Nagaland Indigenous people’s Forum Nagaland Inviting Kuki Inpi Tengnoupal
President Kuki Inpi Tengnoupal
Sub: Invitation to Symposium on India-Myanmar Border Issue: Reconsidering FMR Removal and Border Fencing
We are reaching out to invite you to participate in a symposium that aims to address the recent decision by the Union Ministry of Home Affairs to remove the Free Movement Regime (FMR) and initiate fencing along the more-than-1600-km-long India-Myanmar boundary. This decision has significant implications for the longstanding historical, cultural, and ethnic ties between the two nations, contrary to the principles of “Neighbourhood First” and “Act East” policies advocated by the central government.
Date: 16th February, 2024. Time: 4:00 PM onward.
Venue: The Four Season Hotel, Near Commissioner of Police Office, Dimapur. Theme: Reconsidering the Removal of Free Movement Regime (FMR) and
Border Fencing: A Holistic Approach to India-Myanmar Relations.
Participants: Representatives from North States and Academia.
Background: The decision to revoke the FMR and fence the India-Myanmar border is currently surrounded by misconceptions and misrepresentations of the prevailing reality. The colonial boundaries drawn in 1826 after the Anglo-Burmese War respected the close traditional, customary, and kinship ties among cross-border tribal communities. Moreover, the FMR which was harmonized and formalized in 2018 by the present BJP Government recognized the artificial nature of these boundaries and facilitated the friendlier relations with Myanmar.
Key issues to be addressed:
1. Historical and Political Illogicality: To examine the historical and political context surrounding the FMR and border fencing, emphasizing its contradiction with India’s “Neighbourhood First” and “Act East” policies.
2. Misconceptions and Reality: Critically assess the reasons cited for border fencing, such as containing conflict spill-over, curbing illegal trade, tackling insurgencies, addressing “illegal migration”, and highlight the misconceived nature of these justifications.
3. Alternative Solutions: Discuss alternative measures and changes in laws and policies that the Government of India could implement to address the concerns raised, while fostering positive relations with the neighbouring country. 4. UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples: Examine how the principles outlined in the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples could guide and inform a more inclusive and respectful approach to the border issue. We believe that your expertise and insights would contribute significantly to the symposium’s objectives. Your perspective on the matter would aid in formulating a resolution for a more nuanced and comprehensive approach which would make the government accountable for proper policies in the India-Myanmar border issue. Thanking You Dated: Dimapur, 6th Feb. 2024