Government eyes border milestones
DIPLOMATIC negotiations are under way to finalise construction for milestones along demarcation lines at Myanmar’s Thai and Indian border points, vice minister for Foreign Affairs U Kyaw Tin told the lower house yesterday.
“In order to leave a good legacy for our next generation, we have been trying to start defining the border as fast as we can,” he said. An agreement has been reached to reboot border-defining efforts in the south, as a result of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi’s recent visit to Thailand in her capacity as Union minister for foreign affairs.
A delegation of Thai officials will visit Myanmar on September 16 and 17 to discuss the undertaking.
The border between Myanmar and Thailand is 1318 miles (2135 kilometres) long, but by 1991 demarcation had only been completed along 36 miles. Renewed efforts between 1993 and 2013 came to naught. Two hundred miles of the border are in line for the first phase of construction. Myanmar shares a 1010-mile border with India. U Kyaw Tin said the government has been trying to erect nine milestones along a disputed 24mile pass in the Kabaw Valley. Just 79 miles remains to be completed in the north, to mark the intersection of Myanmar, India and China. This can only proceed once India and China settle their own territorial dispute, he said.
To address the disputed 24 miles on the India border, a joint border working group convened in January of this year. A coordination meeting was held among ministers and secretaries for foreign affairs ministries in New Delhi on August 9. Sripriya Rangannthan, director general of India’s Ministry for External Affairs, is due to visit Myanmar on August 22.
Myanmar’s border with China stretches 1348 miles, and has been demarcated since 1960. The 149mile border with Laos has been demarcated at the Mekong River as a fixed border. Laos President Bounnhang Vorachith’s recent visit to Myanmar saw an agreement inked on joint management of the Friendship Bridge between the two countries. It was also agreed that a bronze plaque will be installed to mark the border point on the bridge.
The 168-mile Myanmar-Bangladesh border was demarcated at the Naf River in 1964. Inland borders were further defined in 1998.
Seeing to incomplete border demarcations is a pressing duty of the current government, said Pyithu Hluttaw MP U Maung Myint. He noted recent political developments have paved the way for progress on the issue. “It is a good time to continue defining the border with Thailand as the area is stable now.”