Haolenphai tense as Myanmar opposes construction


MOREH, 14th Nov: Fresh dispute has erupted at Haolenphai village in Tengnoupal district as Myanmar officials on Wednesday protested against construction of houses and other structures in the village while claiming that some parts of the village area not officially demarcated. Following report of some Myanmar nationals taking photographs of an under-construction house at Haolenphai village, officials of the two countries met at the immigration office in Myanmar’s Namphalong market on Tuesday. The state official team was led by ADC Moreh N Bangkim. The meeting discussed construction of a house in the village, which belongs to one Lunkhongam Haokip. During the meeting, the Myanmar officials reportedly asked the state team to stop the construction of the house while stating that the area is un-demarcated space. They also claimed that the cemetery of Haolenphai village lies in the un-demarcated space. Myanmar’s deputy district administrator Nyein Tun Kyaw had earlier sent a protest letter to the deputy commissioner (DC) Tengnoupal district regarding their claim on the village areas. Meanwhile, Haolenphai village chief Lalkholun Haokip maintained that the area where the new house is being constructed is part of the village and lies within Manipur sector of the boundary. He said that they will continue the construction and will face any obstruction. Expressing concern over losing area of Manipur to Myanmar, he appealed to the CSOs of the state for their support in saving the boundary of Manipur. Mention may be made here that some Myanmar nationals were found taking photos of an under-construction house at Haolenphai village on Monday evening and Tuesday morning. When enquired, the intruders refused to give any answer. The activities of the Myanmarese intruders created a fresh sense of uncertainty among Haolenphai residents as the village is still nursing the wound of a past incident, wherein Myanmar army personnel vandalised a sawmill in the village and took away the machines. Myanmar nationals found taking photos of the under-construction house in the village on multiple occasions has been creating sense of uneasiness among the villagers. As reported earlier, Holenphai village chief Lalkholun Haokip said that villagers spotted some three or four Myanmar nationals taking photos of the under-construction house on Monday at about 4.30 pm. The Myanmar nationals revisited the same spot on Tuesday morning and continued to click the construction activities. The alleged intruders maintained silence in-spite of being queried in Myanmar language purpose of their visit and why they are taking photos. The site where the Myanmar nationals showed up is close to a farmland where forest minister Th Shyamkumar launched an Agar plantation project recently. It is also pertinent to mention that the Myanmar military authorities are yet to hand over the saw mill equipment and machine parts they had taken from the village. The villagers have been demanding that the district authorities open a police outpost in the village as was promised to them.

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