Call for resolution echoes as Nagaland Assembly deliberates FMR

Our Correspondent
Kohima | February 29

The third day of the fourth session of the 14th Nagaland Legislative Assembly (NLA) on February 29 had thorough discussion on matters of urgent public importance pertaining to “fencing of Indo-Myanmar Border.”

Initiating the discussion, MLA Kuzholuzo (Azo) Nienu and Leader of NPF Legislature Party said that the decision to revoke the Free Movement Regime (FMR) and fence the India-Myanmar border is currently surrounded by misconceptions and misrepresentations of the prevailing reality.

“So my point of contention to this August house is to pass a resolution requesting the GoI to consult all state Government or stake holders before taking a final call and also requesting the GOI to regulate a system and adopt stringent law in checking insurgency and drug peddling, instead of fencing the borders, perhaps there are better ways of dealing with issues, rather than directly trying to hurt the sentiments of its innocent citizens,” Azo added.

Deputy Chief Minister Y Patton said that State Cabinet in its meeting held on February 8, 2024 deliberated on the matter and it was decided to request the Central Government to continue the FMR and also to enact appropriate regulations and lay down processes for movement of people across the borders in close consultation with the people inhabiting the border areas of the State.

The Cabinet further decided to request for suitably bringing in the village council authorities concerned in the entire system of regulations of the FMR.

The State Government has accordingly conveyed its deep concern to the Government of India and sincerely requested for the sake of the people of our State to continue with the FMR and also to work out regulations for movement of people across the borders in close consultation with the people inhabiting the border areas, and for bringing in the village councils in the entire system of regulations, Patton said.

Deputy Chief Minister TR Zeliang called upon the Government of India to develop a comprehensive and balanced approach for border management “because any unilateral decision to impose its arbitrary decision to divide the Naga people by constructing border fencings may have deep negative impact in the days to come.”

“This is a serious issue for the Naga people and this august House may pass a strong resolution of opposition and convey to the Government of India the feeling of our people who are vehemently opposing the construction of border-fencing along the Indo-Myanmar boundary bordering Nagaland,” he added

MLA Jwenga Seb from JDU Legislature party suggested that “our state government to urge the central government for reconsideration of its decision, taking into account the potential consequences on bilateral relations and the longstanding connections between the people of India and Myanmar advocating for a collaborative approach involving open dialogue with all the stake holders considering diverse perspectives, and seeking alternative solutions that address concerns without compromising the principles of free movement.”

Ministers KG Kenye and CL John, advisor K. Konngam Konyak, MLAs Achumbemo Kikon, Naiba Konyak, P. Longon and Dr Neisatuo Mero also spoke at the discussion. 
(Related report on page 2)