India, Bangladesh optimistic about settling border issues this year

Discussion in 'Foreign Relations' started by ejazr, Jan 21, 2011.

  1. ejazr

    ejazr Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

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    http://netindian.in/news/2011/01/20...-optimistic-about-settling-border-issues-year

    India and Bangladesh today expressed optimism about resolving the long-standing irritants over the transfer of enclaves and adversely possessed lands within this year.

    Home Secretary G K Pillai and his Bangladeshi counterpart Abdus Sobhan Sikder led their respective delegations to the two-day Home Secretary-level talks which concluded here today.

    The Indian side reiterated its commitment of "zero death" of unarmed civilians at the common border and sought cooperation from the people living in Bangladesh frontier and the Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) to ensure this.

    Addressing a joint press conference this afternoon, Mr Sikder said the meeting discussed adversely possessed lands, enclaves and demarcation of the 6.5 km undemarcated borders, among other issues.

    He said the Joint Border Working Group would soon start a survey on adversely possessed lands as well as head counts of the inhabitants in the enclaves.

    Mr Sikder expressed hope that all issues related to the common border would be completed within one or two months.

    Asked whether there will be a plebiscite of the enclave people after the head count, Mr Pillai said on completion of the head count, the enclaves would be transferred according to the Indo-Bangladesh Land Boundary Agreement of 1974.

    Claiming that the civilian death figure has come down to 31 in 2010, Mr Pillai said the government was working with border guards to ensure zero death.

    Expressing regret for the killing of 15-year old girl Felani in Bangladesh's Kurigram border on January 7, he said the court of inquiry has already started investigation and guilty must be punished.

    The Bangladesh side sought Indian help to arrest Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib’s killers- Capt Majed and Risalder Moslehuddin believed to be hiding in India.

    The Indian side made a positive response to it and asked for photographs and fingerprints of the two fugitives from the Bangladesh authorities to trace and catch them.

    On India's concern about the presence of insurgents in Bangladesh, Mr Sikder reiterated Bangladesh's stance not to allow any terrorist or insurgent groups to use its soil.

    Both the Secretaries said 24-hour access to the Tin Bigha Corridor by the people of Dahagram and Angorepota enclaves will be implemented this year.

    About Banglabandh-Fulbari land port, the Indian side assured that works on installing immigration point at the Indian side of Fulbari would start from tomorrow.

    About easing the visa regime, Mr Pillai said with the installation of online visa processing, first in Bangladesh, the issuance of visa has been quicker, issuing visas to 1500-2000 Bangladeshi applicants daily.

    About sending of 170 Rohingyas detained by the Indian authorities in Andaman and Nicobar islands, the Bangladesh side agreed to take them back after determining their nationalities.

    A joint statement said the meeting also discussed issues related to security, border management and increasing cooperation of law enforcement agencies including smuggling of arms and narcotics.

    The meetings also discussed printing of fake Indian currency notes, extremist and terrorist activities, trafficking of women and children, repatriation of prisoners, border fencing, immigration issues and follow up of Joint Boundary Working Group meeting.

    Mr Pillai also made courtesy calls on Bangladesh Home Minister Sahara Khatun and Foreign Minister Dipu Moni.
     
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  3. pmaitra

    pmaitra Moderator Moderator

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    Nature solves Border dispute for Man

    Nature solves Border dispute for Man

    NEW DELHI – For nearly 30 years, India and Bangladesh have argued over control of a tiny rock island in the Bay of Bengal. Now rising sea levels have resolved the dispute for them: the island's gone.

    New Moore Island in the Sunderbans has been completely submerged, said oceanographer Sugata Hazra, a professor at Jadavpur University in Calcutta. Its disappearance has been confirmed by satellite imagery and sea patrols, he said.

    "What these two countries could not achieve from years of talking, has been resolved by global warming," said Hazra.

    Scientists at the School of Oceanographic Studies at the university have noted an alarming increase in the rate at which sea levels have risen over the past decade in the Bay of Bengal.

    Until 2000, the sea levels rose about 3 millimeters (0.12 inches) a year, but over the last decade they have been rising about 5 millimeters (0.2 inches) annually, he said.

    Another nearby island, Lohachara, was submerged in 1996, forcing its inhabitants to move to the mainland, while almost half the land of Ghoramara island was underwater, he said. At least 10 other islands in the area were at risk as well, Hazra said.

    "We will have ever larger numbers of people displaced from the Sunderbans as more island areas come under water," he said.

    Bangladesh, a low-lying delta nation of 150 million people, is one of the countries worst-affected by global warming. Officials estimate 18 percent of Bangladesh's coastal area will be underwater and 20 million people will be displaced if sea levels rise 1 meter (3.3 feet) by 2050 as projected by some climate models.

    India and Bangladesh both claimed the empty New Moore Island, which is about 3.5 kilometers (2 miles) long and 3 kilometers (1.5 miles) wide. Bangladesh referred to the island as South Talpatti.

    There were no permanent structures on New Moore, but India sent some paramilitary soldiers to its rocky shores in 1981 to hoist its national flag.

    The demarcation of the maritime boundary — and who controls the remaining islands — remains an open issue between the two South Asian neighbors, despite the disappearance of New Moore, said an official in India's foreign ministry, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak on international disputes.

    Bangladesh officials were not available for comment Wednesday.

    NEW DELHI – For nearly 30 years, India and Bangladesh have argued over control of a tiny rock island in the Bay of Bengal. Now rising sea levels have resolved the dispute for them: the island's gone.

    New Moore Island in the Sunderbans has been completely submerged, said oceanographer Sugata Hazra, a professor at Jadavpur University in Calcutta. Its disappearance has been confirmed by satellite imagery and sea patrols, he said.

    "What these two countries could not achieve from years of talking, has been resolved by global warming," said Hazra.

    Scientists at the School of Oceanographic Studies at the university have noted an alarming increase in the rate at which sea levels have risen over the past decade in the Bay of Bengal.

    Until 2000, the sea levels rose about 3 millimeters (0.12 inches) a year, but over the last decade they have been rising about 5 millimeters (0.2 inches) annually, he said.

    Another nearby island, Lohachara, was submerged in 1996, forcing its inhabitants to move to the mainland, while almost half the land of Ghoramara island was underwater, he said. At least 10 other islands in the area were at risk as well, Hazra said.

    "We will have ever larger numbers of people displaced from the Sunderbans as more island areas come under water," he said.

    Bangladesh, a low-lying delta nation of 150 million people, is one of the countries worst-affected by global warming. Officials estimate 18 percent of Bangladesh's coastal area will be underwater and 20 million people will be displaced if sea levels rise 1 meter (3.3 feet) by 2050 as projected by some climate models.

    India and Bangladesh both claimed the empty New Moore Island, which is about 3.5 kilometers (2 miles) long and 3 kilometers (1.5 miles) wide. Bangladesh referred to the island as South Talpatti.

    There were no permanent structures on New Moore, but India sent some paramilitary soldiers to its rocky shores in 1981 to hoist its national flag.

    The demarcation of the maritime boundary — and who controls the remaining islands — remains an open issue between the two South Asian neighbors, despite the disappearance of New Moore, said an official in India's foreign ministry, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak on international disputes.

    Bangladesh officials were not available for comment Wednesday.

    By NIRMALA GEORGE, Associated Press Writer – Wed Mar 24, 9:29 am ET
    from Yahoo news


    Source: http://greentopics.blogspot.com/2010/03/nature-solves-border-dispute-for-man.html

    Other links:
    http://en.wikinews.org/wiki/Disputed_island_disappears_beneath_sea_on_India-Bangladesh_border
    http://www.zeenews.com/news613727.html
    http://articles.latimes.com/2010/mar/25/world/la-fg-disappearing-island25-2010mar25
     
    ejazr likes this.
  4. Tshering22

    Tshering22 Sikkimese Saber Senior Member

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    Oh boi....we better fence the darn borders with Bangladesh before this happens. Otherwise entire Bangladesh would be entering India and BSF won't be able to do jack. And knowing the pace of our government on such matters, I think it is best we start now so that it is complete before 2050. And since when did Bangladesh start disputing territory with us?

    This is all our fault. We never made them feel grateful that their nation exists because of us. This has gotten into their heads especially the BNP bigots. SO It is high time we negate these issues. Tomorrow they will claim Kolkata like this. We cannot keep on letting our neighbours claim bites of our territory. Either Bangladesh forgets the claim or we take hard stance to make them forget. Same goes for Nepal's so called claims that only came up when Maoist and Communist government came to Nepal rather than last 500 years.

    Let's start building up some spine starting with small countries so that we can be fit enough to say no to the Dragon.
     
  5. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    These enclaves are a big problems for those who are living there.

    De facto, they get no assistance nor progress is made by the respective govts.

    It is a humanitarian problem more than political.
     
  6. Tshering22

    Tshering22 Sikkimese Saber Senior Member

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    ^^ To get some progress and or benefits, they must decide which side to join rather than continue existing as enclaves. If I sternly think from country's POV, I would take the land and shunt those lots into Bangladesh. Since we have 20 million illegals already in India, thanks to them.
     
  7. pmaitra

    pmaitra Moderator Moderator

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    ^^ Along with the illegal immigrants, shunt those BSF jawans too that take bribes and let these immigrants in. Next in line are local panchayat leaders, from LF, Congress and TMC that issue rations cards to these people.
     
  8. ejazr

    ejazr Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

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    The land that maps forgot-The Economist
    [​IMG]
    THOSE of us who keep an eye out for anomalies in the world’s maps have long held a fond regard for what might be called Greater Bengal. A crazed array of boundaries cuts Bangladesh out of the cloth of easternmost India, before slicing up the surrounding Himalayan area and India’s north-east into most of a dozen jagged mini-states. But the crème de la crème, for a student of bizarre geography, is to be found floating along the northern edge of Bangladesh’s border with India.

    EVER since Bangladesh achieved its independence in 1971, struggles over territory and terrorism, rather than the exchange of goods and goodwill, have dominated its relations with its mega-neighbour. Forty years on, both countries appear to be nearing an agreement to solve the insoluble—by swapping territory.

    The planned exchange of parcels of each other’s territory is concentrated around some 200 enclaves. These are like islands of Indian and Bangladeshi territory surrounded completely by the other country’s land, clustered on either side of Bangladesh’s border with the district of Cooch Behar, in the Indian state of West Bengal. Surreally, these include about two dozen counter-enclaves (enclaves within enclaves), as well as the world’s only counter-counter enclave—a patch of Bangladesh that is surrounded by Indian territory…itself surrounded by Bangladeshi territory.

    Folklore has it that this quiltwork of enclaves is the result of a series of chess games between the Maharaja of Cooch Behar and the Faujdar of Rangpur. The noblemen wagered on their games, using villages as currency. Even in the more sober account, represented by Brendan R. Whyte, an academic, the enclaves are the “result of peace treaties in 1711 and 1713 between the kingdom of Cooch Behar and the Mughal empire, ending a long series of wars in which the Mughals wrested several districts from Cooch Behar.”

    That was before the days of East India Company rule, before the British Raj and long before the independence of South Asia’s modern republics. These places have been left as they were found by both India and Bangladesh: in a nearly stateless state of abandonment. They are today pockets of abject poverty with little or nothing in the way of public services.

    In a 2004 paper titled “An historical and documentary study of the Cooch Behar enclaves of India and Bangladesh”, Mr Whyte, in reference to the intractability of the boundary issues at partition, asks whether India is still “waiting for the Eskimo”.

    Apparently the newspaper thought that anyone’s sorting this border dispute anytime soon was highly improbable. Sir Cyril’s success seemed as implausible—in those waning days of the British empire—as the notion of an Inuit flying an aeroplane. Most of a century later and a flying “Esqimo” seems like no big deal, while progress on the zany borders of Cooch Behar has made no progress at all.

    There is now talk that a land swap might be sealed when India’s prime minister Manmohan Singh visits Bangladesh later this year. If it goes ahead, India stands to loose just over 4,000 hectares of its territory, or about 40 square kilometres. It has 111 enclaves of land within Bangladesh—nearly 70 square kilometres. Bangladesh has 51 enclaves of its own, comprising 28 square kilometres surrounded by India. The transfer proposed would simplify the messy boundary immeasurably—and entail something like a 10,000-acre net loss for India.

    For India’s governing Congress party, making a gift of land to Bangladesh—in all an area equivalent to the size of 2,000 test-cricket stadiums—will not come easy. During a time of ideological waffle, it is an issue which India’s opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) can use to flaunt its nationalistic (oftentimes pro-Hindu, ie anti-Muslim) credentials and to attack Congress at a weak spot—its perceived softness towards illegal immigrants from Bangladesh, most of them Muslims. By many estimates, more than 15m illegal migrants have entered India from Bangladesh since 1971. The BJP has been trotting out the round figure of 20m for years.

    Meanwhile, construction of a border fence, 2.5m high, on India’s 4,100km border with Bangladesh, the world’s fifth-longest (due to all its zigging and zagging), continues unabated. It is a bloody border, too. Indian soldiers enforce a shoot-to-kill order against Bangladeshi migrants caught making their mundane way from one side of the line to the other.

    But what’s in it for India? Its broader desire to clarify its fuzzy borders with all its neighbours provides one attraction. The dispute with Pakistan over Kashmir has eluded resolution. China’s claim of the Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh remains an open sore. Drawing one steady borderline in the east looks comparatively easy.

    India must also hope that its generous co-operation in the territorial dispute might help Bangladesh’s prime minister, Sheikh Hasina Wajed, secure popular Bangladeshi support for a rapprochement with India. Her Awami League (AL) government has proven itself a willing partner: working to deny Bangladeshi territory to the insurgent groups who challenge Indian sovereignty in its north-eastern states; and cracking down Bangladesh’s homegrown Islamic-extremist fringe. But as many of Sheikh Hasina’s fellow citizens see things, India has yet to reciprocate following their government’s consent last year to allow India to use Bangladesh’s ports and roads. The main opposition party, the Bangladesh National Party (BNP), whose leader likes to say that no foreign vehicles should be allowed to use Bangladesh’s territory, scents blood.

    Indian diplomats know this. A diplomatic cable from the American embassy, leaked to the world by WikiLeaks, summarises discussions held in 2009 between India’s then High Commissioner to Bangladesh and the American ambassador. India, the Americans thought, would like to establish a bilateral agreement with Bangladesh on counterterrorism, but was impeded by its understanding “that Bangladesh might insist on a regional task force to provide Hasina political cover from allegations she was too close to India”.

    Such international intriguing tends to ignore the people who actually in the enclaves—150,000 by some estimates—who are left waiting. Their chief grievance is a complete lack of public services: with no education, infrastructure for water, electricity etc, they may as well not be citizens of any country. NGOs are barred from working in the enclaves. The question of their citizenship is a major obstacle in resolving the problem: referendums are out of the question, as India does not want to create a precedent which could inspire Kashmiris or north-easterners fighting for independent statehood.

    The people who actually live in enclaves (and counter-enclaves) in a certain sense “don't see” the borders. They speak the same language, eat the same food and live life without regard to the politicians in Dhaka, Kolkata and Delhi. Many of them cross the border regularly (the bribe is US$6 a trip from the Bangladeshi side).

    A few years ago, away from Cooch Behar, on the eastern border with India, I met a man who lived smack on the border between Tripura state and Bangladesh. His living room was in Bangladesh, his toilet in India. He had been a local politician in India, and was now working as a farmer in Bangladesh. As is typical in such places, he sent his daughters to school in Bangladesh, and his sons to India, where schools, he thought, were much better. To his mind, the fence dividing the two countries was of little value. But, he conceded, “at least my cows don’t run away anymore.”
     
  9. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    The enclaves should be merged with the country which is surrounding them.
     
  10. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    The enclaves should be merged with the country which is surrounding them.
     
  11. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    Could you enumerate the loss and gains?
     
  12. The Messiah

    The Messiah Bow Before Me! Elite Member

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    with water level rising bangladesh as a country finds itself in danger.
     
  13. Oracle

    Oracle New Member

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    For once, let GoI finish border disputes with Bangladesh. I don't know how much Bangladesh is gaining and how much India stands to lose, give them whatever can be given. Then, transport all illegal Bangladeshis to Bangladesh.
     
  14. mayfair

    mayfair Elite Member Elite Member

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    The problem of enclaves must be dealt with decisively. It's not that having them now is serving any purpose, rather they are security nightmares. Of course in exchange for our concessions on these enclaves we can request for concessions on trade and transit and make it a win win situation for both governments.
     
  15. JBH22

    JBH22 Senior Member Senior Member

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    Who wants to sign their political suicide by signing such agreement?
     
  16. anoop_mig25

    anoop_mig25 Senior Member Senior Member

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    whatever they want to do they must do it fast or if anti-indian party comes to bangladesh then forget co-orpartation we should be ready for more illegal bangladeshi
     
  17. roma

    roma NRI in Europe Senior Member

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    INdia should be generous to give bdesh 1.25 times more land on the easternside and negotiate in exchange for land at the silguri corridor area to widen that corridor - then b'desh can be considered to be a friend indeed.
     
  18. mayfair

    mayfair Elite Member Elite Member

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    What about the people living in thos enclaves? Has anyone made a point to seek their opnion?
     
  19. Phenom

    Phenom Regular Member

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    May be after the dispute has been settled India can speed up the progress in the Indo-bangla border fencing. Securing the border is more important than gaining or losing a few enclaves.
     

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