No state officials as MEA-led team surveys border

MOREH, 2nd Nov: India and Myanmar conducted a joint survey of the border in Tengnoupal district’s Moreh area without any representative of the state government on Friday.
The joint survey was the follow up of a dialogue held earlier between the two neighbouring countries regarding collateral cooperation and other key areas. The dialogue was held in Myanmar between India’s foreign secretary Vijay Gokhale and Myanmar’s state councillor Aung San Su Kyi on October 22.
The Indian team in the joint survey was represented by MEA joint secretary Vikram Doraiswami, MHA (border management) joint secretary AV Reddy and Survey of India (international boundary) director SK Sinha. On the other hand, the Myanmar team was led Tamu district deputy director general (administration) Nyii Thun Kyaw.
The team assessed the areas between border pillar no. 78 and 79 and approach roads leading to BP 79 from a sentry post of Myanmar army in Namphalong market. Further survey in other areas was continued after a meeting and lunch at the office of DC Tamu. However, the team did not go to Kwatha Khunou to assess BP 81, which is at the centre of controversy and there is no report of what was discussed in the meeting held at Tamu.
The survey team of India arrived at the campus of 11 Assam Rifles Moreh in a helicopter at 9.40 am. Assam Rifles and Moreh police teams led by 11 AR commandant RS Rawat and additional SP Moreh K Robinsun provided security cover to the team. However, no representative of the state government was seen taking part in the survey.
Mention may be made here that a demand to reassess the location of BP 81 came up from different sections of the society as well as political parties after the then Tengnoupal DC A Tombikanta commented of changing location of the border pillar affecting huge portion of state’s land on June this year. Independent assessment by CSOs and political parties also backed the claim of the DC further leading to a public movement.
Later, the state government formed a high power committee headed by minister Karam Shyam. The committee went to the site to assess the matter and ruled out relocation.
Earlier last month, India’s foreign secretary Vijay Gokhale met Myanmar’s transport & communication minister Thant Sin Maung and discussed connectivity and transport infrastructure projects being taken up by India in the country. They also signed MoU regarding selection of private port operator for operation and maintenance of Sittwe Port, and infrastructure development for Paletwa Inland Water Terminal under Kaladan multi-model transit transport project.
The foreign secretary also met Myanmar Defense Services commander in-chief senior general Min Aung Hlaing and discussed border security and bilateral cooperation during his visit.

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