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1-February-2024-Editorial

February 1 @ 7:00 am - 11:30 pm

RECONSIDERING THE FREE MOVEMENT REGIME

India’s decision to review the Free Movement Regime (FMR) agreement with Myanmar and consider fencing the India-Myanmar border has sparked discussions, especially in the northeastern states.

This move aims to address a complex intersection of historical, cultural, and security considerations.

Free Movement Regime (FMR):

Historical Context:

  • The northeast region was under Burmese occupation until the Treaty of Yandaboo in 1826, establishing the current India-Myanmar boundary.
  • The treaty separated communities with shared ethnicity and culture without their agreement.

Establishment of FMR:

  • Initiated in 2018 under India’s Act East policy.
  • Allows cross-border movement up to 16 km without a visa.
  • Individuals at the border need a one-year border pass for short stays in the neighboring country.

Potential Reasons for Reconsidering the FMR:

Security Concerns:

  • Increased Infiltration: Concerns about illegal immigrants, including the Chin, Naga communities, and Rohingyas from Myanmar.
  • Drug Trafficking and Arms Smuggling: Porous border facilitates illegal movement, impacting internal security.
  • Insurgency Activities: FMR misuse by insurgent groups, facilitating easy border crossing.

Socio-economic and Regional Issues:

  • Impact on Cultural Identity: Concerns about preserving indigenous culture and traditions.
  • Environmental Degradation: Unregulated cross-border movement contributes to deforestation and illegal resource extraction.
  • Regional Dynamics: China’s growing influence in Myanmar adds complexity to border security.

       

Major Aspects of India-Myanmar Relations:

Historical and Cultural Ties:

  • Deep-rooted connections in Buddhism and a history dating back centuries.
  • Treaty of Friendship, 1951 forms the foundation of diplomatic relations.

Economic Cooperation:

  • India is Myanmar’s 4th largest trading partner.
  • Involved in projects like Kaladan Multimodal Transit Transport and Trilateral Highway.

Disaster Relief:

  • India has provided prompt assistance in response to natural calamities in Myanmar.

Way Forward:

Focus on Shared Interests:

  • Expand economic cooperation in infrastructure, energy, and trade.
  • Encourage cultural exchanges and religious tourism to build trust and understanding.

Comprehensive Border Management:

  • Develop a balanced approach considering security concerns and facilitating legitimate cross-border activities.

Supporting a Democratic Transition:

  • Aim for a peaceful transition to democracy in Myanmar, aligning with India’s vision for regional stability and prosperity.

Conclusion:

Addressing the complexities of the India-Myanmar border requires a comprehensive strategy that respects historical ties, addresses security concerns, and fosters economic and cultural cooperation. A balanced and collaborative approach is essential for ensuring regional stability and long-term prosperity.

Details

Date:
February 1
Time:
7:00 am - 11:30 pm
Event Category: