By M.Devanand Sharma
Moreh (Indo – Myanmar Border) ,Aug 8 : In a landmark event, Myanmar government on Wednesday officially opened the Indo-Myanmar international land border in a grand ceremony held at Tamu, Myanmar. Myanmar’s Ministry of Labour, Immigration and Population Permanent secretary U Aye Lwin and Consul General of India in Myanmar attended the opening ceremony.
The opening of the land border marked the abolishing of special land entry permission which was previously required for visitors entering the country via land routes.
However,life was paralyzed in hilly districts of the state , mainly in the Kuki-dominated areas due to the 24-hour total shutdown toady as a mark of protest against Centre’s alleged lackadaisical attitude towards bringing “amicable solution to genocide carried out by NSCN (I-M) against the Kukis.”
The total shut down called by the Kuki Inpi Manipur (KIP)severely affect normal life in the state, particularly at Hill districts. The 24 hour shut down was called against the indifferent attitude of the Centre after hundreds fof Kukis were slaughtered by armed cadre of the NSCN-IM during the 1992 to 1997 genocide mission.
The bandh is being supported by almost all Kuki civil society organisations as well the students’ body.
Since early morning supporters of the KIP came out on the streets particularly at Imphal Moreh road and Churachandpur areas and burnt tyres in the middle of the road.
Journalists and officials of the state government who had gone for the inauguration of the opening of the Indo-Myanmar Friendship road at Border town of Moreh are reported to be stuck due to the shut down which continues till Thursday .
Inter-district passenger bus services as well as mini passenger transport has also been severely affected.
The main function was organised at Iron Bridge which was attended by Myanmarese officials and residents of Tamu .
“ It’s a historic day, the land border of Moreh Tamu has been officially opened for visitors. One can enter Myanmar easily with a valid passport and visa ( even with e-visa) . It is not required to get the special land entry permit (which was the case till yesterday) for entering Myanmar overland.” said Consual General of India Nandan Singh Bhaisora.
During the inagural function at Tamu , the Consual General of India Nandan Singh Bhaisora said india and Myanmar share close geographic proximity and deep historic, cultural, religious and linguistic ties that dates back to history.
Myanmar has a strategic location, abundant natural resources, large number of human resources and is the only ASEAN country that shares land boundary with India. It is suitably placed to develop market linkages with India particularly in North-Eastern regions.
Myanmar is India’s gateway to ASEAN/ BIMSTEC and key to New Delhi’s Act East Policy. India seeks to be a good neighbour of Myanmar as part of Prime Minister Modi’s “Neighbourhood First” policy- connecting with vast untapped market of ASEAN countries, where Myanmar has a key role to play in our “Act East Policy”. Similarly, India is Myanmar’s window to the Western world.
In Churachandpur district shops remained closed and vehicular movement came to a halt along Dimapur -Imphal National Highway 2 .