Longwa’s chief Angh urges Nagaland CM to voice out against FMR abolition
DIMAPUR — Chief Angh of Longwa village in Mon district, Tonyei Phawang, has urged the Chief Minister of Nagaland to voice out against the scrapping of the Free Movement Regime (FMR) and subsequent erection of fence along the Indo-Myanmar border.
In a press communiqué on Thursday, the Chief Angh underscored that Longwa, as a village, originated in the 16th Century and it was only during the 20th Century (1970-71) that India and Myanmar jointly demarcated the boundary line through the middle of the village and divided the village between two countries.
Claiming that the boundary demarcation was done without the concrete knowledge of the village people, he said “should our people of the time knew the idea of dividing the village among the two countries, there wasn’t a way to accept the proposal but to out rightly reject the same.
“However, despite of the boundary demarcation that tried to differentiate the identity of our society, we have been living with a single identity as proud citizens of Longwa Village and Konyak Nagas since time immemorial. And till this day, without any single border tension we have been immensely contributing to peaceful co-existence with people from beyond the border particularly the country of Myanmar,” he added.
Stating that the people of Longwa, numbering approximately 6000 people, practically live in both the countries, ‘under one Anghship, one church and one administration,’ Phawang emphasised that the government of India’s decision to remove FMR will “divide us socially and culturally.”
The Chief Angh pointed out that there are 990 households in the village, scattered in both Indian and Myanmar territories with 170 households including the Chief Angh’s residence, govt. primary school, church, Assam Rifles Post, shops and other public properties, located “exactly on the boundary line.”
The village also has eight Jhum farmlands and two forest reserves out of which four Jhum farmlands and one forest reserve falls under Myanmar territory, and “If the GOI execute the plan, the occupants living along the border will be adversely affected in multiple ways.”
“Especially in the case of Longwa village, since we are scattered in both the sides, our separation by erection of border fence is something we never thought of and in any circumstances, we will not accept the idea,” he asserted.