MEA sends reply, no word on Kabaw valley


MEA sends reply, no word on Kabaw valley

By Our Staff Reporter
IMPHAL, Mar 12: The Ministry of External Affairs, Border Management Divi-sion has sent a reply to the memorandum which was submitted by Manipur Human Rights Organisation (MHRO) to Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his visit to the State on January 4, demanding proper and immediate demarcation of the Indo-Myanmar border as well as to bring back Kabaw Valley within Manipur.
On the other hand, MHRO advisor Ngangbam Nongyai has conveyed that as Kabaw Valley was leased to Myanmar as per an agreement, the well deserved compensation should be provided to Manipur properly or else Kabaw Valley should be returned to Manipur.
Speaking to media persons at Keishampat Sega Road today, Ngangbam Nongyai, who is also a former member of Manipur Human Rights Commission, said that MHRO submitted a memorandum on three different issues to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on his visit to Manipur on January 4.
The memorandum demanded the authority concerned to make necessary arrangements to ensure Manipur gets its deserved compensation from Myan-mar for Kabaw Valley, to bring out the agreement (which was signed between late Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru and U Nu in 1953 concerning the Kabaw Valley) to public domain and ensure revision of the 1953 Indo-Burma agreement so as to return Kabaw Valley to India/Manipur.
He continued that the Border Management Division of MEA has already sent a reply to MHRO secretary Dr N Shantakumar Singh which explained that demarcation works of the Indo-Myanmar border at some places, including Manipur, have been completed.
There are constant meetings between the two countries (India and Myanmar) regarding the border issues. Foreign office consultation, National level meetings, joint boundary working group and sectorial level meeting are being held regularly. Moreover heads of Survey Departments of the two countries are in constant touch with each other, said the MHA’s reply.
Speaking to the media persons, Nongyai continued that the revelation about Kabaw Valley by the Indian Government is not a simple one. It is widely believed that the valley, which is located in the border between Chindwin river or Ningthi Turel and Manipur and measures around 7000 sq miles, was leased to Myanmar as per an agreement which was signed on January 9, 1834. During those days, Manipur received a compensation of Sicca Rupees 500 per month from Myanmar.
This said compensation was received by Manipur regularly before it was merged into India.
However, even if it was claimed that Manipur still received the compensation from Myanmar till November 25, 1952, in reality Manipur did not get any compensation after 1949 as the Indian Government got the money in connection with foreign affairs, he explained.
Stating that it was rumoured that Jawaharlal Nehru had given away Kabaw Valley to Myanmar during his 2nd visit to Manipur between March 28 to 30, 1953, Nongyai said that even so, none of the Manipuris had any knowledge about the agreement.
Kabaw Valley is a large area and it is imperative for the Central Government to clarify whether it is still receiving compensation from Myanmar for the valley, he demanded.
Questioning if a Prime Minister of the country can give away a part of the country as if the land belonged to him, Nongyai said that as per the Article 368 of the Indian Constitution, such matters require a Bill to be tabled in the Parliament. He then alleged that when Nehru was the Prime Minister, he even gave away Berubari, which was a part of West Bengal to East Pakistan in 1958.
The issue reached the President and as such, the President sought the Supreme Court’s directive which ruled that Article 368 of the Constitution should be followed. As such, a Bill was tabled and Berubari was officially given to East Pakistan in 1966, he added.
Coming to Manipur, Nongyai said that similar to Berubari, if the Indian Government wanted to give away Kabaw Valley to Myanmar, it should have followed the proper channel.
However, as rules and regulations were not followed, the agreement signed by Nehru for Kabaw Valley is unacceptable and void as well, he contested.
Demanding the Central Government to return Kabaw Valley to Manipur/Indian territory by taking due note of the hurt sentiments of Manipuri people, he reasoned that if the Central Government cannot do so, then it should make sure that the compensation paid by Myanmar reaches Manipur.
He then appealed to all to work together for bringing back Kabaw Valley to Manipur and added that today, Manipur should be receiving Rs 80,000 crore annually as compensation from Myanmar.
MHRO secretary Dr N Shantakumar Singh was also present at the meet.


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