Addressing the International Conference on Myanmar at Jamia Millia Islamia University, New Delhi jointly organised by Jamia Millia Islamia University and Tampadipa Institute, Yangon on 31 Jan 2012, Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio has said that open border policy with Myanmar should not be disturbed, as it is working well.
Nagas like to build their houses at the top of the hills and as Indo-Myanmar border was drawn on the basis of water-shed, many Naga villages were cut into two halves by the international boundary,” the Nagaland chief minister said.
Although the Ministry of Home Affairs have been advocating introduction of border passes, I am strongly of the opinion that issuing of passes by Government officials would be cumbersome and impracticable.
The people living in these areas have taken the international boundaries in their stride, but there has been practically no migration across the border because of the Naga’s land holding system.
Hence, we should not disturb the present peaceful situation and create new problem where it does not exist,” Rio further stated.
Mentioning about the Naga population spread over in India and Myanmar, Neiphiu Rio said the Indo-Myanmar region along the international boundary between India and Myanmar is populated by an ethnic and indigenous population that has been living in these territories since time immemorial.
The Naga population on both sides of the border share a common heritage, culture, traditions, history and religion.
One million of Naga population are placed in Myanmar while four millions of the Naga population are within the Indian Union, and are further divided into four states of Nagaland, Assam, Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh, he stated while adding, “The Naga population has gone through a period of strive and struggle for more than six decades.
It may be mentioned that whole of North East India is connected to mainland India by 2% of its total border while other 98% borders are international border with Bhutan, China, Myanmar and Bangladesh.
Source : E-PAO