and ammunition. It is feared that they were travelling towards Imphal from Moreh, the border town about 100 km away. They were intercepted between Waithou and Ushoipokpi in Thoubal district. Continue reading “‘Manipur alive to fence intruding on border’”

Interview with KIF General Secretary Nehginpao Kipgen on Sadar Hills Problems


Nehginpao kipgen

08 September 2011 – [CG Note: The ongoing situation in Sadar Hills District, Manipur, India has attracted attention of not only the ethnic peoples in Northeast India but also the Chins from Burma.


The Chinland Guardian has conducted an interview with Nehginpao Kipgen, a researcher on the rise of political conflicts in modern Burma (1947-2004) and general secretary of the U.S.-based Kuki International Forum (www.kukiforum.com).

He has written numerous analytical articles on the politics of Burma and Asia for many leading international newspapers in Asia, Africa, and the United States of America.]

Chinland Guardian: We have read a lot about problems arising in Sadar Hills District in Manipur, India. Tell us briefly about it.

Nehginpao Kipgen: It is a demand for the implementation of the Sadar Hills Autonomous District Council into a full-fledged district. It is an exercise of democratic rights by the people of Sadar Hills. On the eve of Manipur attaining statehood status in 1972, the Indian parliament passed the Manipur (Hill Areas) District Council Act, 1971. According to the Act, all the hill areas were to be divided into six autonomous districts, with the ultimate goal of a full-fledged district each. The six autonomous districts were:

1. Manipur South (Churachandpur)
2. Manipur North (Senapati)
3. Manipur East (Ukhrul)
4. Manipur West (Tamenglong)
5. Sardar Hills (Kangpokpi)
6. Tengnoupal (Chandel)

Of the six autonomous districts, only Sadar Hills is left to be accorded a full-fledged district status. Autonomous district council is a sub-administrative unit of a full-fledged district that has to seek the approval of the district administration on all matters concerning executive, legislative, judicial and financial matters.

There is too much interference by the district administration. For example, the deputy commissioner of a full-fledged district can modify or change the budget passed by an autonomous district council administration. All taxes collected by the council are sent to the district administration.

The basic requirements for autonomy and self-government are lacking in autonomous district councils. On the other hand, a full-fledged district is an administrative unit headed by a deputy commissioner, a district magistrate, and a superintendent of police. The Sadar Hills district headquarters will come under the Kuki-majority urban town in Kangpokpi. In addition, Sadar Hills will enjoy all the benefits and privileges of a full-fledged district.

Chinland Guardian: Do you think this is also part of disputes and misunderstanding among tribal or ethnic groups dwelling in the area?

Nehginpao Kipgen: Unfortunately, politics in Manipur is largely driven along ethnic lines. The three major groups of people are the Meiteis, the Kukis, and the Nagas. They are of the same Mongoloid race, speaking Tibeto-Burman languages. The unbiased solution would be the implementation of the district in accordance with Manipur (Hill Areas) District Council Act, 1971. You cannot demarcate a district boundary based on ethnicity in a state like Manipur. For instance, you can find all the three major ethnic groups in all districts of the state. If Sadar Hills district boundary were to be drawn along ethnic line, it can engender a chain of other demands in existing districts. Continue reading “Interview with KIF General Secretary Nehginpao Kipgen on Sadar Hills Problems”