TODAY -

Without knowing our boundary, let us not try to defend it
Pemberton line in Kabaw Valley is our boundary

Dr Th Suresh Singh *

Kabow Valley in Burma (Myanmar) as seen from Imphal-Moreh Highway :: August 2014
Kabow Valley in Burma (Myanmar) as seen from Imphal-Moreh Highway in August 2014



With the present hot scenario in our Burma border and a 3-member central team visiting Manipur for the same, your Opinion Maker is again compelled to write this article. This is the 3rd article I have dealt so far-the previous 2 being on 14/10/2012 and 11/04/2015 in this very newspaper and the Manipuri version being 15/10/2013 (series) and 02/04/202015 in Hueiyen Lanpao.

Last dispute prior to the present one : During March/April 2015, we had a hotly contested dispute with the Burmese Army constructing pillar inside Manipur's Holenphai Village (3 km south of Moreh Police station). However, that was not an isolated one in one or two pillars.

The dispute continues throughout the Indo-Burma border off and on. That dispute was not only in Holenphai Village, but in Border Post (BP) nos. 66, 76, 78, 79, 81, 89, 90, 91, 92, 93, 94 i.e. a total of 11 BP areas. This is according to Union Home Ministry'sown media cell release. At that time, Manipur Government constituted a 6 members high power committee with Dr. Suresh Babu, then Principal Secretary, Home, as Chairman. What happened to that committee, no one knows, nor we care for that. The adhocism continues.

Historical Facts : This off and on dispute is Kabaw Valley(KV) boundary dispute started with the signing of KV agreement on 9th January, 1834 by those incompetent 2 Britishers, namely R. B. Pemberton and F.J.Grant without Gambhir Singh's approval. The demarcation was done according to the now famously known Pemberton line. Because of its unclear demarcation, this line has made Manipuri boundary like a mass marriage with multiple spouses in Manipur's northern, eastern and southern frontier even today.

Eastern frontier : What is this Pemberton Line? It is an imaginary line drawn northwards from the KV in 1834 and doted in a map. The difficulty is that it was exactly defined by natural landmarks only along the western face of Kabaw Valley. North of this valley, the area at that time was uninhabited and the line running through it was never laid down on the ground. This unclear area has been described in the agreement as "a straight line passing due north from the north extremity of KV up to the first range of hills east of that upon which stand the villages of Cho-eetar, Noorgbree and Noonghur" of the Lahupa (or Tangkhul) tribe of Nagas".

With many disputes continuing, the then British Government was forced to appoint a 2nd Boundary commission to replace the imaginary Pemberton line of 1834 drawn northwards from KV. PA Cl. Johnstone was appointed as Boundary Commissioner. Johnstone and his party left Imphal on 16th December 1881 and returned on 9th January 1882. The Survey party, after meeting Samjok Chief and other Burmese officials, discovered a natural little steam that could form the boundary line in accordance with the terms laid down in Pemberton definition.

The lines are marked on the map. It is described as "The boundary thus fixed follows the base of the eastern slopes of the Malain range, crosses the river Namia a few hundred Yards south of Kongal Thanna, thence turns east to the Talain River, follows that river upward to its source, and then proceeds down the Napanga River to where it passes through a gorge in the Kusom Range. From thence it runs northward along the crest of that range.

The points where the boundary intersects the Namia River and touches the Talain River have been marked with pillars, and road map has been cut connecting these two points". In this survey, PA Johnstone gave away a large portion of KV which previously belonged to Manipur. This was never compensated. That Johnstone worked against Manipur, though he pretends to be a well-wisher and a lover of Manipur in his book, was highlighted in my book and elsewhere.

In the North frontier In 1835, the forest between Doyang River and Dhunsiri River was boundary between Manipur and Assam. With trouble mounting in this sector as well, the British Govt. was compelled to appoint a Boundary Commission in 1872. Thus the 1st Boundary Commission, which is also often referred to as Golwin and Auten Boundary Commission, was formed.

After repeated surveys, the northern frontier boundary eastward of Telizo was settled in March 1874 by finally laying down a line. Manipur accepted this reluctantly as we were supposed to get more, but could not. Cheitherol Kumpaba mentions that stone bearing the King Chandrakirti's name was fixed in the boundary. Dr. Brown, Thangal Major and Thumjao Purel represented Manipur in the said final settlement.

Southern frontier : As per 1834 Treaty, " the southern boundary of Manipur from the east begins at a point where the river called by the Burmese Nansawing, and by the Manipuris Numsaulung , inters the plain, up to its sources and across the hills due west down to the Khothi Khyoung ( Manipur River)".

British writers are on record that, "according to this Treaty, part of the Sootie tribe at present lives in Manipur and part in Burmese or independent territory". This implies that part of the Sootie area south of the present Manipur boundary definitely belonged to Manipur. The remaining area are independent or semi-independent of Burma.

It is no surprise that the whole Sootie area had been handed over to the Burmese later on. Thus, because of Manipur's inconsistency in boundary negotiations and failure to present and negotiate with facts, we had lost vast tracts to the Burmese in the past; it continues to do so now also.

Lost of territory : Since Merger, Manipur has lost about 1000 sq.km. The loss includes-

i) About km or so area beyond present Mao gate to Nagaland. I still distinctly remember there was our 1 TB sanatorium while passing to Dibrugarh during my study days. Who gave away this?

ii) Present road from Burma's Namphalong Bazar to gate 1 Bridge. It definitely was Manipur's while I was posted as MO i/c at Moreh during 1975-77. Again who gave it away? Did we get compensation elsewhere?

iii) Other areas secretly taken away by Burma and Nagaland.

Besides this, we should also remember that Chandrakirti also handed over Kohima, (conquered by his famous father Maharaj Gambhir Singh in his famous campaign lasting 9 weeks-famous Khepumei/Kohima campaign starting 28/12/1832), to the British without getting any equivalent compensation. The same is now part of Nagaland.

What is to be done ? : Our intellectuals, Civil Societies and Politicians should dispense with adhocism. They also should refer to undisputable historical facts mentioned above without which our arguments will become hollow and boneless. Suggested treatment lines : Urge the Central Govt. to appoint a 3rd Manipur-Burma boundary Commission to solve it permanently and not in a piecemeal manner.

Meanwhile, we also should try to recover areas mentioned in i) & ii) above immediately.

NB: The reader may refer to my book " The Endless Kabaw Valley" for detail reference.


* Dr Th Suresh Singh wrote this article for The Sangai Express
The writer is Ex-Director, Health & WHO Fellow
This article was posted on August 06, 2018.


* Comments posted by users in this discussion thread and other parts of this site are opinions of the individuals posting them (whose user ID is displayed alongside) and not the views of e-pao.net. We strongly recommend that users exercise responsibility, sensitivity and caution over language while writing your opinions which will be seen and read by other users. Please read a complete Guideline on using comments on this website.




LATEST IN E-PAO.NET
  • Ningol Chakouba @ Mysore #2 : Gallery
  • Yoilumba, Chiranglen, Chingjaroi :: eMing
  • Pukning Pothasang: Women Mental Health
  • Scaramouche, Fandango, Galileo, Figaro..
  • A cry for survival: an appeal for unity
  • Who will answer our questions ?
  • Seminar : Challenges in Local Self Govt
  • Tourism and Sangai Festival
  • New leader at MSCW
  • Laija (Film Scenes) #1 :: eRang
  • Ningol Chakouba @ Dubai #2 : Gallery
  • Countdown to Manipur Polo International
  • Education for 21st century jobs
  • The corrupt tiger
  • Can you stop falling rain :: Poem
  • Scholars translate celebrated Nepali..
  • Of harassment at Imphal-Moreh Route
  • Need for a strong Opposition
  • Lamklai Kummoi Maring Fest #2: Gallery
  • National School Games- Fencing: Gallery
  • We want the ring...
  • The Queen's Heart :: Poem
  • Education of heart: Heart of Education
  • Mao - The Revolutionary
  • Discussion on India-Vietnam Relation
  • Sangai of the Sangai festival
  • Jarnail in his element
  • Tough road awaits Sarita in World Boxing
  • ACAUT says NNPGs unable to rein..
  • State has no say in ILP - Conrad
  • Ningol Chakouba @ MBC #2 : Gallery
  • Ningol Chakouba Nga Mela #2 : Gallery
  • Rajkumar Jhaljit : Sahityaratna 2017
  • Gaudiya Vaishnavism in Meitei Nation #2
  • Ningol Chakouba :: Poem
  • World Diabetes Day 2018
  • Bartending as a career option
  • The unintended windfall
  • Issues before the Parliamentary polls
  • Mera Kongchat Mass Rally #3: Gallery
  • Rock Show at X-Jam 2018 : Gallery
  • Bloody Phanek wins at Signs Festival
  • Gender Equality & Development :: Book
  • I am friend of India for life- Japanese PM
  • 2019 Commonwealth Scholarship in UK
  • 55th Nagas' Meet at New Delhi
  • Black money and the dream-merchants
  • What steps to address traffic chaos ?
  • Govt extends ban on seven Meitei groups
  • It won't be easy for Mary Kom - Nieva
  • Ningol Chakouba @ Mysore #1 : Gallery
  • Ningol Chakouba @ Dubai #1 : Gallery
  • Cry of a Dying River - 54 :: Poem
  • Religious education- Part of our life
  • Free Heart Camp at Kakching Bazar
  • Jobs at Gyan Jyoti Foundation
  • Nothing seems change; everything remains
  • Predatory instinct of man: Targeting 'Manipur'
  • Lihaaz- Classical Music at IIT Guwahati
  • Mera Wayungba #1 : Gallery
  • L Modhuchandra : Young Scientist Award
  • Chavang Kut celebrated in Delhi
  • Temple runs for a pilgrim's journey
  • First day of All India Young Writers' Festival
  • Ningol Chakkouba in era of materials
  • Constitutional breakdown in governance
  • Attacked on Environment Defenders
  • Kut festival @ Chandel : Gallery
  • Mega Marathon Manipur #2 : Gallery
  • Karen people's pursuit for survival..
  • Glamorous Maniac & their new single
  • City bus for high end of society- Why not?
  • Youth Leadership Camp at Yairipok
  • Course in Political Science at NEHU
  • Of Indian Constitution
  • Ningol Chakouba @ MBC #1 : Gallery
  • Ningol Chakouba Nga Mela #1 : Gallery
  • NH7 Weekender @Meghalaya #2 : Gallery
  • Gaudiya Vaishnavism in Meitei Nation #1
  • Old Man in the Winter :: Poem
  • Drawing inspiration from Dave Mustaine
  • Condemns attack on Agnes Kharshiing
  • NEUFC Fan Park celebrates
  • Achievement lists of PDA is 'Boring'
  • MPP : Down but not out
  • Ningol - mapam lamdam : Gallery
  • Kwatha Festival #1 : Gallery
  • Ningol Chakkouba: Biggest fest of Manipuri
  • Mizoram Under the British Rule :: Book
  • Dr. Udit Raj: a Crusader
  • Undisclosed #MeToo campaign in Manipur?
  • Drought :: Poem
  • When Money matters, sincerity is out..
  • Detaining two more at Jiribam
  • Ningol Chakkouba : Flash Presentation
  • Ningol Chakkouba Shopping #1: Gallery
  • The Killing Fields 2013-18 : News Timeline
  • Those Sparks and Sounds
  • Manipur from Independence to Merger #2
  • Understanding RSS :: Book Review
  • Cry of a Dying River - 53 :: Poem
  • A take on Freedom of Media
  • Pay of private school teachers
  • Mera Kongchat Mass Rally #2: Gallery
  • Art Festival @ Imphal : Gallery
  • 26 month left to meet AIDS 90-90-90 target
  • Tengnoumanbi- Essential food item ..
  • Dr Abdul Kalam vision of transforming India
  • A Wintry Landscape :: Poem
  • 'Say no to Lead Paints'
  • Completing bigger task
  • Biomedical wastes: Health, ecology at stake
  • NIA files chargesheet against 5 NSCN (K)
  • Ningol Chakouba @ Kolkata : Gallery
  • Mera Houchongba @Konung #3: Gallery
  • Irony of idea of communal harmony
  • Blood Donation at RGU, Arunachal Pradesh
  • Career opportunities in Ecology #2
  • Down the Country Road :: Poem
  • Change of season: Prepare for winter
  • Govt forgotten promises to improve traffic
  • ATC demand: Setback to pluralistic Manipur
  • Mega Marathon Manipur #1 : Gallery
  • Descent & inheritance among Zeliangrong
  • Constituent Assembly Of India & NEFA #3
  • Seminar : Reforming Teaching-Learning
  • Attitude :: Poem
  • Tourism: A key sector in the world
  • NH7 Weekender Meghalaya : Day 2 Report
  • Early solution in Manipur difficult : Army
  • Fabrics of Bangladeshi Manipuri: Download
  • NH7 Weekender @Meghalaya #1 : Gallery
  • Pukning Pothasang: Suicide prevention
  • Where have all the flowers gone? Khurkhul
  • Engaging Failed State :: Book Review
  • eNorth East Award 2018
  • Song of a Tree :: Poem
  • NH7 Weekender 2018 Kicks Off
  • Unsolved case of Pravish Chanam
  • Imphal Jamboree : Gallery
  • Eyek Tamba :: Learn Manipuri script
  • Manipur from Independence to Merger #1
  • A beacon of hope
  • Mishing tribe of Assam
  • Ransomware that made the world cry
  • State Level Painting Competition
  • A suggestion for a strong democracy
  • Issues before Parliamentary polls
  • Kut Festival @ Kangpokpi : Gallery
  • HIV : Gap between research & impact
  • My Tryst With Manipur : A Memoir :: Review
  • Cultural heritage (Kut fete)
  • Bleeding inside Brain treated at SKY
  • Indo-Myanmar Regional Border Meet
  • In Her Arms Of Death :: Poem
  • Pravish Chanam : No Action by CBI
  • Assam Don Bosco : University of the Year
  • NH7 Weekender 2018 in Meghalaya
  • Media that criticize are not your enemy, CM
  • MU limping back to normalcy
  • Mera Kongchat Mass Rally #1: Gallery
  • Happy Kut Wishes :: Flash Presentation
  • November Calendar for Year 2018 :: Tools
  • Weavers training for Mamit , Mizoram
  • Diwali Lagao : Mapugidi Munda
  • Career opportunities in Ecology
  • Jobs at Trueblue, Taxi Service, Imphal
  • CM should not let this opportunity out..
  • Where will Oct 31, 2018 stand ?
  • Mera Houchongba @Konung #2: Gallery
  • Kut Festival :: Series of Articles
  • Comedian Huirem Manglem passed away
  • Constituent Assembly Of India & NEFA #2
  • Naga Peace Process :: News Timeline
  • Overview of Buddha's teachings on Karmma
  • Technological Globalisation and Manipur
  • Initiate disciplinary action against Police
  • 13th Indo-Myanmar Border Committee Meet
  • .....but traffic is still in mess
  • Obstinately silly or immense clout
  • 'Ethnic Conflicts in Manipur: Issues'
  • Mapithel Dam Irrigation Canals #2
  • Kangla is like Ayodhya for Meiteis..Sacred
  • Health Care & Status in North East :: Book
  • Speaker List: Imphal Jamboree- Youth Fest
  • Roars of #MeToo to douse the flame of lust
  • Chalwa Village in Kangpokpi #3 : Gallery
  • NEROCA Vs East Bengal : Gallery
  • Imphal Jamboree - Youth festival
  • Naga Talk: Wary yet committed & hopeful
  • Fashion Show: Lamklai Kummoi: Gallery
  • Pukning Pothasang : Bereavement
  • Khong: significance in Zeliangrong culture-2
  • Mera Houchongba @Konung #1: Gallery
  • Sanjenbam Bhanumati Devi : Kavyabhusan
  • Trekking to Dzukou Valley #2: Gallery
  • Eepan Thaba #1: Gallery
  • Chumthang Crafts at European Congress
  • A Road Trip to Myanmar #3
  • Narmada Sougaijam - Natl Konkan Award
  • Bor khoiramba @Hiyangthang #2 : Gallery
  • Mera Houchongba : Unity - hill & valley
  • Khong: significance in Zeliangrong culture-1
  • Manipuri Calendar for 2018 : Download
  • Lamyanba Irabot- Floral Tribute #2: Gallery
  • Mera Chaorel Houba #2 : Gallery
  • Pari Imom (Film Scenes) #1 :: eRang
  • Death Anniv - Bhagyachandra #3 : Gallery
  • Jarnail Singh @ MU : Gallery
  • Heikru Hidongba #3 : Gallery
  • AMAND Pune: Cultural evening : Gallery
  • Sizo Festival @Saikot : Gallery
  • Tarpon Sonba : Gallery
  • mtM :: Seireng
  • Front Page Photo 2018 #4: Gallery
  • Inner Line Permit (ILP) Demand :: Timeline
  • Manglandasu Nang - OST :: e-pao Radio
  • Old Manipuri Movie #1 :: eRang Classic
  • SPONSORED ADS