SC Jamir says Centre’s decision on FMR, fencing Indo-Myanmar border ‘inhuman’, ‘a dangerous attempt to divide people’

Ungma (Mokokchung): Ending FMR ‘a cut between the dreams of the people’: Alemtemshi Jamir

BY | Tuesday, 20 February, 2024

Former Nagaland chief minister SC Jamir, on Tuesday, said that the decision of the Government of India to end the Free Movement Regime (FMR) and to put fence in the Indo-Myanmar border is not only impossible but inhuman and a dangerous attempt to divide the people.

Speaking to media persons in the sideline of a program in Longsa Village in Mokokchung district, the former Governor of Odisha, Maharashtra, Gujarat and Goa expressed that he was deeply concerned by this proposal of the Central Government. He stated that when the international border between Myanmar and Nagaland on the Indian side was drawn, it was an imaginary line due to which many of the “real” Naga villages fell under Myanmar and some fell within Nagaland.

Giving an instance of Longwa village where the ‘line’ goes through the middle of the Angh’s house, SC Jamir asked, “How can you have fencing in the same house, in the same family and occupied by a Naga family?”

“This kind of decision is not only impossible but inhuman,” he remarked.

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Citing that the Naga people in India cultivate in Myanmar and the people from Myanmar have fields in Nagaland, SC Jamir said that “this is the reason why during the British rule as well as after independence, 15 kms were made free zone so that they can come and we can also go.”

Further, the former chief minister stated that it is “impossible to have that kind of imaginary fencing between people of Burma and India’s side, especially the Naga community” because of the terrain. “If you think of the terrain, the mountains and hills, how can you build fencing in this terrain because those who are talking of fencing, they are talking in terms of the plain areas,” Jamir said.

He therefore opined that the decision to lift the FMR and to fence the border is a dangerous attempt to divide the people and mentioned that even the Nagaland Government has expressed that they are totally opposed to this proposal to put fencing between the two countries.

Lifting FMR, fencing border antithetical to mankind’s strive battle against climate change: Alemtemshi Jamir

Also speaking on the pressing issue, former chief secretary of Nagaland, Alemtemshi Jamir, IAS (Retd), who was also present at the interaction with the media, stated that besides the fact that the abrogation of the FMR and the fencing of the international border will divide Nagas, implementation of these proposals is also “antithetical to mankind’s strive battle against climate change.”

Reminding that we are living in a world where global climate change is the biggest issue, Jamir said that the fence will not only affect the people but will have serious impact on the biodiversity in the North East India and South East Asia region which is one of the richest biodiversity regions in the world. “Animal corridors will be gone and everything will come to a standstill,” he said.

Furthermore, Alemtemshi Jamir said that contrary to Modi’s Act East Policy, which is aimed for people to have free access to each other and develop trade and become prosperous, ending FMR “just a cut between the dreams of the people just because of something that has happened in most probably Manipur”. He therefore stated that lifting the FMR should not be supported by anyone.

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