Pangsha Organisations Decry Imkong L Imchen’s ‘baseless’ Remarks On FMR, Fencing Of Nagaland-Myanmar Border - Eastern Mirror
Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Pangsha organisations decry Imkong L Imchen’s ‘baseless’ remarks on FMR, fencing of Nagaland-Myanmar border

By EMN Updated: May 02, 2024 10:24 pm

DIMAPUR — The Pangsha Public Organisation (PPO) and All Pangsha Students’ Union (APSU) have issued a strong condemnation of recent statements made by Imkong L Imchen, Advisor for Information and Public Relations, Soil and Water Conservation, regarding the abolishment of the Free Movement Regime (FMR) and the proposed fencing of the Nagaland-Myanmar border.

In a press release on Thursday, the organisations stated that the remarks were ‘baseless’ and the advisor’s opinion “fails to consider the nuanced complexities of border dynamics and the impact it would have on the lives of ordinary people.”

“It demonstrates a lack of empathy and understanding for those who rely on cross-border movement for their livelihood and social well-being,” it said, expressing concern and disappointment.

The removal of FMR would not only disrupt the lives of countless individuals but also undermine the longstanding cultural, social, and economic ties that exist between communities on both sides of the border, it added.

Stating that decisions regarding border policies must be made with careful consideration of their implications and in consultation with all stakeholders involved, the PPO and APSU highlighted the historical context of the issue, recalling the arbitrary demarcation of the border in 1970-1971, which disregarded the traditional land ownership and rights of the Khiamniungan people.

It said that the division of their ancestral lands left them with a wounded sense of identity and belonging.

Emphasising their grievances, the organisations pointed to the 1996 establishment of the International Trade Centre (ITC) at Dan, where the Pangsha community contributed 535 acres of land with hopes for economic development. However, in 2018, the ITC Dan was bisected by the articifial boundary, destroying crucial infrastructure and leaving the project unattended.

Other infrastructure including marketing shed and guesthouse falls beyond the ‘imaginary line’ and the  public ground, four staff quarters and hostel area of the Straightway Mission School and many other public domain and properties have been completely dissected by the artificial boundary, it said.

The press release also detailed how essential resources and community spaces, such as the water source, reserved forest, and at least 3500 acres of agricultural lands, now lie across the border, causing immense hardship and hindering their way of life.

“We sought for the economic development of ITC Dan but not fencing,” the PPO and APSU asserted, firmly rejecting any further division of their land.

“We firmly stand on no bifurcation of our land. It’s our land, it’s our field, it’s our livelihood, it’s our village and it’s our pride and we will fight for it,” it asserted.

Further, the organisations urged Imchen to “reflect on the impact of your words and take responsibility for the unfathomable statement you have disseminated,” and advised him to seek out credible sources and educate himself on the subject matter before making any further public statement.

“In the future, we hope that you will exercise greater caution and diligence in your communication, recognising the importance of accuracy and integrity in fostering constructive dialogue for the benefit of the Nagas within and beyond the border,” it added.

By EMN Updated: May 02, 2024 10:24:08 pm
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