Longwa Village Chief Opposes Termination of Free Movement Regime and Border Fence


Longwa village in Nagaland, India, has been thrust into the spotlight as Tonyei Phawang, the chief angh, passionately speaks out against the Indian government’s decision to terminate the Free Movement Regime (FMR) and construct a border fence along the India-Myanmar boundary.

The Free Movement Regime, which has been in place for decades, allows the residents of the border areas to move freely within a certain distance across the international boundary. This reciprocal arrangement between India and Myanmar has fostered cultural exchanges, economic interactions, and familial ties between communities on both sides.

Chief Tonyei Phawang’s fervent appeal underscores the profound impact that the termination of the FMR and the erection of a border fence could have on the people of Longwa village. He emphasizes the historical and cultural interconnectedness that transcends political boundaries, arguing that such measures threaten the unique social fabric of the region.

The chief contends that the Free Movement Regime has been an essential element in maintaining harmony and understanding among the diverse communities living along the border. Its sudden termination raises concerns about the potential disruption of age-old traditions, trade practices, and communal relationships that have thrived for generations.

Furthermore, the proposed border fence adds another layer of complexity to the situation. Chief Phawang expresses apprehension about the physical barrier disrupting not only the natural flow of people but also the wildlife and ecosystems that straddle the border. This concern aligns with broader environmental considerations, as border fences often have unintended ecological consequences.

While recognizing the need for border security, Chief Tonyei Phawang advocates for a more nuanced approach that takes into account the unique cultural and historical dynamics of the region. He suggests that a collaborative dialogue between the local communities, government authorities, and other stakeholders could lead to a solution that addresses security concerns without sacrificing the rich tapestry of cross-border relationships.

The appeal from Chief Tonyei Phawang reflects the deep-seated concerns of the Longwa village community regarding the termination of the Free Movement Regime and the construction of a border fence. It highlights the delicate balance that must be struck between security imperatives and the preservation of cultural, social, and environmental integrity in border regions. The situation calls for a thoughtful and inclusive approach to ensure a harmonious coexistence that respects both the security needs of the nation and the interconnected lives of those who call the borderlands home



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