Reality Internet
A Real-Time Adventure In Burma
 
An interesting thread is developing at the Lonely Planet Thorntree Forum. It has all the potential of making the News, if not History. I've been following it for over a year and it's starting to heat up. It's been a great learning experience and an interesting read.

It started on 22 April 2007, with a post from acaciatree, who was looking for information about crossing the border from Myanmar to India. This led to a long discussion (over a year, in fact), which disclosed that there were only two possible ways to do this: -- the Tamu / Moreh crossing or the Ledo Road. But it eventually became evident that only a handful of Westerners (at least, civilian tourists) have ever crossed this border on either of these roads. And the general consensus became that this border is impossible to cross.

The most prolific poster here is rectravel. He has gathered an astonishing amount of information about this topic and provides up-to-date links to news items, U-tube videos, other expeditions in the region, history, politics, etc, etc. He also maintains a positive attitude towards the possibility of crossing this border some day, much to the disbelief of other posters who see it as as utter futility and act as Devil's advocates. These are very intelligent and knowledgeable posters on their own right and they provide constructive critism and much information. [I am distributing this link with their consent].

On 25 May 2008, oxfordreplica joined the forum with the news that he was planning on crossing this border from Ledo, India, to northern Burma on the Ledo Road. This was part of a serious expedition with the goal of replicating a jouney undertaken by 6 students from Oxford and Cambridge in 1955. They drove two Land Rovers from London to Singapore, and part of that journey used the Ledo Road to get from India to Thailand through Myanmar. oxfordreplica has rebuilt one of those Land Rovers and he and his team will leave London with it and two new Land Rangers in May 2009 - headed for Singapore.

rectravel shifted his attention to the Ledo Road and deluged oxfordreplica with important information, including advising him to consider the Tamu / Moreh crossing as an alternative if the Ledo Road was impossible.

Then rectravel introduced oxfordreplica to khine, a Burmese national who has become oxfordreplica guide in northern Burma. khine has stories of her own to tell and shares them on the forum.

The rest of this page contains postings pertaining to the Tamu / Moreh crossing and provides insights into the reasons this border is closed. The next page starts with the appearance of oxfordreplica and will track current developments.

 

 

Much editing needed here - and possibly conversion to narrative - or theatre - or opera.
 
Lonely Planet Thorntree Forum, Myanmar Branch

Overland from Mandalay To Imphal (India)

 
acaciatree - 22-Apr-2007

Overland from Mandalay -->Imphal (India)

I am planning on going overland from Mandaly, Myanmar to Imphal, India, and onto Nagaland and Assam.
Any info on buses from Mandalay, anything to do on the way, and border formalities are greatly appreciated.

This led to a ******* month-long discussion of the ways and means by which one could cross the Myanmar / India border.
 
The discussion focused on the Tamu / Moreh crossing.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lonely Planet Thorntree Forum, Myanmar Branch

Overland from Mandalay To Imphal (India)

acaciatree
22-Apr-2007 18:23

Overland from Mandalay -->Imphal (India)

I am planning on going overland from Mandaly, Myanmar to Imphal, India, and onto Nagaland and Assam.
Any info on buses from Mandalay, anything to do on the way, and border formalities are greatly appreciated.

ticotim
22-Apr-2007

1

To the best my knowledge, you can not exit Myanmar to India. You would also have to fly up there, and it requires permits in some areas.

 

2

Not possible

I heard rumours of the Bangladesh/Myanmar border opening up sometime soon, but that may just be for trade.

 

3

Some TTers said Indian Airlines flew Yangon - Calcuta. Another way is you fly Yangon - BKK with Air Asia then BKK - New Delhi with Air India.

 

 

 

4

If you manage it overland please come back and post it here! I seriously doubt it though :)

 

5

The only way you can do overland to India is to make, and get advanced permission, with Myanmar Travel & Tours. It is very expensive. Your only option on a budget is to fly from Yangon.

 

6

No chance! The land border India/Myanmar has been closed for many many years. There is a chance that with government approval you can get permission but it will take a long time and cost a heap of money.

acaciatree
23-Apr-2007

7

Has anyone in the negative ever actually tried this ? I know that one may travel Kunming --> Mandalay. And I've heard that an occasional Kentung --> Mandalay is possible too. Are there really some officials there that say "turn back" ? I think it would be an "epic" journey.

 

8

Ok OP why dont you give it a try, if you have the time and the inclination.

But, just say you did manage to actually get across the border without being processed by immigration on each side... then you would not have an exit stamp from Myanmar in your passport and even worse you would be in India illegally. An illegal immigrant! and from what I have heard about Indian jails that would make a great trip NOT.
Let us know how you get on, could make a great book.....

 

acaciatree
23-Apr-2007

9

Well, yeah, I may give it a try. I have a 10-year mulitple entry visa for India, so that shouldn't be a problem on the India side, right, and if it is, India is the only country where I've ever paid some "sweet money". As for an exit stamp out of Myanmar, big deal ? I mean, what are they going to find me somewhere and take me back and kane me in Yangon ? But I bet there is a border post there anyhow, there is a road so there is for sure a stamp.

You know, we've all read about these closed borders (Myanmar / China ) (Yemen / Oman ) (Eritrea / Sudan ) for years, but I think no one has really tried them. I mean, I doubt LP authors even went all the way out there and tried. They probably asked for permission in Yangon. But in Yangon, practically everything is illegal. And you know what? Eventually you hear about some german, or south african that does go all the way, and walla, then the route is open. You know? That is how Yemen / Oman opened.

I bet I get out there, and it is all good, you know, nice border guards and all, I wait about two days drinking tea with them, or that chocolate tea the drink in Myanmar, and they let me through.

HenningWessel
23-Apr-2007

10

>> Has anyone in the positive tried it?

The land borders have been closed to foreigners for about sixty years now. I occasionally here one success story. It's the only one I've heard or seen. Claims a group of English university students managed it in the late sixties. That's it. If anybody else has done it legally they don't talk about it. In the bad old days of the seven- day- visa a team from National Geographic were made to leave the country every time their visa was up. They had to return 4 or 5 times to finish their shoot.

I don't understand why everybody thinks Burma has gotten worse since their only elections in '90. I think it was much worse before that. Basically the same socialist military junta ruled, and had been since the late '40s, much less info on the situation there was available. Visa rules have been relaxed, more parts of the country can be visited, FECs and all the bureaucratic BS you got before has more or less vanished, the 'box of 555 and a bottle of black label' trick doesn't work anymore :( , much less fighting in the minority areas and there was no land border crossing (Tachilek and Three Pagoda Pass could only be done as day trips, and only since the mid '80s) for foreigners at all.

Of course it's disheartening to come onto a travel forum and get nothing but negative answers. But please understand we're only telling you what we know or experienced. As I said above, nobody who has managed it legally has come back with a report.

Koolbreez, are you certain Myanmar Travel & Tours really offer even the chance to cross to India overland? I've never heard of even that. I'm sure if it's just a question of time and/or money some eccentric person would already have done it. There are people paying 20 million to go to space after all...

 

 

 

11

A US American named Shelby (Somebody) and his Swedish buddy Mats did it in the 90s and wrote a book about it - "Among Insurgents" (or "Walking through Burma"). They entered near Muse (forget the name on the China side) and exited somewhere into India, where they got caught and spent 2 or 3 months in jail. Well worth the read. Lots of very confusing descriptions of Kachin, Lisu, and other insurgent groups operating in the area.

rectravel
23-Apr-2007

12

acaciatree wrote

Quote


But I bet there is a border post there anyhow, there is a road so there is for sure a stamp.



Actually, see the UNESCAP map of the Asian Highway Project for Myanmar / Burma on

Click here

This road has been open again, at least for locals, for more than five years. See the latest update about it on

Click here

The project map for the Indian side of the Asian Highway 1 is on

Click here

Can foreigners also now use this crossing while riding on local transportation? This is the big question. If you have the time, it would be interesting to look into it. Just to the north of Tamu is the Indian border checkpoint called Moreh. At this point, there is most certainly local transport from all the way from Mandalay to Tamu and maybe even Moreh. Any travel agent or trishaw driver in Mandalay would know about this ride. If you get taken off the bus, no worries. You deal with it once you get back to Mandalay.

However, what seems to be a bigger question is the security situation in Manipur State on the Indian side of the border. Some links about this are on

Click here

Another recent article about this is below. Whatever the case, I have always heard that a special permit is needed to visit Imphal and the rest of Manipur, and Assam State too for that matter. If this is true, you will learn about it quickly enough from the Indian Embassy in Rangoon or the Indian Consulate in Mandalay. If you are denied a special permit to visit Manipur State, your overland project just ended right there. Enjoy your research and your trip.

Click here

 

 

 

13

if u are on an overland trip go china tibet nepal india . or maybe thailand and try to hook up with a private boat to the anndamans

 

14

Rectravel, thanks for the links. AFAIK travelers have needed special permits for the northeast of India since independance.

 

15

You'll need a permit for Manipur but I don't think for Assam. I've also only heard about the famous British university students. If you do a bit of googling you may come across pages with people who have done it by car, or at least claim to have done so. I remember seeing a page with some people going with a VW bus. If you can find it, e-mail them and ask. If at all possible, this is likely to be a very expensive and risky operation that might involve getting permissions through politicians rather than travel agents.

rectravel
24-Apr-2007

16

Manipur: Highways of Extortion
M. Amarjeet Singh
Research Associate, Institute for Conflict Management

The assassination attempt on Manipur Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh on May 17, 2006, while his cavalcade was traveling along National Highway (NH) 39, to Langmeidong in Thoubal District, came as a sharp reminder of the utter insecurity of Manipur’s crucial road links – the State’s lifelines. While a high-profile ambush on the Chief Minister does make news even now in a State wracked by incessant violence, much of the daily and routine militant activities and innumerable acts of extortion, intimidation and murder pass largely unnoticed under the scanner of public and media attention, particular outside the State.

The blockade of highways that connect the State to the outside world has been the most common and effective method for militants and agitators to bring pressure on the State Government in landlocked Manipur. Extortion on the highways also yields a significant, if not preponderant, part of militant revenues in the State. These two factors, in combination, have made life for the common citizen increasingly unbearable.

The tiny (22,366 square kilometers) frontier-State of Manipur is located in the easternmost part of India’s northeastern region. The State’s distinct topography leaves its most populous parts, the Imphal Valley (1843 sq km), fully enveloped by the Naga Hills and the Lushai Hills. The Valley accounts for 58.85 per cent of the State’s total population of 2.39 million (2001 Census).

Manipur is principally connected by road to the rest of the country and to Myanmar by three National Highways: NH-39, NH-53 and NH-150, totaling 965 kilometres of road through the State. With no rail links, the only other connection is two flights a day, which serve the elite of the State. Of the highways, the Mao-Imphal section (109 km) of NH-39 is the State’s main lifeline, its major link route to the outside world. Over 300 trucks ply along this route daily to bring petrol, diesel, cooking gas and other essential items, including food grains, from other parts of the country. In addition, large numbers of passenger buses and private vehicles ply along NH-39. Further, the Imphal-Moreh section (110 km) of NH-39 is also widely used by the trading community to shop at key town of Moreh on the Indo-Myanmar border. Besides, NH-53 connects Imphal to Silchar in Assam (223 km) and NH-150 connects Imphal to Kohima in Nagaland and Aizawl in Mizoram (523 km).

As things stand, extended sections on all these highways operate on the whims of various militant groups. The Mao-Imphal section of NH-39, which passes through the Naga dominated areas of the Senapati District is virtually under the control of the National Socialist Council of Nagaland – Isak-Muivah (NSCN-IM), an outfit that is currently engaged in peace talks with the Union Government, but which operates a widespread and systematic extortion network across both Nagaland and in all Naga-dominated areas in neighbouring States. The Imphal-Moreh section of the NH-39 is similarly under the control of various Kuki militant outfits as well as the NSCN-IM. The poorly manned NH-53 has also been parceled out between various militant groups like the NSCN-IM, NSCN-Khaplang (NSCN-K) and United National Liberation Front (UNLF). Likewise, NH-150 is under the sway of various Kuki and Naga militant groups.

With various militant outfits asserting dominance over extended segments of these highways, the State and its people are perpetually at their mercy. Extortion along these highways is rampant and several militant groups, prominently including the NSCN-IM, impose different rates of ‘illegal tax’ on commercial vehicles plying on these highways, depending on the value of consignments, at several points marking the transition from one militant group’s area of dominance to the next.

On the Dimapur-Mao-Imphal section of NH-39, for instance, the NSCN-IM, according to media reports, charges an oil tanker about INR 3,000 per trip, followed by trucks carrying cooking gas cylinders at about INR 2,000, and those carrying cement, INR 1,000. Besides this, the NSCN-IM charges a truck about INR 7,000 and a tourist bus about INR 12,000 annually as a ‘permit fee’ to operate in the State. On July 26, 2002, Manipur Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh accused NSCN-IM of collecting ‘vehicle tax’ amounting to INR two hundred to three hundred million annually from vehicles carrying essential items into Manipur through the Dimapur-Mao-Imphal section of NH-39 and the Imphal-Jiribam-Silchar section of NH-53. The NSCN-IM is said to have opened tax collection centres at Mao in Senapati District and Dimapur in Nagaland for the Dimapur-Mao-Imphal section of NH-39; Imphal and Pallel in the Chandel District for the Imphal-Moreh section of NH-39; and None and Nungba in the Tamenglong District for NH-53.

While speaking in the State Legislative Assembly in Imphal on August 4, 2003, Member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA), Ibomcha Singh, stated that each and every passenger bus plying along the Imphal-Moreh section of NH-39 annually paid a sum of INR 30,000 to various militant groups such as the Kuki National Organisation (KNO), United Kuki Liberation Front (UKLF) and NSCN-IM. He also stated that smaller commercial vehicles paid INR 20,000 annually.

Militant groups have threatened to block the highways on several occasions when the owner’s of commercial vehicles refuse to pay the ‘revolutionary taxes’ demanded. On February 1, 2006, for instance, services of passenger and transport vehicles running along the Imphal-Moreh section of NH-39 were cancelled following the threat of an unidentified militant group to increase the extortion amount collected from vehicle owners.

Insecurity on the highways is compounded by repeated militant attacks on Security Force (SF) and commercial vehicles. As these highways pass along rough hilly terrain, the over-extended SFs can do little to pre-empt attacks. Looting and harassment of commercial and personal vehicles by armed miscreants is also a common occurrence and over 200 cases of looting and dacoity were reported on NH-39 in 2003 and 2004. Some of the more recent and prominent incidents of this nature include:

May 13, 2006: Heavily armed men looted two Manipur-bound passenger buses on the NH-39 at Jakhama in Nagaland.

February 15, 2006: Five security force (SF) personnel were wounded in an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) explosion triggered by suspected UNLF cadre along NH-39 at Sangakpham in Imphal East District.

September 9, 2005: Unidentified gunmen looted three vehicles along NH-39 at Leingangpokpi area in the Chandel District.

August 24, 2005: Unidentified gunmen looted six passenger vehicles plying along the Imphal-Moreh section of NH-39 in the Leingangpokpi area in Chandel District.

July 20, 2005: Suspected NSCN-IM militants blew up a bridge along NH-53, located between Khongsang and Noney in Tamenglong District.

There have also been a number of attacks on tankers carrying liquefied petroleum gas and diesel/ petrol over the years.

Militancy has also disrupted road construction and maintenance work on these highways, as militants have hijacked vehicles and abducted and harassed construction workers. Work along NH-150 had to be repeatedly stalled because of the State Government’s inability to provide adequate security coverage to Border Roads Organisation (BRO) workers. In one incident, four personnel of the Border Roads Task Force (BRTF) were abducted by unidentified militants from a place near Jiribam in the Imphal East District on October 31, 2004. The abductors reportedly demanded INR Five million for their release. They were subsequently released on November 10, 2004. Following that incident, the BRTF suspended road construction and maintenance work from Jiribam to Barak on the NH-53 in 2004. Work only resumed in June 2005 when better security cover was provided.

Frequent blockades by protestors on the highways are another crucial challenge, and these has severely affected the well being of the entire State and led to acute scarcities of essential commodities, including life-saving medicines, on several occasions. Indeed, the blockade of highways has become the most common and effective method of protest adopted by agitating groups in the State to bring pressure on the Government. It is useful, in this context, to recall the 52-day long ‘economic blockade’ imposed by the All Naga Students’ Association of Manipur (ANSAM) from June 19 to August 11, 2005, in protest against the State Government’s decision to declare June 18 as ‘State Integrity Day’ in honour of 18 persons killed while protesting against the extension of ceasefire between the Government of India and the NSCN-IM in Manipur. Surprisingly, the 52-day blockade was followed by another three-day highway blockade from August 10-12, 2005, imposed by the Sadar Hills District Demand Committee demanding a new district in the Sadar Hills of the State. Subsequently, the All Tribal Students’ Union of Manipur (ATSUM) imposed an ‘indefinite’ highway blockade from midnight, May 15, 2006, (which lasted till May 21)) demanding better education facilities in the Hill Districts of Manipur.

Ironically, despite these repeated and disturbing incidents and persistent extortion on the highways, the State Government has failed to initiate effective action to bring the situation under control. Providing fail-safe security along these highways may be nigh impossible, but a great deal can certainly be done to diminish the threat and provide freedom of movement along the most crucial routes in the State.

http://www.satp.org/satporgtp/sair/Archives/4_45.htm

 

 

rectravel
24-Apr-2007

17

Mizzima News: India-Burma trade hub at a standstill - Subhaschandra M
Wed 22 Nov 2006
Filed under: News, Business / Trade

Border trade in Moreh, the only trade hub between Burma and India in the northeast, has been severely hit by an indefinite blockade. It is cut off from the rest of the Indian cities The blockade imposed by various pressure groups over the past seven days has led to transporters refusing to ply on the Manipur sector of National Highway 39 (the Indo-Burma route).

The unapproved primary teachers’ association imposed the indefinite Bandh on the 100-km Imphal-Moreh sector of the National Highway 39 which connects the main cities of the two neighbouring countries. They are protesting against the Manipur government’s failure to regularize services of primary teachers under the Chandel District Autonomous council since November 16 midnight.

To make matters worse the All Tribal Students Union Manipur and Action Committee against the Tipaimukh project has sponsored a separate economic blockade on the two National Highways 39 and 53 — the life lines of Manipur and Indo-Myanmar border areas. This has disrupted normal activities of traders and transporters especially those of businessmen.

The All Tribal Students Union’s economic blockade on the two national highways till November 26 is likely to make things more difficult for transporters and traders. The tribal students are demanding a reservation policy for tribal students. “With the blockade on, we’re unable to ply vehicles on these routes as agitators are attacking us,” Lukhoi, a Manipuri truck driver said.

All Moreh bound goods laden trucks are stranded as they are compelled to await the arrival of security escorts at the Manipur-Nagaland and Assam-Nagaland border. As a result scarcity of essential commodities, especially petroleum products and food grains in this land-locked state is on the rise.

Similarly the 36-hour general strike from November 20 morning by the Manipuri Students Federation’s has only complicated matters. This student body is demanding immediate and unconditional release of five of its student leaders arrested and detained during a teachers strike. They were demanding resumption of suspended classes a few weeks ago. The government is yet to fulfill their demands.

 

 

 

18

I remember now that the man who wrote the book is Shelby Tucker. He entered Myanmar from China near the Ruili-Muse crossing. I don't have the book with me and am not sure where he entered India.

He travelled mainly under the protection of the KIA (Kachin Insurgency Army?), mostly on foot and by elephant. I think the whole trip took about 6 months, including his time in prison and as a "guest" of various insurgents. His buddy nearly had to have his legs amputated because of infected leech bites. And the only reason he got out of prison in India was because he was a smooth talker and had connections in high places (US Senators, etc)

So good luck, acaciatree

 

19

rectravel - Great info! Such a journey (Mandalay to Imphal) had been my original objective in coming to Southeast Asia. But I wimped out after reading Mr Tucker's book and other literature (which may have been propaganda). Now you've got me re-thinking the situation. Maybe next winter....

 

 

rectravel
25-Apr-2007

20

Quote


Now you've got me re-thinking the situation. Maybe next winter....



Yeah, there is news these days about the border crossing between Mandalay and Imphal via Tamu and Moreh.

A simple bus ride from Mandalay to at least Tamu should be a piece of cake these days.

Maybe
acaciatree will be the first to check out this new ride? A trip report from Tamu alone would be interesting.

Hello
acaciatree. Are you still reading this thread? Readers here are very interested in the report about your trip.

Will you make it to even Tamu?

Cheers,

 

 

21

Yes Acaciatree, I am very interested in the outcome of your attempt....

 

23

like a DREAM ,no way,you can go just up trip to kalay wa but you can not go 24 miles away from Kalay myo .Ok you get flight fromYGN to kalay myo,you can go around that town but no way to Kalay wa,so you think about trip to india is really dream will not come true.so go on sleep.and forget it.

 

24

It is relatively easy to get a permit to visit Imphal. Not sure if that would apply up to the Burma border (not that far from Imphal so it should not be a big deal, especially if you already have the Burmese permits). On the Burmese side, you've got to get permits to travel from Tamu to Kalewa and you'll probably have to arrange transport since my understanding is that there is no public transport (no pickups). From Kalewa, according to tools4fools map (here) you can go onward by ferry without specific permission.

Also, there was an advertised tour for a land journey from Europe to Thailand that included a land crossing from India to Burma. I posted the link here a while ago but can't find it now.
tools4fools posted another reference to a german(?) couple that traveled by land from India to Thailand via Tamu (they had to fly the Heho-Kengtung sector but everything else was by land). Apparently, it is not impossible and you just have to try.

(Note: My
tools4fools map reference is from memory. There must be server issues at tool4fools.info because the page is not loading right now. There is a ferry, just not sure if you can use it without permission.)

rectravel
25-Apr-2007

25

In mid 2004, an English couple, Simon and Suzi, rode their motorcycles from India to Thailand via Moreh / Tamu / Mandalay / Tachilek and ended up in Chiang Mai. They had pictures of the roads on their web site, but that site has unfortunately disappeared now. The remaining thread is still up however on

Click here

They said that it took them something like a year to get a permit to cross Manipur, and that the permit to cross Myanmar on motorcycles took nearly as long.

Amazingly, at the same time, in mid 2004, a small caravan of 4 Land Rovers from San Francisco crossed from Mandalay to Imphal. Their pictures of the road are still up. Note the armed guards that escorted this small caravan through Imphal and Nagaland after they crossed the border. This escort is probably what your "special permit" pays for. See

Click here

Why a review of this old book is on a Lyndon Larouche site is unknown, but it might be a book to look up.

Insurgent Groups in Northeast India by Madhu Gurung and Ramtanu Maitra

PDF - Approximate theater of actions of major terrorist groups in Northeast India

PDF - Routes of major terrorist groups into their theater of action in Northeast India

The report above from November of last year, "India-Burma trade hub at a standstill", was uploaded by a group of Burmese refugees who have long lived in Delhi. They visit Imphal and Moreh from time to time. See their site on

Click here

They might be willing to talk about how they get between Delhi and Imphal and vice versa.

Looking a bit more closely at what is on the Internet about Tamu...

Yangon based 7 Days Tour was doing some sort of trip via Tamu for a while, but their only page left is in German on

Click here

Coming from Moreh (aka Morei), Yangon based Fine Travels and Tours picks passengers up in Tamu. See their page on

Click here

A picture of India taken from Tamu is on the Yangon Now site on

Click here

Yangon based Myanmar Tourex has pictures of Tamu on

Click here

Lots of pictures from Tamu are on Google. See

Click here

acaciatree has obviously touched on an interesting subject with his trip plans, eh? Cheers,

 

 

26

For me some very new and surprising info here. Good to know.
The German site says point of entry is Tamu (Sagaing Division) with onward travel to Ka- Le. From there you can either fly to Rangoon if a flight is available or overland to Mandalay or Rangoon. You'll need a rented vehicle with a driver and a special permit for which they will need several weeks advance notice.

"Ein weiterer Schwerpunkt ist der Beratungs- und Organisationsbedarf von Weltreisenden, die mit dem eigenen Fahrzeug einen Transit durch Myanmar unternehmen wollen."

"One of our main focuses is in offering consulting and organizational needs of worldtravelers who want to transit Burma with their own vehicle."

Overland entry and exit information can be found on
this page. They have an address in Hamburg but the telephone number given there seems to be a number in the south of Germany.

 

27

For the sake of completeness:


In March 2004 a german couple traveling with a motorhome crossed the border from India to Myanmar and, even more remarkable, managed to continue their travels through Myanmar on the road from Taunggyi to Kengtung and exit the country to Thailand.

They got their permits at the Myanmar embassies in Delhi and Katmandu and waited 3 or 4 months for them.

Lengthy report (no pictures) in german
here.

What all these single reports have in common is that the people are travelling with their own vehicles.

They are on expeditions not backpacking.

 

 

rectravel
26-Apr-2007

28

English translation here ;)

rectravel
26-Apr-2007

29

About the 4 Land Rovers that crossed from Mandalay to Imphal in August of 2004, a closer review of their web pages confirms that they had a fully armed escort all the way from the border crossing at Tamu / Moreh to Imphal and then all the way through Nagaland. They spent their entire time there hanging around with the local police and army guys. They had no choice about it because of the insecurity on the roads. See their account about it under the header "Armed escort out of Imphal" on the very bottom of their page on

Click here

Still, getting only from Mandalay to Tamu with the locals to have a look at the border crossing point might be something interesting to do. Someone else here can explain how to get any Burmese permits that may be needed for this trip. Enjoy your visit.

 

30

From Kalewa it is possible to sail down the Chindwin to Monywa on IWT's ferries. Met a fellow in Sagaing who had a guesthouse/hotel in Kalay/Mawlaik and he was very enthousiastic about the idea having foreign customers in his place. Upon asking if it would be troubles for him he said no. Questions is on getting there, there are boats going up there, but dunno if one would be allowed on it.

rectravel
27-Apr-2007

31

click here

Thursday, March 01, 2007
Kalay Tamu Highway

Buses to Tamu leave every day from the bus terminal in Kalay. Buses leave at 9:00 AM and 2:00 PM everyday. The vans (Town Ace) cost 2,500 kyats a person while the minibuses cost 2,000 kyats. There are big buses too but they mainly carry goods and not very convenient for people to travel. Buses from Tamu leave at 9:00 AM and 2:00 PM everyday.

Passengers have to hand over their ID cards to the driver before start of the trip. There is no search on leaving Kalay. The road is very nice except for a few bumps and holes. The road is two lanes, complete with traffic signs. Indian government built the road for the Myanmar government.

About 60 miles away from Kalay, we reach Khan Pat, a sub township in Tamu District. The cars were stopped, and at 9:00 AM all the cars are allowed to go in convoy with the police and army security. There are insurgents on Indian side, and the road is just a few kilometers away from the body. However, there is nothing to worry on Myanmar side. There is no search in Khan Pat.

Villages and houses on the way to Tamu are quite large, clean and well developed. There are many churches in almost every village. Many of the inhabitants are Chin people.

The Highway Bus Terminal in Tamu is just on the side of the main road. Luggages were seharched and the ID cards were given back to the passengers. There was no restriction to those who were walking and riding motorcycles. The town has already overgrown the bus terminal now.

You can take a trishaw outside the station to go to downtown.

Technorati Tag : Tamu, Kabaw Valley, Myanmar, Burma, India Burma Border, Kalay Myo

Posted by Myat Thura - Myanmar man from Burma at 4:37 PM

Labels: Kabaw Valley, Kalay Myo, Myanmar Travel, Tamu

Click here

Wednesday, February 28, 2007
Tamu, Kabaw Valley

Tamu is a town in Kabaw Valley. It is situated just a few miles away from India border. Although not as large as Kalay, it is still a large town, with many good houses and buildings. There are many two to three storied buildings in Tamu, and many rich people live in Tamu. Roads are also wide and clean and the buildings look modern too. Many of the inhabitants in Tamu are Chin and Burmese with many rich Gurkha, and some Shan and Kachin too.

There are about 4 or 5 guest houses in Tamu. All of them are quite clean and tidy, with good access to restaurants. Food is not expensive in Tamu, and there are a lot of good restaurants and tea shops in Tamu. My favourite is the "Chit Tee" Restaurant in downtown Tamu. You can ask any one "Chit Tee" and they will show you the direction. In the morning you can have a very nice Puri and Tosai there.

There are many large and grand Christian Churches in Tamu, and some Hindu temples too.

There are buses in the town as well as tri cycles. Buses also run to Morae in India.

Technorati Tag : Tamu, Kabaw Valley, Myanmar, Burma

Posted by Myat Thura - Myanmar man from Burma at 3:00 PM 0 comments

Labels: Kabaw Valley, Myanmar Travel, Tamu

 

 

rectravel
27-Apr-2007

32

A map of Sagaing Division is online courtesy of Asterism Travels & Tours

Click here

Mandalay (#34 on the map) to Monywa (#31) to Kalewa (#14) in a mini van or bus can probably be done in less than six hours with no permits required. Any comments on this?

gumnaam wrote

Quote


On the Burmese side, you've got to get permits to travel from Tamu to Kalewa and you'll probably have to arrange transport since my understanding is that there is no public transport (no pickups).


Myat Thura in post 31 above suggests that there are mini vans from Kalay to Tamu now, and that there were no checkpoints along the road until just outside Tamu. In the northbound direction, from Kalewa or Kalemyo to Tamu on the newly rebuilt road, what happens if acaciatree just gets into a mini van or pick up? If the driver accepts to do this, there shouldn't be a problem, eh? Comments appreciated. ;-))

 

33

No comment #32. My information is from an Burmese Indian (Nepali actually) businessman in Mandalay who had made the trip a couple of years ago (according to him, he went as far as Shillong in Mizoram). He said that the road was quite bad between Tamu and Kalewa and that there was no transport. Sounds as if the road and transport situation has changed.

My guess is that without a specific permit to enter Myanmar from India, OP will be turned back at the border. If he makes it across the border, then, of course, he'll be ok without specific permits because he is traveling in the right direction (toward Mandalay rather than away). Of course, without appropriate permits for internal travel, I doubt if he'll get a permit to enter at Tamu anyway.

 

rectravel
27-Apr-2007

34

Quote


Sounds as if the road and transport situation has changed.



This is exactly the subject that is so interesting here. Stories about the opening of border trade at Moreh / Tamu have been coming up for more than ten years now.

A quick search turns up this article from the year 2001. The inauguration of trading at Moreh / Tamu happened in 1995. "Inauguration ceremony of the 100-mile long Tamu / Kyigone / Kalay / Kalaywa asphalt road was successfully held in 13th February 2001". Note the claim that this road is now asphalt all the way. See some of the pictures from the 4 Land Rover page mentioned above and the pictures on Google from around Tamu. These pictures do show an asphalt road somewhere along this run. This apparently happened after the Indian government upgraded this road for Burma for the first time in the year 2000.

The Indian government has just announced that this road is about to be upgraded still again, and maybe because there is so much traffic already now. See some of the now old import / export figures below. And then there is a very current report from someone in Burma (#31 above) that suggests that transport between Kalay and Tamu is a piece of cake these days.

It all suggests that getting to at least Tamu from Mandalay might be easy today. Hopefully, the OP acaciatree will check out at least the road between Mandalay and Tamu. If not, pearce, #19 above, will probably be there next winter if someone else here doesn't beat him to it. Cheers,

Click here

QUOTE

Regarding border trade between India and Myanmar, Myanmar has an
upper hand in the border trading activities via Tamu-Moreh trading
post. Myanmar- India border trade is now in its seventh year starting
from 12th April ,1995 when an official opening ceremony was held by
trade representatives of the two countries. The Department of Border
Trade office was set up in Tamu on 23rd August 1996. Normal trade
utilizing US dollar currency commenced on 1 April 1998 but now,
traders are allowed to settle payments in both countries’ currencies,
which is more convenient than the previous arrangement.

Inauguration ceremony of the 100-mile long Tamu-Kyigone-Kalay-Kalaywa
asphalt road was successfully held in 13th February 2001. Now, it
takes only two hours whereas it took three or four nights of arduous
driving before the construction of this new road is completed.
Passenger cars, express buses and trucks traverse day and night using
this quality asphalt road. Due to smooth transportation, the border
trade between India and Myanmar will surely flourish.

Although the new Tamu-Kalay-Kalaywa road is up to international
standard, the Kalaywa to Yay Oo-Monywa road is in disrepair. A new
Monywa-Ahlone-Yargyi-Myoma-Kalaywa road is under construction on the
western banks of Chindwin river. The new road link will lead to better
transportation infrastructure between western border areas and India.
This highway will be constructed through Monywa, Salingyi, Kanni,
Minkin and Kalaywa townships and join the Tamu-Kalay-Kalaywa road. The
travelling time between Monywa and Kalaywa will be 40 miles shorter
which will accordingly benefit traders and merchants of the two
countries. It is the shortest way to the Indian border. After
finishing this road, two motorways will link Tamu with Monywa.

It is learnt that the new Myanmar-India Border Trade Office will be
opened soon. It is located between Reed of Chin State and Chin Fai
town in Mizoram State of India. The Indian government has spent 50
million rupees for the opening of this trading office. Canned foods,
foodstuff, pulses and rice are to be exported to India while the
country will import sugar, medicinal products and bicycles from India.
The new trade office will not only promote bilateral trade but also
improve tthe living standards people in Chin State as well.

Myanmar has achieved a trade surplus in the bilateral trade conducted
between the two countries. During the period covering 1998-99 fiscal
year, Myanmar’s export and import figures are shown below :-

1998-99

Import value US$ 17,90,156.35
Export value US$ 18,15,548.54

Volume of Trade US$ 36,84604.91

1999-2000

Import value US$ 3.8543( million )
Export value US$ 5.4940 mil.

Volume of Trade US$ 8.5404 mil.

2000-2001

(Up to December )

Import value US$ 26.705 ( million )
Export value US$ 40.871 mil.

Volume of Trade US$ 68.576 mil

Trade using two countries’ currencies

It is more convenient to trade using the two countries currencies
rather than the US dollar. Sometimes, the US dollar may be unavailable
and this led to bottlenecks in transactions. Besides, the government
has relaxed the exports of previously controlled commodities such as
onion and garlic. These have become the top export items surpassing
betel nut during November 2001.

The following are the list of top 10 export and import commodities for
the months of October and November 2001:

Top 10 export commodities in October,2001

(kyat in thousands)

1.Betel nut 533.48 ton 2133.92
2.Rice (35 %) 270.00 ton 157.106
3.Dried Ginger 47.86 ton 114.864
4.Garlic 46.40 ton 92.800
5.Rauwolfia 14.65 ton 87.900
6.Turmeric finger 37.00 ton
83.350
7.Coriander seeds 9.5 ton 51.300
8.Fermented soyabeans 26.5 ton 23.050
9.Medicinal herb 13.5 ton 20.250
10.Rice ( 25 %) 20.5 ton
12.862

Top 10 Imported commodities in October, 2001

(kyat in thousands)

1.Bicycle spare parts 1005.577
2.Scented powder for betel-roll 14.167 ton 632.702
3.1/40 cotton yarn 22.50 ton 225.000
4.Steel ware 28190.44 kilo 204.381
5.Menthol 598 barrels 165.795
6.Gold /Silver yarn 28303 nos 137.269
7.Nutmeg 4.975 ton 124.375
8.Battery jack pin 482164 nos 120.541
9.Releigh socket 11048 nos 93.356
10. Sewing machine 593 nos 90.788

Tamu Trade Fair in progress

Top 10 exported commodities in November,2001

(kyat in thousands)

1.Garlic 247.35 ton 593.640
2.Betel nut 29.00 ton 139.280
3.Fermented soya beans 2 3.04 ton 25.272
4.Rauwolfia 2.65 ton 19.080
5.Rice ( 35 % ) 30.00 ton 15.141
6.Lima bean 1.06 ton 3.168

Top 10 Imported commodities in November, 2001

(kyat in thousands)

1.Bicycle spare parts 501.028
2.Scented powder for betel roll 4.74 ton 254.064
3.2 /80 cotton yarn 5.45 ton 147.150
4.Putty plate sheet 132000 sheets 95.040
5.Bleaching powder 1000 barrels 90.000
6.Cumin 11.487 ton 82.706
7.Nutmeg 2.3 ton 69.000
8.Sewing machine 343 nos 63.076
9.Tweezers (Goldsmithy ware ) 19726 nos 35.527

Export to third countries

Commodities are exported to the third countries through Nan-Hpar-Lon
Bazaar in Myanmar. The bazaar is selling Chinese slippers, glassware,
sweaters, home appliances, Thai made slippers, textiles and plastic
goods etc to India.

Therefore, the Myanmar- India border trade is enhanced by the
inauguration of asphalted Tamu-Kyikon-Kalaywa road as well as the
convenience in utilization of local currencies of the two countries.
Besides, previously controlled commodities such as garlic, onions and
some varieties of pulses are allowed to be exported to India. Third
country exports are allowed to be imported by the Indian authorities
too.

UNQUOTE

 

rectravel
27-Apr-2007

35

Here is a year 2002 UNESCAP picture of a paved road between Kalay and Tamu

Picture - AH1 Kalay - Tamu Myanmar

Maybe this road is paved only until the next corner? ;-) Note the pavement too on this picture

Picture - 4 Land Rovers on the India Burma Friendship Road

Before these 4 Land Rovers hit this pavement, they had this to say about the road between... Monywa and Kalay. See their entry for August 17, 2004 on

Click here

QUOTE

Logbook for Aug 17th, Day 291
Start: Monywa, Myanmar
Time: 7:30 a.m.
N:
E: Finish: Kalay, Myanmar
Time: 2:30 a.m.
N:
E: Mileage: 160

Notes: Team made an early departure toward the India border. We took the “new” road after learning that a recently washed-out bridge had been repaired. The team encountered the worst roads to date along this new road, which consisted mainly of mud and switchbacks. We performed seven vehicle recovery operations, including pulling a Burmese Army Jeep, a bus, and Take Me With You! guest David Burleson’s Trooper out of the mud. Only one LONGITUDE vehicle became stuck, and that was only because one teammie got a little excited and went mudding around a bridge. No vehicle could have made it through that awful mire. It was a fun but exhausting day, and everybody was glad when we hit good pavement at the start of the India/Myanmar Friendship Highway in the wee hours of the morning. It took us 16 hours to go 160 miles! (N.O.)

UNQUOTE

In other words, did the Indians pave the road only from Tamu to Kalay??

acaciatree
27-Apr-2007

36

And the wealth of responses here is amazing. I guess this is a little more difficult than anticipated, but I am sure there are rewards that match the effort. This turned into a great post. Anyone else with off-the-track info about this journey ?

rectravel
27-Apr-2007

37

acaciatree, I don't know Myanmar / Burma as well as other readers here, but I think it is clear that it may now be possible to get from Mandalay to Tamu with no special papers. The only thing you can do is try it. If you get sent back to Mandalay, so it goes. There are many other things to visit on the Myanmar side in that area.

If you are a guy who knows how to sit around and sip tea for a day or a week with the local border officials, maybe you will be able to get into India at Tamu / Moreh. If it happens, most certainly there are trishaw drivers or some such in Moreh who will get you from Moreh to Imphal. You could always hang around with the Indian border officials in Moreh until a ride to Imphal comes up. All you can do is try it.

My only real concern in this thread is that you understand about the banditry on the roads in Manipur and Nagaland. In the early 1990s, it looked this way in Cambodia too. Two pals of mine were shot and killed by bandits outside Sihanoukville in early 1994. Their share taxi came up behind a fuel tanker truck that was being robbed. Boom, they were gone. Don't take it lightly about the banditry on the roads in Manipur and Nagaland.

rectravel
02-May-2007

38

Quote


I am sure there are rewards that match the effort



It is interesting to have look at what there is to see in Manipur and Nagaland. Check out this nice picture of Kohima

Picture - Kohima Nagaland in north eastern India

It was taken by a guy from maybe Singapore who participated in the India-ASEAN Car Rally in 2004. Their group also crossed the border from Imphal to Tamu and continued on to Mandalay, et cetera. To read about their ride between Kohima and Imphal, see

Click here

 

 

rectravel
03-May-2007

40

Some interesting current general news from Imphal is on

Click here

For anyone who is interested in this story, what is most amazing to discover is the number of Manipur and Nagaland based organizations which have web sites these days. A simple Google search turns them up. For example, even the National Socialist Council of Nagaland has a web site these days. See it on

http://www.nscnonline.org/

Still more links about this organization are on

Click here

acaciatree, are you still thinking about trying this trip from Mandalay to Imphal to Kohima and then Assam State? You could write a book about such a trip.

Many links about Assam State are on

Click here

 

41

But India doesn't allow foreigners to get close to sensitive borders without special permission . The recently opened border between Sikkim and China for example is only open to local traders , it could be ages till they let tourists use it . The poster has no chance.

 

42

davelliot, #41. It is quite easy to get a permit to Imphal in Manipur from the Indian government. I'm not sure if the permit applies only to Imphal or to all of Manipur, but Moreh is not far from Imphal and it might be quite easy to get permits from the Indian side. Worth trying for sure.

 

43

But Imphal is about 80 kms from the border . Also the poster said he wanted to go from Burma to India . But in either direction the Burma-India border is not a recognised entry or exit point for foreigners . So the chances of getting permission would be negligible . Even if India decided it wanted to allow foreigners to arrive that way , there would have to be agreement between the 2 countries about it.

But this is unlikely because India is very strict about granting foreigners access to strategic areas let alone ones with insurgency and separatist problems . Also despite growing economic ties India doesn't have normal relations with Burma , which it regards as a client state of China. India doesn't even allow foreigners to get near peaceful areas of the India- Tiibet border.

When you say worth trying , note that the poster hasn't come back and reported any success or progress . Also if in fact India and Burma did agree to allow foreigners to travel the border it would most likely make international news or at least be reported in the Indian media , thats not happening . Don't want to sound like armchair critic , but really the prospects of anyone succeeding in the shorterm are very remote , and I'm very happy to be proved wrong , but I don't think I will be.

rectravel
14-May-2007

44

Quote


But Imphal is about 80 kms from the border



#43, you are ruining the party here ;)

I take the moment to thank
tools4fools for having stimulated my mind a couple of years ago about this India / Burma border crossing story. Really, why is it that foreigners cannot easily cross between India and Burma at Moreh / Tamu? I finally figured it out. It is clearly a matter of the lack of security in the area, on the Indian side in particular.

A quick search just now on keywords "Imphal Moreh road bandh" tells the same story. "bandh" is the local word for blockade. The road between Imphal and Moreh is one of the key roads in Manipur State. Whenever there are political disturbances, armed militant groups close this road down. This exact thing happened still again just last August. See the story on

Click here

Earlier this year, an indefinite "bandh" was imposed by the Kuki Chiefs' Association. It was lifted only in March. See

Click here

In fact, the story about these road blockades by armed militant groups has been a recurring story. Just have a look at some of these current web pages about it:

Click hereClick here
Click here
Click here
Click here
Click here
Click here

In other words, foreigners are not permitted to wander around independently in Manipur State or on the road between Imphal and Moreh because of the armed blockades that occur on such a regular basis. It clearly would not do if a foreign tourist was shot and killed in this area. And speaking of foreigners, according to the site on

Click here

on March 29, 2003, "Proscribed Kuki Liberation Army (KLA) abducts a German national, an activist of a non-governmental organization (NGO), Henrich Wolfgang."

It was apparently done for ransom purposes. A sort of follow up to the story is on

Click here

It is clear at this point that there are serious security problems on the road between Imphal and Moreh, to point out only the central road needed for this trip. Here then is the explanation for why individual tourists are not able to easily cross between Burma and India at Tamu / Moreh. There is a big security problem along that road.

Nonetheless, it might still be interesting to do a trip between Mandalay and Tamu on the Burmese side of the border, just to have a look at Tamu. Is it really true for example that there is now a paved road between Kalay and Tamu? Someone might be able to sell some travel related articles about this new development.

Agreed with
gumnaam #42 above that a better idea for a trip like this might be to do it in the Imphal to Mandalay direction. Getting a permit to visit Imphal while in India might not be that difficult if you claim that you are a simple tourist who wants to visit a less well known city in India. While applying for that permit, you do not suggest that you are a journalist, and you do not mention that you are going to try crossing into Burma at Moreh. Upon arrival in Imphal, it would certainly be easy to get a local driver to take you to Moreh "for a look around". Some of the web pages above suggest that this is done on a regular basis. The drivers in Imphal would always know the current situation on the road to Moreh. Once in Moreh, with a Burmese visa in your passport, you start talking with the border officials.

If you are going away from the troubles in Manipur rather than into them, maybe it would make a difference?

 

45

However the immigration at Moreh don't have the authority to allow foreigners to leave or arrive at that checkpoint . Also Tamu is not a recognised entry point for foreigners to arrive in Burma . So it all depends on getting permission beforehand.

 

46

RECTRAVEL,
The main reason for the restrictions is not just the security concerns you mentioned . Its just that India does'nt like foreigners going to touchy border areas without permission . The logic is that if they let foreigners in it will be security risk because of foreign agents being able to get in observe military assets gather intelligence et etc etc.

In these areas Indian Border police and Immigration are very strict and inflexible , its not going to do any good trying to talk to them. To get permission to cross border to Burma would mean having to apply to Indian Home Office.

 

47

so much info.... this may already have been mentioned?

India begins restoring WWII road to Myanmar, China
By Zarir Hussain
GUWAHATI, India – India has started rebuilding a stretch of an historic road linking its remote northeast to southwest China amid hopes the route can be reopened to boost trade, officials said last week.

The 1726-kilometre (1079-mile) Stilwell Road connects India’s north-eastern state of Assam to Kunming, the capital of southwest China’s Yunnan Province, after cutting through Myanmar.


http://www.mmtimes.com/no366/n006.htm

 

48

This is the original article:
http://www.atimes.com/atimes/South_Asia/IE17Df05.html

 

49

Thanks mosegrisen. Reopening the Stilwell Road will be quite a feat! Built at, what was it, a man a mile or something like that. I've been on the Stilwell Road in India (upto the border at Nampong) way back (before there was an Arunachal Pradesh, I think) and remember how, what was an ok road maintained by the Indian army, disappeared into a thick jungle on the Burmese side.

I wouldn't hold my breath though. India's hold on the North-east is quite tenuous and they'll be quite nervous about the fact that it'll be easier for the Chinese to get to eastern Assam and Arunachal than it will be for most of India!

 

50

Quote


I wouldn't hold my breath though.



That's my thought entirely.... lots of issues.. Not least the (mis) trust and security issues by all countries involved.. Not likely to be open (to foreigners) any day soon... And even if it may some day be possible and passable... perhaps not much of a shortcut for any visitor... probably of more importance to cargo trucks carting goods between China and India... But gave me something to ponder, never the less:-)

 

51

But wait.. there's more:

Quote


A National Highway is being constructed on the famous Stillwell Road, which connects Ledo in Assam to Jairampur in Arunachal.



Recent developments
As of November, 2006, the Chinese Ambassador to India, Sun Yuxi has publicly stated in India: "In our position, the whole of the state of Arunachal Pradesh is Chinese territory. And Tawang is only one of the places in it. We are claiming all of that. That is our position." India's External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee has countered that statement by saying that "Arunachal is an integral part of India." India and China are currently engaged in talks to resolve the boundary question. Last year, both countries signed the "Political Parameters and Guiding Principles" document to peacefully resolve this issue.
10

Transport
The state's airports are located at Itanagar, Daparjio, Ziro, Along, Tezu and Pasighat. However, owing to the rough terrain, these airports are mostly small and cannot handle many flights, they were actually used for transportation of food, when these parts were not connected by the roads. Arunachal Pradesh has two highways; the 336km National Highway 52, completed in 1998, connects Jonai with Dirak.
15 There is another highway which connects Tezpur in Assam with Tawang.16 Now in 2007, every village is connected by road. It's due to fund that central government has provided. Every small town has got its own bus station and daily bus services are available. All places are connected to Assam, so increasing the trading capacity. A National Highway is being constructed on the famous Stillwell Road, which connects Ledo in Assam to Jairampur in Arunachal.

[Tourism
Arunachal Pradesh attracts tourists from many parts of the world. Tourist attractions include the Namdapha tiger project in Changlang district, Sela lake near to Bomdila, the bamboo bridges hanging over the river. Historical attractions include Malinithan in Lekhabali and Rukhmininagar near Roing, place where Rukhmini, lord Krishna's wife, used to live. Parshuram kund in lohit district, is believed to the lake where Pashuram washed away all his sins. Rafting and trekking are also available. A visitor's permit from the tourism department is required.
citation needed

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arunachal_Pradesh

rectravel
19-May-2007

52

Nagaland Post update

Click here

IMPHAL, MAY 19: Normal traffic along three highways connecting Manipur with other parts of the country and Myanmar has remained suspended for the last three days due to extortion drive by a militant outfit and bandhs enforced by organizations for several reasons.

Movement of vehicles, including passenger buses and taxis, along the Indo-Myanmar road, has been suspended since the last three days owing to intimidation of vehicles by a militant group for not paying extortion money.

Plying of all kinds of vehicles on Imphal-Jiribam stretch of NH-53 was also disturbed for the day following the 48-hour bandh called by a district level civil organization based in Tamenglong district from the midnight of Friday.

All the Imphal-bound goods-laden trucks failed to reach Imphal for the second day as landslides at Kohima on the Imphal-Dimapur section disturbed traffic movement on this highway.

Suspected armed members of a militant group early Saturday forced back all the passenger vehicles, including taxi services, proceeding towards Moreh along the Indo-Myanmar road from Pallel in Chandel. Militants reportedly threatened the vehicles to push back for non-payment of extortion money.

The police said suspected PULF militants also fired shots at the front tyres of a passenger bus (MN-01-0801) at Lilong along the Indo-Myanmar road (NH-39) on May 17. The rebels attacked the bus for not complying with an extortion notice served by them earlier.

Denouncing the act of the militants, the Indo-Myanmar Bus Drivers and Owners Association decided to suspend passenger services along this route. A meeting of the association held late yesterday reviewed the decision and decided to resume their services from Saturday.

The bandh enforced along the NH-53 was called by the Tamenglong district-based civil organization, demanding removal of security post at Church complex and posting of doctors and nurses in health centre in the district.

rectravel
20-May-2007

53

Click here for the latest news from mizzima.com

Visa (on arrival?) for Burmese citizens suggested by Manipur opposition

Subhaschandra M
Mizzima News (www.mizzima.com)

May 18, 2007 - Introduction of visa facilities for Burmese citizens and other South East Asian nationals, wishing to visit India through Manipur, was suggested by a senior opposition member in the legislative assembly of the northeast Indian state on Friday.

"We need a visa policy in the region to tap financial resources and the state should initiate it," Prof N Bijoy, Opposition MLA told the house during a discussion on the Budget session.

The policy could be applied to Burmese citizens and others who wish to visit India through Manipur for business or religious purposes, he added.

Predominantly Buddhists, people from Southeast Asian countries including Burma, regularly visit Bodh Gaya in India's Bihar state, one of the four most sacred pilgrimages for Buddhists.

The Dalai Lama often spends time in Bodh Gaya, located about 13 kilometres from Gaya, 450 kilometres west of Kolkata, and 90 kilometres south of Patna, Bihar's capital.

"Many Buddhists cannot afford to visit this sacred place as one needs to cross Bay of Bengal, but the turn-out is expected to be higher once the government opens its land route through Manipur under the Look East Policy," Prof Bijoy, former Vice Chancellor of the Manipur University said.

The Manipur People's Party, MLA also suggested the need to upgrade the Moreh College with modern facilities and equipment over and above the existing infrastructure to impart necessary higher education to both Indian and Burmese youths living along the international boundary.

To boost existing trade between the two countries as well as to improve the socio-economy status of the region, it is high time to learn the Burmese language as a prerequisite for trade, he said.

"Traders who know the
Burmese language would be at an advantage over others," the MLA added.

Following the Indo-Burma border trade agreement signed in 1994 and made operational in 1995, as part of strengthening bilateral trade relationship, Manipur University has been conducting a three-month certificate course on Burmese language every year since the past three years under its Centre for Myanmar Studies at Canchipur campus near Imphal.

Earlier during the question and answer session, Manipur Chief Minister Okram Ibobi said his Congress led government is taking necessary measures to improve Indo-Burma border trade.

Replying to a question by another senior opposition MLA and former Chief Minister Radhabinod Koijam, he said, "Several measures are being taken up by both the central and state governments to promote trade link with Southeast Asia and to expand the existing border trade with Burma by increasing tradable items."

He also said his Secular Progressive Front ministry in Manipur has formulated a specific policy for the purpose, adding that the volume of trade during 2006-07 on the Tamu-Moreh border point was Rs 62.13 crores in terms of exports while it was Rs 1.78 crores in imports.

The Manipur government has also identified a plot of land measuring 45.50 acres in Moreh border town,110 kilometre south of the state capital for the construction of an integrated check post and sanctioned Rs 200 crores for the proposed project.

rectravel
22-May-2007

54

mizzima.com

Burma bound drugs worth 1.36 crores seized by Indian rebel outfit

Subhaschandra M
Mizzima News (www.mizzima.com)

May 22, 2007 - Burma bound drugs worth a staggering Rs.1.36 crores (Us $ 3,23,800) were seized and set on fire by an Indian rebel outfit operating in the northeast. In its intensified anti-drug movement the group also seized tobacco products.

The Central Special Force of the Manipur based United National Liberation Front seized 136 kilograms of Ephedrine which is used in manufacturing psychotropic drugs from the Langol foothills near Imphal on Sunday afternoon and later destroyed it by setting it on fire in an isolated location in Imphal's East district.

The seized drugs are said to worth around Rupees 1.36 crores in Indian currency in the international market.

According to the Central Special Force, the seizure was made from a white-coloured Maruti van in the Langol foothills.

Packed neatly in 12 cardboard boxes, the Ephedrine had been lifted from a godown located in Imphal market area and was to be smuggled to Burma.

The man accused in the drug trade could not be caught but the occupants of the vehicle reportedly provided a mobile phone number (09436271876) belonging to the accused, the spokesperson of the outfit said. The estimated price of one kilogram of Ephedrine in the international market is around Rupees 100,000, he added.

It has been established that the seized Ephedrine belongs to a person called Vikram Mahendi alias Vicky Mahendi of Gate No. II in Moreh border town. His younger brother identified as Vikash Mahendi, who stays in New Delhi, is also involved in smuggling the drug ingredient through Manipur, he said.

The rebel outfit has warned all those involved in smuggling Ephedrine to surrender to the UNLF within one month and threatened serious action if they failed to do so. Apart from UNLF, other Manipur based outfits including People's Liberation Army, an armed wing of the proscribed Revolutionary People's Front have been imposing a complete ban on import and consumption of India Made Foreign Liquor (IMFL) as well as other India made khaini, zarda among others in the region over the past the six years.

Despite the prohibition in force on the sale of IMFL by the Manipur government way back in 1991, many anti-narcotic drug bodies and pressure groups like the Committee Against Drug Abuse, All Manipur Anti-Drug Association and Meira Paibis, the torch bearing womenfolk, and other bodies of Manipur are actively involved in fighting the drug menace in the region.

Seizure of Myanmar bound narcotics drugs as well as other India made tobacco products through the state of Manipur has been on since the past few weeks.

This is not the first time that Burma bound narcotic drugs were seized and subsequently destroyed by Indian rebel groups.

On May 20 morning, members of the All Manipur Anti-Drug Association, a newly floated anti-drug and anti-liquor pressure group in Manipur seized Indian made talab packets filled in two gunny bags from a Manipuri trader on his way to export it to Burma. The trader has been identified one Yumlembam Dipen (29) of new Checkon in Manipur's Imphal east district. He was carrying the bags in a passenger bus bearing the registration number MN06-0142. It is estimated that the value of talab packets in Indian currency would be around Rupees 10,040 in the local market.

 

 

55

So whats the verdict? No right?

 

56

No , but if they ever opened it to foreigners it would be well reported in advance in the Indian media.

 

57

I suggest improbable rather than the impossible implied in no.

 

58

Well, looks like people with their own transport have made it, and a lot of patience and maybe some strings to pull.

rectravel
22-May-2007

59

Quote


Well, looks like people with their own transport have made it, and a lot of patience and maybe some strings to pull.



Agreed entirely. This trip has been done already, in both directions and very recently. Most of the actual trip reports mentioned above are from the year 2004. Things may have changed still again since then, but nonetheless, this trip has already been done in recent memory. Someone else is going to do it again in the future, and maybe even in the near future.

What we are looking at here is how to do it without your own personal transport and without your own personal escort through Manipur.

Clearly, there are big problems in Manipur, from rebel groups which close down the road between Imphal and Moreh on a regular basis to rebel groups which are so fed up with the drug smuggling along this same route that they are acting as vigilantes. They are doing the work of the local police by arresting drug smugglers. No matter which way you look at it, the road between Imphal and Moreh is quite obviously not a safe road, and this is to say nothing of the road between Imphal and Kohima further north on the Indian side.

If you are going to ride in a bus or a trishaw along this road between Imphal and Moreh, it is obviously a toss of the dice about whether you the foreigner will get shot or kidnapped. This is clearly why the local authorities are not handing our travel permits to individual foreigners. The local authorities want to be able to provide an armed escort to foreigners who pass along these roads. The reason for this is now obvious.

Having said this, how about that we look a bit more closely about the paperwork needed when going in the Imphal to Mandalay direction? Going in this direction makes much more sense for individual visitors.
gumnaam has suggested that it is relatively easy to get a permit to visit Imphal when you are in India. Of course you DO NOT suggest to the issuing authority that you are a journalist, and of course you DO NOT suggest to the issuing authority that you are going to try to cross the border into Burma at Moreh / Tamu. You tell that issuing authority only that you are a simple tourist who is so in love with India, you want to visit even the lesser well know spots, like Imphal.

You obviously already have a visa for India before you apply for this permit to visit Imphal. After you receive this permit, you get a visa for Burma into your passport.

Then you get yourself to Imphal from anywhere in India. The editors of the online magazine on mizzima.com do this on a regular basis. Just look at their site from time to time.

Once in Imphal, you talk with the local trishaw drivers about a ride out to Moreh "to have a look around". Once in Moreh, you check into a hotel and dismiss your driver. You do not mention to anyone at all that you are going to attempt a crossing from India to Burma at Moreh / Tamu.

attn
davelliot. A "permit" to cross a border is issued in the form of a visa. If you have a visa for Burma in your passport before you arrive in Moreh, you already have permission to enter Burma. You do not need anything else. Not ever has the Burmese government required that you specify your entry or exit point. The only outstanding question is if the Indian and Burmese border guards themselves will actually honor your visa at Moreh / Tamu. You do not need anything else in your passport. The only real question here is will the Indian / Burmese guards honor your visa at Moreh / Tamu? Obviously, the only way to find out about this for sure is go to that border crossing in person.

The Indian Embassy even in London most certainly has no clue whatsoever about what is going on these days at Moreh / Tamu. Don't bother even asking any Indian Embassy or Consulate about this crossing. Just get yourself to India and then apply for a permit to visit Imphal at the relevant office.

gumnaam, where is the office in Delhi where these permits are issued?

Obviously, in the Imphal / Mandalay direction, getting a permit to Imphal is the first step. Which office in Delhi issues these permits?

rectravel
22-May-2007

60

Okay, I just sent an e-mail to these online newspaper editors. Maybe they will respond. Cheers,

attn editor@mizzima.com
http://mizzima.com
attn editor@nagalandpost.com
http://nagalandpost.com

Hello! Some foreigners are thinking these days about riding on the local buses between Imphal, Moreh, Tamu and Mandalay. Do you have any news about this trip? Is it now possible for foreigners to do this trip?

Please do publish some articles about this possibility in your online newspapers.

 

61

Quote


...you already have permission to enter Burma. You do not need anything else.



Sorry,
rectravel, but where did you get that from?

The few people that crossed this border (ferrying vehicles) ALL mentioned in their reports that they needed permits for both Myanmar and Manipur. The ones for Myanmar took 1-2 months to get and were coupled with a preplanned route/overnight itenary to Mandalay.

And even on other borders (Kawthoung for example) people with visas have been turned back very recently. This is borders where up to last October entry and exit was no problem at all.

Why should now suddenly that border to India be so easy on the Burmese side when other Burmese borders which used to be easy are much more difficult these days?

Do you have anything other than those rumours you are spreading?

 

62

Quote


Do you have anything other than those rumours you are spreading?



Only a prive secretary taking care of the paperwork and a private army travelling along side for security.. me thinks:-)

rectravel
24-May-2007

63

Quote


Sorry, rectravel, but where did you get that from?



A visa to cross a border is the norm for international border crossings anywhere on this planet. The question here is will this visa will be honored at Moreh / Tamu? No other paperwork would be required. The decision to actually honor the visa would be up to the local border guards.

Quote


The few people that crossed this border (ferrying vehicles) ALL mentioned in their reports that they needed permits for both Myanmar and Manipur. The ones for Myanmar took 1-2 months to get and were coupled with a preplanned route/overnight itenary to Mandalay.



My guess is that these "permits" were needed only because of the vehicles that were being brought along.

Would a "permit" be need if a vehicule was NOT being brought along? Obviously not. This is the question here now.

At this point, the Imphal to Mandalay direction looks more possible to me. Of course this is all speculation only. There won't be any updates about it until someone gets up there in person to try it out. Updates about all of this are most highly encouraged. I am not holding my breath.

BTW, who are these Australian officials who were recently in Kohima? See their pictures on

http://nagalandpost.com/

Cheers,

rectravel
24-May-2007

64

To keep a bit of balance on all of this, there are a couple of "touts" in Imphal who maintain web pages about tourist spots in and around Imphal. See

Click here

and

Click here

While in Delhi, perhaps it would help to references these spots while applying for a permit to visit Imphal?

On the other hand...

Click here

Youth shot dead

The Imphal Free Press

IMPHAL, May 24: One youth, said to be a former cadre of the proscribed PREPAK was shot dead by miscreants this morning at Moreh, a report received here said.

The victim was identified as Ali Husain, 18, son of late Abdul Zaril of Moreh ward-5. Miscreants shot him to death at 9.30 am today at the Sunrise public ground at ward no 5. He sustained at least three bullet wounds. The assailants later escaped towards the Tamu crossing the international border, the report added.

rectravel
24-May-2007

65

http://mizzima.com/

Bandh paralyses life in Moreh

May 25, 2007 - Normal life in the border town of Moreh ground to a halt on May 23 afternoon following an indefinite bandh in the town and its surrounding areas. This was followed by another 24-hour state-wide bandh in this northeastern state of Manipur.

8-8-88

 

66

Quote


Of course this is all speculation only.



Indeed that's what it is. Nothing but speculations.

Quote


A visa to cross a border is the norm for international border crossings anywhere on this planet.



Ah, once you have a visa you can cross the border? That easy...

Sorry, not in Mynamar. Not anywhere else in SEAsia either. There are designated border checkpoints for foreigners and many, many more which are not open for foreingers. All over Asia, not only in Myanmar.

I Myanmar currently the only border that can be crossed for certain is coming from Ruili into Muse. If even Tachilek/Mae Sai and Rangon/Kawthoung (which used to be easy to cross up to last autumn) have send people away very recently then:
- where do you get all this optimism from that this border that has never been open officially should suddenly let foreigners cross?

You just see too many open border crossings where there are no open border crossings.

Quote


There won't be any updates about it until someone gets up there in person to try it out.



Very true. But that 'someone' should NOT expect to cross that border, rather take it as a bonus if possible. That 'someone' should be prepared to do an excursion towards the border and go as far as he gets. And be prepared never to make it to the border and to be send back at a certain point.

That's what the most likely scenario is.

Quote


BTW, who are these Australian officials who were recently in Kohima?



I don't care, that's completely irrelevant concerning a border crossing. If some officials go somewhere and do something it does not mean that a tourist can do the same.
Not at all.

A friend of mine who has been 30-50 times in Myanmar has gone to all those parts in the country which are closed for tourists. But he works there, resources stuff, and their company works with some gov. department....

rectravel
24-May-2007

67

Just to clarify... When foreigners were crossing at Ranong / Kawthoung, was any documentation needed beyond a valid visa?

 

68

Yes; as in Tachilek.

So called 'overland permit' for crossing a land border. For a while it seemed MTT/immigration in Kawthoung were issuing on the spot of $30. A fellow tried, was send back and forth between MTT and immigration, couldn't get the permit and had to go to Bangkok and fly in. He posted his experience here and
zeke7 met him on the flight to Yangon.

 

69

TOOLS4FOOLS is absolutely correct . A visa is not necessarily permission to enter a country , permission is at discretion of the immigration staff and in case of India there are strict limititations on where you can exit or enter the country. To cross the border to Burma involves permit from Indian home office , for many travellers this will be impractical .

Just because its been done before by people with cars is no use to travellers who are not only not going to have a car , but are not going to be in position to spend months getting the permits which may or not be granted . unless you are having a car rally its hardly worth all the trouble and expense just to say you have crossed the border.

And when you talk about international norms , Burma doesn't operate to international norms ,
Tools4fools is correct , Burma shuts down borders at a whim without notice sometimes.

Even if India wanted to regularise the border , it would require a 2 way agreement with Burma . . In the meantime face the fact , that ordinary travellers have no hope .

 

70

Quote


Just because its been done before by people with cars is no use to travellers who are not only not going to have a car



Agree.

I suspect having a vehicle to ferry might actually be the reason for success and getting the permit. You do have a valid reason and therefore you will get the permits (even if it takes a while, was it a months or two with several visits to the Myanmar embassy for the motobike riders?...). Without a vehicle you got no important reason to use the border and won't get permit.

That might be the more realistic way how it works.

 

71

And whether people with vehicles would be granted the permit would depend on the authorities appraisal of the securiity situation at the time . We have heard of 2 people being granted permission , what about the cases we don't know about people being summarily refused .

And if it takes 1 or 2 months to get the permits for Burma , you still have the problem of getting permission from Home office in Delhi , thats is why it can take up to a year to get all the permits.

And
RECTRAVEL , when you suggest "talking with the trishaw drivers" and somehow quietly making your way to the border . There are Indian army and border police stationed along the way , how are you going to get past them if you don't have permits ? Had you thought of that?

 

72

And in reply #59 -- You mention that the crime problems on the road "are clearly the reason they won't allow individual travellers ".

But you are ignoring whats already been stated a couple of times , that the border is militarily sensitive , they don't want foreigners there without permission . Its been like that for decades , even if the crime and security issues disappeared it would still be the same situation as before - a non approved border for foreigners . It's the same reason you can't enter or leave India via Andaman islands or via India- Tibet border.

rectravel
27-May-2007

73

Thanks for the replies. Just reviewing the news from Moreh / Tamu quickly before reading the posts immediately above more closely...

Click here

Sealing of Indo-Burma border hits trade

Subhaschandra M
Mizzima News (www.mizzima.cm)

May 27, 2007 - For the third consecutive day on Sunday, border trade between Myanmar and India through Moreh and Nangphalong border towns remained suspended with Burma sealing the border on Friday following a bomb explosion in Nangphalong market. Eight people including two Indian were injured.

In a separate incident the bullet ridden body of Burmese national was found in Tamu on Sunday.

India's border gate number 1 and 2 in Moreh remained closed paralysing trade between the two countries. Many Indian importers are stranded in Moreh. Uncertainty prevails as the Burmese military junta are yet to share information regarding opening of the border gates.

Traders here had experienced as similar situation last year when the Burma Army sealed the border for almost a month following a bomb blast.

Unofficial reports, however, said the border may reopen from May 29. But this could not be confirmed till Sunday night as the Burmese authorities reportedly believe that Friday's blast in its territory was the handiwork of people from the Indian side.

Tension escalated after the discovery of a bullet ridden body of a Burmese national on Sunday morning. The body of the Burmese national, Khaing Thu, a resident of Tamu town's ward number 12 was found on the international border on the Indian side.

The military junta decided to seal the border gates as a precautionary measure.

Security measures have been stepped up, with Indian and Burmese forces conducting intensive patrolling on the international border.

Two Indian nationals of the eight injured in Friday's blast were identified as Ramu Chhetry (21) and Soibam Abung (26), both residents of Moreh ward No. 7. They are in a serious condition and have been admitted to a hospital in Kalemyo after initial treatment in Tamu, a source said.

Another unofficial source, however, said Ramu succumbed to his injury in the subsequent firing as he sustained five bullet wounds in the chest and abdomen, while Abung was hit by three bullets.

Meanwhile Indian police officials deployed in Moreh are investigating the killing of two Indian citizens across the border.

None of the Indian rebel outfits operating in Moreh has border town so far claimed responsibility for the blast and subsequent firing till the filing of this report.

Regarding the reopening of the sealed Indo-Burma border, a senior Indian immigration official stationed at Moreh said that they did not have any official information about it.

Click here

Border sealed after blast, Myanmarese found shot

A Lalit

MOREH, May 26: In the aftermath of the blast yesterday at Namphalong market, just across the border from Moreh that left altogether eight persons injured, the India-Myanmar border remained sealed today, even as a Myanmar national was found shot to death this morning near the international border.

With the discovery of the bullet-riddled body of the Myanmar national early this morning near the international border on the Indian side, security measures have been stepped up, with Indian and Myanmarese forces conducting intensive patrolling on the international border.

According to reports received here, the deceased Myanmar national is identified as Khainthu, a resident of Tamu ward no 12.

Reports also added that the two Indian nationals injured in the bomb blast and firing incident yesterday, identified as Ramu Chhetry, 21, and Soibam Abung, both residents of Moreh ward no. 7, are in serious condition, and have been evacuated to a hospital at Kalemyo after initial treatment at Tamu.

Ramu Chhetry reportedly sustained five bullet wounds in the chest and abdomen, while Abung was hit by three bullets.

The two of them, it may be mentioned, were fired upon by unidentified miscreants, who also hurled a hand grenade, while they were having tea at a small hotel at Namphalong market.

At least six others were also wounded in the grenade explosion, including several women and a five-year old child who sustained splinter injuries at the forehead. All of them have reportedly been discharged after first aid at a Tamu hospital.

Myanmar authorities reportedly believe that yesterday`s incident is the handiwork of people from the Indian side of the border, and with tensions escalating after the discovery of the bullet-riddled body of a Myanmarese national this morning, the Myanmarese authorities decided to seal the border gates as a precautionary measure.

Intensive patrolling is also being taken up on both sides of the border by Indian and Myanmarese security forces.

There was some speculation that the Myanmarese national who was found dead today may have been shot in firing by Indian forces, but Lt Col MS Gaged, CO, 24 Assam Rifles, told this correspondent over the telephone that no firing had taken place on the part of Indian security forces.

The DC, Chandel, has in the meantime reached Moreh, apparently with an intent to observe the prevailing situation.

Click here

Army act’s term extended
OUR CORRESPONDENT

Imphal, May 26: The Okram Ibobi Singh government in Manipur today came under fire from various human rights organisations for extending the controversial Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act for another six months in the state.

A decision to this effect was taken during a cabinet meeting presided over by Ibobi Singh last night.

The AFSPA was given a fresh lease of life by extending the Disturbed Areas Act in the state.

Sources said the act would not apply to the seven Assembly constituencies in Imphal municipal areas.

The act, which allows security forces to operate with extraordinary powers, was strongly criticised by the Apunba Lup, a conglomerate of several NGOs.

“We condemn the decision though we are not surprised. The state government is only implementing New Delhi’s policy of keeping the people of the Northeast and particularly those in Manipur under subjugation,” Ph. Devan, one of its coordinators, said.

The Centre had constituted Justice Jeevan Reddy Committee to review the act following widespread agitation in Manipur. Though the report was submitted to the government last year, the Centre is yet to take a decision on its recommendations.

Border alert

Trade between India and Myanmar came to a standstill today and troops of the two countries manning the international border at Moreh were put on alert after two masked gunmen triggered a powerful blast inside a hotel at Namphalong, a busy marketplace on the Myanmar side of the border next to gate II, around 3 pm on Friday.

The duo fired indiscriminately before fleeing the spot. Ramu Chettry and Soibam Abung aged around 23, residents of Moreh, who were injured in the blast, were rushed to a hospital at Tamu in Myanmar. The identity of the group behind the attack is yet to be ascertained. The Myanmarese army sealed the border and held a meeting with the Assam Rifles at Moreh last evening.

Today both sides exchanged information on the progress of investigation.

“We are coordinating with the Myanmarese army. Right now we cannot say which group is responsible for the attack,” Assam Rifles spokesman Col L.M. Pant said.

Police suspect militant groups of Manipur or armed forces opposed to the ruling junta in Myanmar to have masterminded the attack.

Click here

India-Myanmar border sealed after bomb blast

Imphal, May. 26 (PTI): The Indo-Myanmar border at Moreh in Manipur's Chandel district has been sealed following a bomb explosion there in which five persons sustained injuries, official sources said today.

Sources said unidentified militants set off a bomb and also fired indiscriminately at Myanmar's Namphalong market complex, near Moreh, yesterday in which five persons, mostly from Moreh, were injured.

Reports from the border town said the insurgents escaped through Moreh.

The injured were taken to hospital at Tamu near Namphalong in Myanmar. The condition of three of the injured was stated to be serious, the reports said.

After the incident, security personnel of both countries deployed on the international border, held a meeting to discuss the situation and later sealed the border, reports said.

It said the international trade conducted through Moreh and Namphalong was also suspended but it was likely to resume anytime depending on the situation.

The motive behind the blast was not immediately known.

Tribal insurgents of different groups in Manipur were operating in the area, reports said adding that they had earlier attacked securitymen posted on the border. The militants had also been extorting money from people from time to time.

Sources said Kuki militants of some outfits have been trying to dominate Moreh area where there was a sizeable Kuki population.

Click here

Five hurt in Moreh blast
Source: The Sangai Express

Moreh, May 25: At least five persons sustained injuries when unidentified armed persons opened fire and exploded a bomb at a hotel in Namphalong, an important centre of Indo-Myanmar border trade, located next to Moreh at around 3 pm today.

Following the violent incident, the border area has been sealed and a joint meeting of the Myanmarese Army and the Assam Rifles was held to discuss the situation.

Two of the injured persons have been identified.

They are Ramu of Moreh Ward No.6 and Abung of Moreh Ward No..7 All the injured persons have been admitted to a hospital at Tamu where their conditions are stated to be out of danger.

According to information culled from the site of the incident, the unidentified gunmen launched the attack at the hotel, You and Me located near Gate No.II of Namphalong by firing several rounds and later triggered a bomb.

All the injured persons were having tea and snacks inside the hostel when the incident took place.

After the attack, the unidentified gunmen were seen fleeing toward the Tamil Mandir on Moreh side, eyewitnesses said.

Soon after the incident, the border was sealed and a joint meeting of Myanmarese Army and the Assam Rifles was held at the Immigration Office of Moreh to discuss the situation.

Myanmarese Army was led by LIC Major The Hlien and the Assam Rifles was led by CO in-charge of 24 AR Col MU Gaded during the meeting.

ROP along the border area has also been intensified.

Though the border has been sealed following the violent incident, it is likely to reopen tomorrow if the situation improves.

Auto service resumes: After remaining suspended for the last few days, the service of the autorickshaw at the border Moreh town resumed from today.

The decision to resume the service was arrived at following an understanding during a meeting of the all communities at the office of Hill Tribal Council (HTC), Moreh this afternoon.

rectravel
27-May-2007

74

A Google alert on keywords "moreh tamu" is fairly interesting.

Click here

Burmese delegation in Manipur despite border being sealed

Subhaschandra M
Mizzima News (www.mizzima.com )

May 29, 2007 - An eight member Burmese delegation arrived in Imphal despite the international border in the Manipur sector being sealed. They will meet Indian counterparts and participate in a sectoral level meeting on Indo-Burma border trade in Gangtok, the capital of India's northeastern state of Sikkim.

The Burmese delegation includes Director General Myat Ko, Director Kyin Lin, Director Tin Htut, Director Kyaw Tint Lieutenant Colonel Thit Tuin Ohm, Ministry of Defence, Director Immigration Department Win Myint and EE People's Work Department U Khin.

On arrival in Moreh they were welcomed by Indian officials at the Border bridge of Moreh's gate number 1.

The Indian officers who received the Burmese delegation were Immigration Officer of Moreh police station Hushnejaman, who is the Sub-Divisional Police
Officer of the border town, W Nongyai, Officer in Charge of Moreh Police and officials of the 24 Battalion of the Assam Rifles.

After verification of documents at the inspection bungalow of Assam Rifles battalion in Moreh, the team arrived in Imphal on Sunday evening. They left for Guwahati from Tulihal airport in Imphal today. From Guwahati the team will go to Gangtok by road.

Moreh remained crippled for the fourth consecutive day on Monday due to suspension of Indo-Burma border trade between the two countries following a bomb explosion in Nanphalong border market in Burma on Friday.

Two Indian youths and six Burmese citizens were injured in the blast. There is palpable tension in Moreh with almost all shops closed except for a couple of non-local shops. In Manipur's state capital Imphal, most passenger service vehicles did not find passengers due to the situation in Moreh.

"Earlier we use to get a number of passengers, but since the last two days we're not getting any passengers particularly traders," said Ibomcha, a
driver. Border trade has been paralysed as Moreh border gate number 1 and 2 bordering Burma's Nangaphalong in Burma's Tamu Township in Sagaing
division remains closed.

Many Indian traders particularly importers are stranded here since Saturday. None of the Indian officials stationed here could say anything about the
reopening of the sealed border.

Officers in Moreh police station have no idea when the border will be reopened. "Earlier they (Burmese authorities) have been known to seal the border for almost a month," said an Indian trader stranded in India's gateway to South Asian countries.

Last year too Nangphalong market had witnessed a similar blast in January after which the Burmese Army sealed the border for almost a month.

Unofficial reports available here however suggest that the gates might be re-opened after four or five days. Hushnejaman, Indian immigration official in Moreh said, "we have no information in this regard".

 

 

rectravel
27-May-2007

75

Click here

Essential commodities running out at Moreh

A Lalit

MOREH, May 30: Life in the Moreh has suddenly taken a turn for the worse, as the continued closure of border gates following last week`s blast at Namphalong has combined with the ongoing highways economic blockade called by the ATSUM to create shortage of essential items in the border town.

Previously, the people of the town were able to tide over any shortage in essential items brought in from Imphal due to bandhs or blockades along NH-39 by importing these items from Tamu, but in the wake of the continued closure of the international border in the wake of the Namphalong blast of May 25, import of such items has been made impossible, leaving the residents in a tight spot.

On the other hand, due to the economic blockade imposed by the ATSUM, ferrying of essential items from Imphal, along with transportation of trade goods from Moreh, has been paralysed for several days now.

This has given rise to calls from the business community as well as the general public for the state government to take up necessary steps to facilitate free passage of goods along the Imphal-Moreh route, particularly daily necessities and essential items, by deploying adequate security forces and providing escorts.

They have also appealed to the NGOs and other organisations imposing the blockade to take up other means to air their grievances in view of the sufferings of the people.

In the meantime, to add to the woes of the people of Moreh, nearly all telephone connections in the town have not been functioning for the past few days, thus cutting off virtually all communication links with the outside world.

rectravel
27-May-2007

76

Interestingly, the British Embassy in Rangoon at some point considered the border crossing at Tamu / Morei to be one of the "legal crossing points" into and out of Burma. Maybe that was in 2004, when the caravans were crossing? Obviously, things have changed, and just as obviously, the news from Tamu / Morei does not suggest that an individual traveler is going to be able to do this crossing at any time soon, "overland permit" in hand or not... It was a thought however, no?

Click here

QUOTE

Local Travel

You should exercise caution if travelling to border areas in Burma. The Burmese government restricts travel to most border areas. There are a limited number of legal crossing points, but these could close without notice:

* Tachilek (Burma Shan State) – Mae Sai (northern Thailand border)
* Kaw Thoung (Burma Tanintharyi) – Ranong-Kawthoung (southern Thailand border)
* Muse (Burma Shan State) – Ruili (China border)
* Tamu (Burma Chin State) – Morei (India border)

UNQUOTE

Click here

Indo-Burma border closure pushes up price of commodities

Subhaschandra M
Mizzima News (www.mizzima.com)

June 1, 2007 - The continued closure of the Indo-Burma border has led to spiraling prices of essential commodities in the northeastern border state of Manipur. The border here is a major point for transit of goods and commodities.

The prices of essential items like candles, washing powder, soaps, pulses and even rice, which are imported from Burma through the border town of Moreh have soared according to locals and traders.

Even commodities least in demand such as candles, which cost Rupees 130 normally has increased to Rupees 145, said a local resident adding that the stock are running out fast.

Indian authorities on May 25 sealed the Indo-Burma border following continued unrest in the border town of Moreh and a bandh called by auto-drivers in the town.

On May 23, auto-drivers in Moreh town called an indefinite bandh in the town and the surrounding area, to protest against excessive monetary demands by rebel outfits operating in the border areas.

Besides the bandh, the situation worsened when the All Tribal Students' Union Manipur on May 24 called a state-wide bandh protesting against the government's failure to implement the long pending demands which were agreed to by the Manipur government.

The state-wide bandh was called following a four-day economic blockade of National Highways 39 and 53, including the Indo-Burma route, by the ATSU.

In the given situation, locals said, supplies of essential commodity are running out and prices are rising. The price of potatoes, which was Rs. 10 per kilogram before the blockade rose to Rs. 15 in the local markets. The cost of a tin of refined oil has increased from Rs. 40 to Rs 50.

The situation deteriorated further following reports that supporters of the blockade seized goods and commodities brought from the border town of Moreh to Imphal, the capital of Manipur.

Click here

Weapons for Indian rebels sourced from Burma

Subhaschandra M
Mizzima News (www.mizzima.com)

June 2, 2007 – Weapons sourced from Burma is fuelling insurgency in the northeast regions of India, according to the top brass of the Assam Rifles, India's security force guarding the porous Indo-Burma international border.

Senior officers felt that inflow of a large quantity of arms from neighbouring Burma is helping rebels and allowing terrorism to thrive in the border state of Manipur.

The Assam Rifles which has replaced the Border Security Force along the northeastern front now wants effective policing of the border.

Major General B K Chengapa, Inspector General of Assam Rifles, headquarters (South) based in Manipur's Mantripukhuri sector near Imphal said that the disturbed environment in neighbouring Burma has led to the inflow of arms and drugs to Manipur which in turn, has facilitated insurgency and terrorism in the state.

The General who looks after and supervises his troops deployed at important entry points like Moreh in Chandel
district, Kamjong, Kasom Khullen, Huishi and Poi in Ukhrul district and Singhat in Churachandpur district in Manipur expressed his views during the formal inauguration of a newly renovated rehabilitation centre for surrendered Insurgents in Imphal. The rehabilitation centre which was re-opened by the IG in Lamphelpat area near Imphal presently houses around 22 former insurgents belonging to various underground outfits.

The Indo-Burma border is porous and this problem has to be addressed as part of the process of containing insurgency in Manipur, the IG said.

"The Assam Rifles has been given the task of guarding the border here. But unlike the western sector, the border here could not be effectively guarded because of shortage of security forces," he said.

The task of protecting the border would be gradually extended along the 490-kilometre stretch of the Indo-Burma international border.

There are around 20 insurgent groups operating in Manipur according to official reports available here. All the outfits belong to various ethnic communities and their objectives range from "restoring sovereignty" of the region to protecting the interest of their respective ethnic communities. Interestingly there are over 30 ethnic communities settled in Manipur state alone.

As a result over the past couple of years violence and extortion has escalated. It may be worth mentioning here that Oxfam's International report (September 2006 issue) on "India and the arms trade treaty" clearly says that Mandalay in central Burma and its border town Tamu are the birth places of illegal arms smuggling across the porous Indo-Burma border.

In the illegal arms market in Tamu town, a hand grenage costs Rs 600 while a unit of ammunition for automatic weapons costs only Rs 25.The rates charged by gun runners is not very complex and is even known to security forces, the report said.

Assam Rifles, the Border Security Force, the Central Reserve police force, Indian reserve police battalion and state forces deployed in the north eastern states have seized approximately 39,000 AK series rifles in the last six years.

----

At this point, if any individual traveler wants to try this trip in the Imphal to Mandalay direction, or simply to visit with the guys who know about it, the guys who run the web site on
http://www.mizzima.com are the guys to talk to while in Delhi. See their web site for their contact information. Thanks to everyone for the input on this thread. It's never going to happen, eh?

 

77

Quote


Interestingly, the British Embassy in Rangoon at some point considered the border crossing at Tamu / Morei to be one of the "legal crossing points" into and out of Burma.



Interestingly MTT in Yangon told (at least one) foreign tourist (who posted here later) in Yangon that a new road was opened all the way to Kawthoung and overland travel possible all the way. I visited all the places down there and there was no way to go overland...

Or at one time I was sitting in MTT at Mandalay and asking questions. They had no answers. I told them what I have been told in Yangon (and proved to be correct so far in this case) and they started taking notes...

Simple guess: the Brits got their info from a wrong source; or they messed up the info themselves, thinking if locals can cross foreigners can too.

 

78

Enough talk! Let's wait for a report from someone who has tried to travel overland from India to Burma and has or has not succeeded!

 

79

You may be waiting a very long time.

acaciatree
06-Jun-2007

80

Well that's the purpose of this post, to encourage others like myself to begin taking these trips.

WE are afterall, the reason people go to any of these emerging destinations. WE are the path-beaters. So please, all it takes is a few goers and wallah, the route is open.

rectravel
06-Jun-2007

81

Even more amazing is that the Australian government has the same info on their site too. Maybe these officials simply copy one another's web sites?! See

Click here

QUOTE

Travel to or from Burma via a land route is possible, but is restricted to a limited number of land border crossing points. These are:

* Tarchilek (Myanmar Shan State)-Mae Sai (Thailand Border)
* Muse (Myanmar Shan State)-Ruili (China Border)
* Tamu (Myanmar Chin State)-Morei (India Border)
* Kaw Thoung (Myanmar Tanintharyi)-Ranong (Thailand Border)

You must obtain permission to use these land border transit points prior to travel through a government authorised tour company who will obtain the required permits from the Burmese Ministry of Hotel and Tourism.

UNQUOTE

No matter what, anyone who has time on their hands while in Mandalay could make it a project to try to get Tamu. This alone would be an interesting trip, no? Take a pickup from the market in Mandalay to Monywa and then take a ferry to Kalewa and a pickup to Kalay. No problem for this part of the trip, right? Then take a mini van from Kalay to Tamu. See the info in post #31 above for this part of the trip. If you are going to be taken out of a ride and sent back away from Tamu, it would probably happen at the check point just outside Tamu mentioned in post #31 above.

acaciatree, all readers here thank you for having volunteered to do this trip! ;)))

rectravel
06-Jun-2007

82

Why time is wasted on this story, I do not know. Thanks again tools4fools for having stimulated my mind about this story.

========================

Click here

Over 2000 Indians seek refuge in Burma

Ko Dee
Mizzima News (www.mizzima.com)

June 9, 2007 - Over 2,000 Indians, residing on the Indo-Burmese border town of Moreh, fled to Burma today to take refuge after tension broke out in the town, following fresh clashes between Manipuris and ethnic Kuki rebels.

Burmese military officials in Tamu Township provided the Indians, mainly Manipuris and Bengalis, with shelter and supplied food in Burma's border point in Nanphalone village opposite Moreh in India.

A local resident, speaking to Mizzima over telephone, said there was palpable communal tension in Moreh following the killing of four ethnic Kuki drivers this morning by suspected Manipuri militants, who intruded from Burma.

Last night, a gun fight broke out between suspected Manipuri and Kuki militants in Moreh, the local said, requesting anonymity for fear of reprisal. He failed to give details of the clash.

"Locals are continuing to flee to Burma side of the border since this evening. More than 2,000 crossed over. As all border gates are closed, they are jumping over the fence," the local said.

Several Kuki women this afternoon held a protest rally and demanded that the bodies of the four drivers, which were taken away by the Moreh police for post mortem and filing a case be returned, the local resident said.

Tension mounted when five Manipuri fishermen, unaware of the events returned to the town this afternoon and were killed by an unidentified group.

Kukis are the largest community in Moreh, which is an international trade point connecting Burma and India . The minority community such as the Manipuris, Bengalis and south Indians largely control the business sector in the town.

Manipuris and other communities, apprehensive of being caught in the ongoing trouble have began to seek refuge across the border, locals said

"They
Indians fled to Burma because they are scared that the tension might affect them," the local said.

The Indian refugees where sheltered in a primary school in Nanphalone village and were given food by the Burmese border security force, the local added.

Fresh tension broke out in Moreh just two days after the indefinite bandh was called off by Manipuri women folk following the killing of a Manipuri driver by suspected Kuki militants on June 2.

Following the bandh call Indian and Burmese authorities sealed the border gates putting a stop to trade activities.

rectravel
08-Jul-2007

83

The editors of Imphal's Sangai Express do have a sense of humor, no?
-------------------

Click here

Indian Border Town ‘An Economic Gateway’

The violence-ravaged border town of Moreh, which has been at a business standstill for weeks and under martial law guard, is more than ever India’s economic gateway to Southeast Asia, insists a senior Manipur State government official.

“Moreh is the most strategic international trading point in the region,” Chief Minister Ibobi Singh said. But after visiting the town, which is the only official land border trade link with Burma and the rest of Southeast Asia, Singh conceded in a statement this week that “development of
trade infrastructures at the border town has been hurdled by boundary disputes with Burma.”

Singh called for a tightening of security along the porous border, across which numerous ethnic rebel groups filter both ways.

The Sangai Express newspaper in Imphal, reporting the continuation of a 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. curfew following the killing of 11 people in recent community violence, was less convinced, saying: “It is ironical to call Moreh a center of international trade in the circumstances.”

India has been calling for the development of a more integrated trading zone between Moreh and Tamu on the Burmese side.

Earlier this month The Sangai Express said the only flourishing trade at the border was weapons.
---------------------

Click here

Namphalong market re-opens, but border trade remains minimal

Source: The Sangai Express

Moreh, June 17: The Namphalong Market in Myanmar just across Moreh town was reopened today after remaining shut for a long time.

However, there was little cross-border transaction as the Moreh Gate no 2 which serves as the official gateway to Myanmar was closed shortly after it was reopened today.

On the other hand, a bilateral meeting was held between officials of two countries at the Immigration office located at Namphalong Market.

The Myanmarese delegation was represented by District Chairman of Tamu Lupi Wing, Col Aung Hung and the Immigration Officer while the Indian side was represented by ADC Moreh Th Chothe, Moreh Immigration Officer Md Jaman, OC Moreh PS W Nongyai and Customs Superintendent S Kilong.

During the meeting, the Indian delegates conveyed to their counterparts of their inability to open Moreh Gate No 2 at the moment because of the fluid law and order situation at Moreh.

Nevertheless, the Indian officials assured that they would put their best efforts to open Moreh Gate No 2 as soon as possible after consultations with relevant authorities.

Further, the Indian delegates appealed to their Myanmarese counterparts not to open Namphalong Market for some time until the official gate between the two countries is opened.

To this, the Myanmarese officials maintained that any decision to this effect can be adopted only after due communication with higher authorities of the Myanmar Government.

Speaking to this correspondent, Superintendent of Customs Preventive Force S Kilong while acknowledging their responsibility of reopening Moreh Gate No 2, conveyed certain reservations on reopening the gate as the law and order situation at the border town still remains fluid.

The Moreh Gate No 2 which was reopened today was closed shortly following intimations from security officials that reopening of the gate will be risky under the prevailing situation, conveyed Kilong.

Yet, he assured that the same gate will be opened soon after a meeting with officials concerned.

It may be mentioned here that 8 people belonging to the two countries sustained injuries of whom one Indian succumbed later in grenade explosion and firing incidents at Namphalong Bazar on May 25.

rectravel
08-Jul-2007

84

Waiting for the train to Burma
by admin — last modified 2007-06-28 07:07 — expired

June 27, 2007: (Narinjara) Train communication from Northeast India to Burma will turn into a reality soon. At least Indian Railway Ministry is confident enough for the development, where the landlocked Northeast, which is surrounded by Nepal, Bhutan, Tibet (China) and Bangladesh besides Burma would be linked to the Burmese city Rangoon.

India expects the Northeast, comprising eight states namely Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Manipur, Mizoram, Tripura, Meghalaya and Sikkim to connect with Southeast Asia for trade and commerce under New Delhi's Look East policy.

The Minister of State for Indian Railway R. Velu has recently declared that his Ministry had already approved the 'signing and ratification of the inter-governmental agreement on Trans-Asian Railway', which would connect countries across Asia. India has the pride to operate the largest railway network in the globe.

"The Inter-governmental Agreement on Trans-Asian Railway was negotiated under the aegis of the United Nation Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP) and was opened for signature during the Ministerial Conference on Transport at Busan, South Korea, in November 2006," he informed.

The 81,000 KM long Trans-Asian Railway network is supposed to connect Turkey and Iran with Russia, China, South Korea to Kazakstan, Uzbekistan, India an finally to reach Vietnam via Thailand.

The Indian minister disclosed that India had decided to spend nearly Rs 30 billion (Rs 45= USD 1) to construct the rail link to connect Burma with an aim to reach the Trans-Asian railway network.

He also revealed that the missing link in India could be traced from Jiribam (Assam) to Tamu (Sagaing Division, Burma) adjacent to Moreh (Manipur). "The construction of this missing link is estimated to cost Rs 2,941 crore," Mr Velu added.

Tamu will be connected to Mandalay, the cultural capital of Burma after crossing the Irrawaddy river. This historic city and the former capital of Burma has already rail communication with Rangoon with Burma's new capital Nay Pie Taw.

The railway track of course needs up-gradation and India has come forward to assist the Myanmar railways for this project. The assistance, offered by India, is inspired by the Mekong-Ganga Cooperation project with an aim to connect Hanoi (Vietnam) with New Delhi.

On the other hand, Jiribam in Cachar district of Assam is connected by broad gauge train network with the state capital Guwahati. Known as the virtual capital of Northeast, Guwahati is well connected with other main cities of India including Kolkata, Chennai, Mumbai and New Delhi.

Because of hilly terrain, the proposed railway track would have to pass through many tunnels. After completion, expected by 2010, the railway line might offer the passengers an unique experience of traveling through its lush green terrain and longer tunnels.

Till date, the Burmese junta does not allow the Indians to visit Burma through land routes. Of course, there are provisional entry facilities for Indian tourists through Moreh-Tamu trade point with other one at Champhai-Rih point (in Mizoram-Chin province of Burma).

However the tourists are asked to come back the same day before evening. Hence, it is an impossible task for the tourists to visit Mandalay, which needs at least 12 hours to arrive there from Moreh-Tamu point.

 

85

If you are all curious. Tune into ODYSSEY: Driving Around the World. We were the first to cross Myanmar from East to West by car in over 50 years. In episode 8 the team drives across Myanmar from China into Manipur India and continue through Nagaland, and Assam.
http://www.odysseyshow.com

For more adventures watch ODYSSEY: Driving Around the World this fall on Nat Geo Adventure Channel, OLN, A1, Life TV and the Extreme Channel

 

86

RE #84.
In colonial times , the British administration in India had plans to build railway from Calcutta to Burma . The route was surveyed , but the plan was shelved after it was decided the railway was uneconomic.

rectravel
08-Jul-2007

87

Understood, #86. The obvious question at this point is why a rail line would make economic sense today when it did not make economic sense back then, and in particular when stories like the following continue to appear on such a regular basis. Why would security along a rail route be better than along the current road?

From mizzima.com

Vehicles stop plying on Indo-Burma road

Subhaschandra M
Mizzima News (www.mizzima.com)

July 12, 2007 - Imphal: Trade in the Indo-Burma border in Moreh in India 's north eastern state of Manipur has been hit again, following the suspension of passengers as well as goods carrier services over the last two days.

Moreh-Imphal Jeep and Tata Sumo Taxi Service Welfare Association imposed the chakka bandh agitation along the Indo-Burma road since July 10 in protest against the torching of a passenger van by unidentified persons suspected to be rebels.

The association in its emergency meeting held at Iboyaima Shumang Leela complex in Imphal, condemned the hijacking of the Tata Sumo from Singjamei in Imphal west district and subsequently setting it on fire in Tarahei Naral Konjil village near Imphal at about 8.25 p.m. on July 8.

In a press release issued here, the association appealed to all concerned to explain at the earliest as to why the vehicle was set on fire. The association said they will suspend normal services until and unless the culprits gave a clarification. The Transporters' and Drivers' Council has also joined the stir.

The Council said that since no organisation has claimed responsibility for the act of arson or given any reason, the Council also decided to suspend all transport services along Imphal-Moreh from July 11. The burnt Sumo plied on this route. The vehicles not plying include, trucks, buses, Tata Sumos, Van DIs. There will be relaxation even for medical emergencies.

"The suspension of the passenger services directly affects our day to day business. The authorities should do something to restore normalcy," said Inaomacha, a small time Imphal bound trader.

Moreh town wears a deserted look today even though a couple of shops are open," Lalmani, a resident of Moreh town told Mizzima. He added that the arrival of Burmese traders and businessmen in Nanpharlone market across the border was minimal today.

The Indo-Burma Border Traders' Union in the recent past had urged the Manipur Governor Dr Shivinder Singh Sidhu to intervene in the alleged move by the central government in New Delhi to divert the trade route from Manipur to Mizoram due to frequent bandhs and blockades along the Imphal-Moreh route which have disturbing the 11 year old border trade.

With 22 agricultural items in their trade list, Indo-Burma border trade was signed India and Burma in 1994 but it was made operational since April 1995.

 

88

Well things have totally changed from back in colonial days . But the proposal to build a railway , like the proposal to open a pan- asian highway could take an awfully long time . Plus even without these security incidents it could take awfully long time till both govts are happy to have foreigners travelling freely on that route. Any thing could happen , but by the time it becomes possible you might be too old to travel !.

rectravel
08-Jul-2007

89

mizzima.com

Mandalay-Moreh bus service cleared

Subhaschandra M
Mizzima News (www.mizzima.com)

July 20, 2007 - A direct bus service between Indian border town Moreh and Burma's second largest city, Mandalay is in the offing. This was announced by Manipuri's Transport Minister on Friday.

Speaking to reporters, Manipur Transport Minister Langpoklakpam Jayantakumar said in order to give a leg up to bilateral trade relations both India and Burma will give the go ahead to the direct bus service.

"The concerned authorities have cleared the project," said the Minister adding that the bus link will be a historic milestone for trade between the two nations.

Though the Indian Commerce Minister Jairam Ramesh, during his visit to Moreh in September 2006, gave the green signal to the proposed bus service, the project got mired as Burmese authorities failed to respond to India's proposal then.

The bus service, which is part of the proposed Trans-Asia Highway and Trans-Asian Rail link, would take Burmese traders and tourists from Mandalay only 12 hours to reach the Indian border town, the Minister added.

The Minister also said in order to work out a detailed programme, a meeting will be held in Manipur's capital Imphal on July 23, where Indian officials including security personnel and traders would participate.

"We will identify the number of stoppages along the route and other pros and cons of the bus service at the meeting," said Jayantakumar adding that the resolutions would be forwarded to the Union Ministry of Surface Transport in New Delhi for approval.

Responding to a question by Mizzima, the Minister said a ministerial team along with officials will be visiting Mandalay shortly to study the ground situation.

"Hopefully we're planning to go next month" he added.

The Moreh-Mandalay bus service has been one of the major demands of the Indo-Myanmar Border Traders' Union. "It is encouraging as it's going to attract tourists as well as traders," said Yumnamcha Dilipkumar, President of IMBTU.

rectravel
25-Jul-2007

90

From the Assam Tribune

Click here

Govt examining security aspect of Indo-Myanmar bus service

By Surajit Khaund

GUWAHATI, July 25 – The Home Ministry has sought a detailed report from the Manipur Government on the security aspect before introducing the Indo-Myanmar bus service. The Centre had decided to introduce a bus service between Moreh and Mandalay of Myanmar in order to strengthen bilateral relations between the countries, besides increasing volume of trade. But the Home Ministry is now worried over the prevailing law and order situation along the border.

To resolve the problem, the Manipur Government had organized a meeting on Monday last that was attended by Minister for Transport L Jayanta Kumar Singh, senior police officials, bus operators and members of trade bodies. The meeting decided to send a delegation to Mandalay to gather a report in this regard.

Yumnacha Dilip Kumar, president of Indo-Myanmar Border Traders’ Union (IMBTU) who was present in the meeting informed this correspondent that the Manipur Government is keen to start bus service as early as possible to explore the Myanmar market. “The people of Myanmar are also willing to visit the North East and bus service would be very fruitful,” he added.

On a specific question about the law and order problem, he observed that to over come the problem, the trade bodies and the bus operators had demanded more security for the safety of the passengers. “The bus service will definitely give a boost the tourism sector in the North East,” Kumar informed.

The distance between Moreh and Mandalay is around 620 kms. As the road passes through some insurgency infested areas , the bus operators have demanded more security arrangements for smooth service. Tamu, Namphalang and Kabu Valley of Myanmar are said to be the hotbed of the North East insurgent groups and hence the bus operators are worried of plying their vehicles. To overcome the problem, the Manipur Government has already sent a letter to the Home Ministry seeking extra forces.

 

91

Even if the bus service begins it may not make much of difference to the issue of foreigners being able to cross . The centre govt in Delhi would have to make special ruling to allow foreigners to cross border , and then there is the problem of Whether Burma govt will allow it .

rectravel
25-Jul-2007

92

Shoot-at-sight orders in Moreh? So much for that new bus ride, eh? Still, a round trip bus ride Mandalay / Tamu / Mandalay alone could be interesting.

Click here

Border town shuts shop - Moreh relives June turmoil

Imphal, Aug. 5: A youth’s murder has dragged the region’s best-known address for international border trade, Moreh in Manipur, back to the zone of uncertainty just when it seemed to be returning to normality after a series of similar incidents.

Border trade came to an abrupt halt in the township, separated from Tamu in Myanmar by only a checkpoint, at 11 am today when traders decided to down shutters in protest against the murder of Angom Inaocha Singh, 20, near his home in the town at 2.30pm yesterday.

Police could neither identify the assailants nor ascertain their motive.

Moreh was in turmoil for much of the past one-and-half-months with rival militant groups triggering a communal conflict by targeting civilians from two communities. The administration issued shoot-at-sight orders on June 9 after one militant group shot dead five Kukis and another killed six Meiteis.

Indefinite curfew was clamped by the Chandel district administration in the wake of the incidents in June and it remained in force for two weeks. Since the second week of July, there has been only night curfew from 5pm to 5am. Even that was reduced by four hours on Friday — the administration rescheduled night curfew hours to 9pm till 5am — with residents settling down to a normal life.

A Moreh-based trader said it would be a shame if Inaocha Singh’s murder led to a rerun of the turmoil that started in June. “We do not want any trouble in this border town. We had appealed to all not to cause any disturbance, but our appeal went unheeded.”

Trade is likely to resume tomorrow with the bandh ending at 5am.

Assam Rifles troops guarding the border have stepped up patrolling in and around the border town to prevent militants from creating more trouble.

Militant groups are said to be still active in the border township despite the heavy deployment of security personnel.

Unconfirmed reports said an explosion occurred near the border gate on Myanmar side at 9.15pm yesterday. The police and Assam Rifles, however, said there was no report of any blast either in Moreh or Namphalong market on the other side.

The Myanmarese junta had sealed the border for a few days the previous month after a bomb exploded in a hotel at Namphalong market, just across the border.

rectravel
25-Jul-2007

93

Well, at least Al Qaida is not in Moreh.

Click here

Al Qaida rumour in trespasser arrests

OUR CORRESPONDENT

Imphal, Aug. 20: Manipur was agog with rumours since yesterday about the Assam Rifles arresting 15 al Qaida members on the Indo-Myanmar border, the believability factor heightened by the fact that militants had tumbled out of the closets of three Congress legislators only last week.

The suspense ended today when Assam Rifles officials turned over 15 Myanmarese trespassers to police and clarified that none of them was a terrorist.

All 15 were detained in Moreh, the region’s best-known address for international border trade, on Friday for entering Manipur without valid identity documents. The Assam Rifles had suspected them of having links with militant outfits but did not find any reason to press charges after interrogating them.

“We have not been able to establish any link between the apprehended persons and any terrorist organisation. We picked them up for entering and staying in Manipur without valid documents,” Maj. Gen. B.K. Chengappa told The Telegraph.

All 15 are from the Arakan province of Myanmar and are Muslims. They were in Imphal for some time before leaving for Moreh.

An Assam Rifles team found them in Pangal Basti, a Muslim colony in the border township, and brought them here the next day.

Assam Rifles spokesman Col L.M. Pant said the Myanmarese trespassers told interrogators that they were labourers and had been staying in Manipur for quite a while. “They are all illegal migrants from Myanmar.”

The Myanmarese also said that they used to regularly send home the money they earned in Moreh by working as labourers.

They would send the money from Tamu town, just across the international border Moreh.

Pant said some Indian currency, US dollars and documents were seized from the Myanmarese men.

It was the discovery of foreign currency that made the Assam Rifles suspicious of a militant connection.

“Since they came a long way and reached Manipur without being detected by the authorities in that country (Myanmar), we were naturally suspicious of their links with terrorist organisations. But we have not been able to establish any so far,” a source in the Assam Rifles said.

Senior police officials too ruled out any link between the Myanmarese nationals and militant groups.

rectravel
25-Aug-2007

94

www.kanglaonline.com

Malaysian car expedition crosses Imphal

The Imphal Free Press

IMPHAL, Aug 26: The Malaysia 50th Independence Expedition Tour, Cape Town-Kuala Lumpur reached Imphal late last night and left Sunday morning for their onward journey to Myanmar to reach Kaula Lumpur on August 30.

The car expedition which kicked off from South Africa`s Cape Town in the last week of this month proceeded to Imphal after crossing Nagaland yesterday on the National Highway-39. The members of the expedition were received by the deputy high commissioner of Malaysia in India who arrived at Imphal by air yesterday.

They were flaged off today morning by the minister for youth affairs and sports, N Biren from Imphal Hotel in the state capital.

The touring team led by Malaysian deputy defence minister De Tuk Jainan Adidin Mohammad Jin and Malaysian high commissioner, Norlin Bintin arrived late last night at around 2 am and headed for the border town of Moreh on the way to Myanmar.

The expedition crossed Mao gate at the Manipur border with Nagaland along the NH-39 late last evening.

The expedition is part of the celebration of the 50th Independence Day of Malaysia and is part of the Malaysian government`s tourism promotion programme which is eyeing eastern India.

The team which left Imphal today will reach Kuala Lampur on August 30 after covering Myanmar and will join the celebration of the 50th year of Independence at Kuala Lampur on the same day. A total of thirteen cars are taking part in the expedition.

Our Moreh correspondent adds: The car rally teams reached Moreh at around 10:45 am this morning, and were given a tumultous welcome from the local public.

Amidst tight security, people waving Indian and Malaysian flags lined both sides of the route from Moreh ward no. 1 to the land customs office to greet the rally teams.

While the team members were clearing passport formalities, the 24 AR put on light refreshment for them, and the team leader and the accompanying Deputy High Commissioner of Malaysia were gifted simple mementos by the representatives of the Hill Tribal Council.

24 Assam Rifles CO Col.Vikash Saini later flagged off the rally from Moreh, and the rallyists crossed into Tamu for the last leg of their journey to Kuala Lumpur.

 

95

They'll make it. Lots of political strings being pulled for 50 years of Merdeka ;)

rectravel
25-Aug-2007

96

Indeed, this group of VIP Malaysians had no problems at the Morei / Tamu crossing. What was not said in the article above is that this caravan had a full military escort all the way through Manipur. National Highway 39 was completely closed to the public as the caravan passed through. Apparently, there were even medical stations set up along the way, just in case anything happened.

So where is this super VIP group going to cross into Thailand? Myawadi.

www.bernama.com.my

August 28, 2007 23:25 PM

Merdeka Expedition Achieves A First In Myanmar

From Khairul Anuar Muhd Noh

TOUNGOO (Myanmar), Aug 28 (Bernama) -- The Cape Town-Kuala Lumpur Merdeka Expedition 2007 achieved a first in Myanmar yesterday.

Malaysia's Defence Attache in Myanmar, Col Sanusi Hashim, said the expedition's members were the first foreigners to cross the new two-kilometre Mandalay bridge over the Irrawaddy, the longest river in Myanmar.

"The honour was given to the expedition by the local authorities of Mandalay city. The bridge is not even open to the public yet," he told Bernama here today.

The expedition also was granted permission to use the Moreh-Tamu land route to enter Myanmar from India, he said, adding that many foreign expeditions had requested for permission to use the route but so far apart from this expedition, only one from India had been allowed to use it last December.

Sanusi said it was not easy to get permission to use the route due to security reasons and because of that, many expeditions had to bypass Myanmar and use the Thailand-Laos-China route when coming from or going to India.

"The permission was given on condition the expedition left Myanmar by sea and not across the Myanmar-Thailand border because its security could not be guaranteed due to threats from Karen militants there.

However, after government-to government and military-to-military discussions, Myanmar relented and will escort the convoy to the town of Myawaddy bordering Mae-Sot in Thailand, a distance of 180 kilometres from here, tomorrow," he said.

The expedition has travelled 18,500 kilometres across 13 countries so far and still has 3,500 kilometres to go.

It is scheduled to arrive at Dataran Merdeka in Kuala Lumpur at 4.30 pm, in time for the Merdeka eve celebrations (on Aug 30). The expedition is being held in conjunction with Malaysia's 50th Merdeka (Independence) anniversary.

-- BERNAMA

 

97

And there would have been months of planning and negotiations in advance to achieve this . So what hope has the ordinary traveller got in trying to get permission.

 

98

Don't be so negative Dave, the time'll come before hell freezes over ;)

 

99

Right , but reply #80 said - " WE ARE THE PATH BEARERS , ALL IT TAKES IS A FEW GOERS " , well ok , but lots of luck ! .

rectravel
29-Aug-2007

100

This caravan then went on to cross into Thailand at Myawadi / Mae Sot. Military escorts all the way through Nagaland, Manipur and Burma. It was one day by road Imphal to Mandalay, and then another one day only Mandalay to Mae Sot. Must be nice to be a VIP, eh?

www.bernama.com.my

August 30, 2007 00:47 AM

Kembara Merdeka Cape Town-KL Convoy Expected Home Tomorrow

From Khairul Anuar Muhd Noh

MAE-SOT, Aug 29 (Bernama) -- Participants of the Kembara Merdeka Cape Town- Kuala Lumpur 2007 Expedition are scheduled to arrive home tomorrow after 32 days on the road covering a distance of 21,300km.

The expedition, involving 50 participants in 12 four-wheel-drive vehicles, began in Cape Town, South Africa, on July 22 before crossing 14 countries on the African continent, West Asia, Pakistan, India, Myanmar and Thailand.

They are now making their way through Thailand, which is expected to take 18 hours, before arriving in Malaysia tomorrow.

Expedition chief Datuk Zainal Abidin Zin said the convoy would travel non-stop throughout the 1,500km rally across Thailand to be able to arrive in Putrajaya at 5pm tomorrow.

The convoy is expected to be greeted on arrival at the Dataran Putrajaya by Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak followed by the handing over of a book on the expedition to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi at the Merdeka Eve celebration at Dataran Merdeka.

Zainal Abidin, who is also Deputy Defence Minister, said the four-wheel- drive vehicles involved in the expedition would participate in the National Day parade at Dataran Merdeka on Friday.

Earlier, the journey from Hpa-an on the Myanmar-Thai border was rather terrifying as the convoy had to travel through the mountainous area of Dauna, which is 1,000m above sea level and home of Karen separatists.

-- BERNAMA

 

101

I just found this thread. I was busy in Tibet when it started.

From the contact I have had from various people at embassies, the consensus tends to be;
All travel needs to be approved by Yangon (or whatever the capital is now)
and it is unlikely they will let you through without transport.
Apply in writing months in advance with a full itinerary.

From all the blogs, photos and information that I have seen it would appear all who have done the trip across the Myanmar/India border have been subjected to something of an escort. I did hear of one couple who got their car through the Indian permit problem by simply driving through the state border post.

The last time I was in Myanmar I asked around at a few government offices about information and got exactly nowhere. I would really like to know who I could contact in order to get permission for a crossing.

Trying to find information can be very frustrating. Only after calling embassies every day for a week will I be put through to the right person.

I need to escape from the joys of Christmas once again this year so I will start digging around once again.
I would like to go through from Myanmar to Bangladesh, so I will probably have to go through India.
The story on the Burma/Bangladesh border is that is open for locals and has never been open for anyone else. I can't find any mention anywhere of any crossing.

For the more adventurous people you may be able to take a boat from Maungdaw in Myanmar to Teknaf in Bangladesh. I know this crossing has been used for many years by locals. Getting permission may just be finding to right person to shake hands with or having some convincing paperwork.

I honestly don't think they have an immigration service anywhere near this crossing. There used to be a ferry going Sittwe to Calcutta and there is mention of a ferry from Sittwe to Chittagong (although I imagine it has long stopped running).

And as to why the British and Australians have the same information;
There is a company which specializes in providing this sort of information. They got the Myanmar Border information from somewhere on the intarwebs and then they looked at a map and buggered it up. I can hardly blame them, trying to find a good map is difficult.

Visa Information for all countries.
projectvisa.com

 

102

Zealous Policeman Halts India’s Look East Trade Plans

While New Delhi finalizes a US $10 million project with Naypyidaw to improve the navigability of the River Kaladan to serve as trade route through southwest Burma, a police chief in India’s Mizoram state has closed the border for the past seven days, doing his best to stymie business between the two countries.

Warehouses on the Burmese side of the border crossing between Kalay and Zokhuathar are full of goods destined for India, reports local Indian media.

But trade has been halted by the border’s indefinite closure since August 20 by a Mizoram police superintendent who claims weapons and drugs may be moving across the frontier.

Ironically, the two countries’ transport ministries are preparing to sign an agreement to dredge and upgrade the River Kaladan which flows from Mizoram through Burma’s Arakan State into the Bay of Bengal at the port of Sittwe.

New Delhi sees the river as a conduit to open Mizoram and other landlocked isolated northeast Indian states to the sea and commerce as part of its “Look East” policy.

irrawaddy.org

 

103

RE#101,
I am a bit sceptical of that report that those people could get Indian permit by simply driving across the border.

anishn
15-Sep-2007

104

Guys, thanks for info... helped me lot... I don't know,, its good or bad.. but i'm going to make it.. in Oct mid this year... I already had a word with Myanmar Emby in New Delhi.. they were negative.. but i'm sure I'll be able make it..

 

105

Don't get your hopes up #104...

rectravel
15-Sep-2007

106

attn #104. Do not forget to review the web site on

http://mizzima.com

This web site is run by guys from Burma who live in Delhi.

See their contact info on their web site. They regularly visit the Moreh / Tamu crossing.

Look them up while you are in Dehli. They may have some good information for you.

No matter what happens, please do not forget to update this thread.

Best of luck with your trip!

 

anishn
15-Sep-2007

107

I never said it'll be easy... but what if i do not have any other option... let's see... will surely update people around if everything will go accordingly.

RobertLittle
15-Sep-2007

108

Update:
The Bangladesh Authorities say no problem on crossing from Myanmar but check with the Myanmar authorities.

I got a rather stern NO from the Myanmar authorities on crossing to Bangladesh.

Something of a yes has been given to cross at Tamu and it looks to be an open area. Nothing official but it seems it may be possible to cross out of Myanmar this way. The authority with this lies with
http://myanmartravelsandtours.com/ who appear to meet with some big wigs twice a week to authorize stuff. I found one mention of someone who has managed to hitchhike and bluff their way across. Do I need a border pass?

The plan is to shave and dress up then visit this travel agent when I next visit Yangon.

Detail: A couple of embassies have freely admitted that they have to seek approval from this travel agent for authorizing tours/issuing permits and it would probably be easier to email them directly. They did request I send a letter to them with the details once I figure out the details.

rectravel
15-Sep-2007

109

Quote


" WE ARE THE PATH BEARERS , ALL IT TAKES IS A FEW GOERS " , well ok , but lots of luck ! .



#1
davelliot, why be so cynical?

RobertLittle has everthing under control, no?
-------------------------

Trade on Myanmar border in a cocoon

Click here

QUOTE

Trade on Myanmar border in a cocoon

Yumnam Rupachandra

IMPHAL, Sept. 28

Myanmar may be burning as its revered monks take on the might of the junta, its north-western front bordering India is calm and business as usual. Though international news is focused on the crisis in Yangon, life in Myanmar's militarised Sagaing division bordering Manipur is normal, though the army is reported to be on alert.
From Moreh, the Indian border trading town of Manipur, traders continue to travel in and out of Imphal.
Moreh on the Indian side and Namphalong on the Myanmar side transact business to the tune of crores or rupees. Apart from the 22 items on the trade list in a bilateral agreement between India and Myanmar, illegal trade in products of developing countries comprise a bulk, comprising Chinese electronic items, garments, toys and packed food.
With the Manipur festival of “Ningolchakouba” coming up, a hot import from Myanmar is coconut, a must for the festival. Coconut used to be imported from Silchar but with Myanmar coconuts proving more profitable, traders are all Moreh-bound.
Unaware of the trouble unfolding in Yangon, a trader said she was happy with the quality of supplies from across the border. "No, I am not aware of the problem and nothing in Moreh or Tamu (on the Myanmar side) indicates that there is anything wrong with that country," she said.
A close watcher of Myanmar affairs, Mr Megahchandra, said the trouble in Yangon does not seem to have touched the border areas. “The fact that the Myanmarese army has stepped into the Shwe Da Gon Pagoda is a serious matter," he added. He also said one of the main reasons trade on the western border remains unaffected is because a bulk of it is routed through the Muse township on the China border through Mandalay. Only Thai products coming through Yangon could be affected.
Also conspicuous by its absence is the activity of several pro-democracy students sheltered in Manipur, post-junta crackdown of 1988 (known as 8888).
The Central government had given asylum to many Myanmarese students at Leikun in Chandel district of Manipur where a camp has been opened. The former defence minister, Mr George Fernandez, a known supporter of the pro- democracy movement in Myanmar, never fails to visit Moreh whenever he visits Manipur.

UNQUOTE

Border Trade Experts take it with a pinch of salt

Click here

Go
RobertLittle!

 

110

Quote


The plan is to shave and dress up then visit this travel agent when I next visit Yangon.



Just what kind of costume did you have in mind... Naga outfit perhaps:-)

 

111

RE#109,
But
RobertLittle hasn't actually got the permits , and there is still the matter of getting permission to enter India that way. Its premature to be talkng about things under control.

As for sneaking into India in a naga costume , one could end up in jail if immigration or police find you have entered prohibited border without permission.

rectravel
15-Sep-2007

112

Actually, I was thinking that RobertLittle has things under control because he is obviously an old guy who knows his way around not only in Tibet and India but also in Rangoon and Mandalay. If anyone is going to pull off this Mandalay / Imphal trip, it will probably be an old timer like RobertLittle, no?

To paste it into this thread, a solid overview of the high politics on the Burma / India border is on

Click here

and on

Click here

It matters because as another reader here pointed out, it might happen that the junta will allow some concessions now, after the recent events in Rangoon. One thing that might happen is that the junta might warm up relations with the leadership in New Delhi by expanding contacts, ie by opening up the crossing at Moreh / Tamu still further, just to show that they are in control. If it happened this way in the coming months,
RobertLittle just might be there at the right moment.

attn
RobertLittle. Point your eyes at post #31 above for a review of how easy it was for some reader in Burma to get from Kalay to Tamu last March. Of course a visa for India would need to be in your passport. Maybe some special permits would also be needed to be near the border crossing on both the Burma and India sides of the crossing, but maybe not at this point. If you are really looking for something new to do, all you can do is try it. Just get on a bus in Mandalay that is going to Tamu and see what happens.

No matter what happens at the Tamu / Moreh crossing, you won't forget to update this thread, will you? Go for it!

 

113

I don't see why RobertLittle's age makes any difference either way. To pull it off you have to get permits . Normally a permit from the Indian home office is required to cross non approved borders , and that could be main stumbling block.

It's mainly India which is trying to warm relations with Burma as a counter to China's ties , and the junta on past record is not interested in allowing concessions . And it probably has even less interest in granting concessions to foreigners to enter at strategic borders.

rectravel
15-Sep-2007

114

Agreed that age is not important. Getting an Indian visa into your passport would be easy. As for the rest of it, if permits are not forthcoming, anyone, young or old, could try simply getting on a bus going from Mandalay to Tamu, et cetera. It would be an experimental trip.

BTW, a quick search reveals a couple of other good articles about current Burma / India relations.

Burma, India Sign Border Security Agreements

The distasteful Burma-India embrace

India's about-face on junta

 

115

Nothing attempted, nothing done!

Good luck
RobertLittle. Let us know what happens.

rectravel
15-Sep-2007

116

For what it is worth...

Indian Army meet to review border security

Imphal, Oct. 4: The army top brass and Assam Rifles commanders met here today to review the security scenario in the northeastern states bordering Myanmar.

The meet, which will conclude tomorrow, will review the security measures in Manipur, Tripura, Mizoram, Assam and Nagaland in view of the ongoing political turmoil in Myanmar.

The meet is being attended by 3 Corps commander Lt Gen. M.S. Dadwa, GOC 57th Mountain Division Maj. Gen. T.S. Handa, IG (South) Assam Rifles Maj. Gen. B.K. Chengappa, IG (North) Assam Rifles Maj. Gen. K.S. Sethi, sector commanders of Manipur, Mizoram and Tripura ranges.

“The two-day meeting began today at Mantripukhri, where the office of the IG (South) Assam Rifles is located. The meeting will review the security situation in the Northeast and the neighbouring countries,” the spokesman for Assam Rifles, Col L.M. Pant, said.

The meeting comes after a crackdown on pro-democracy protesters by the Myanmarese military junta. The Myanmar government has stepped up vigil along the international border to prevent the pro-democracy activists from fleeing the country.

Reports, however, said the crackdown did not affect border trade through Moreh.

Sources confirmed that the Myanmar government has deployed a large number of security personnel in the border towns of Namphalong and Tamu. Traders and visitors from Manipur to these two towns are being frisked.

The insurgency movement in the Northeast also figured prominently in today’s meeting. The senior army and Assam Riles officials met Governor S.S. Sidhu at Raj Bhavan today to discuss the prevailing law and order situation in Manipur.

State government sources said the two-day review meeting was significant in view of the state government’s readiness to join the ongoing suspension of operations agreement between the army and 10 militant groups in Manipur.

 

 

rectravel
08-Oct-2007

117

Click here

Three Myanmar nationals arrested in Manipur

Imphal (PTI): Three Myanmar nationals, who reportedly fled their country due to the military crackdown, have been arrested near the border for entering India without valid documents, official sources said Monday.

The three Myanmarese from Yangon were arrested under the Foreigners Act by security personnel from the border town of Moreh, 120 km from here, on October 2, the sources said.

The three persons who were identified as Habibulde (24), Rashid (27) and Haroon (24), would be produced before the Chandel Chief Judicial Magistrate on Tuesday, sources added.

rectravel
08-Oct-2007

118

India bends over for Myanmar's generals

Click here

 

119

I say f**** the governments - just do it illegally.


OK, I don't know anything about the Burma/India border but I have been deep into Burma coming in from India.

Just remember that if you do get caught you can then write a book and make a shitload of mulah like our David Hicks will once he gets out of jail.

rectravel
08-Oct-2007

120

Quote


I say f**** the governments - just do it illegally.



Hey there
funk_e. Now we are talking. A foreigner should be able to simply get on a bus from Mandalay to Tamu these days, no? Hang around in Tamu for a couple of days, with a visa for India in your passport already. Maybe the friendly border guards would be willing to walk you over to the Indian side of the crossing for a few dollars cash money? New bills of course, with no tears or wrinkles.

Someone please, DO THIS!

Cheers,

 

121

RE#120,
But have you taken notice of all thats been written here before ? Indian border guards are not friendly towards foreigners showing up where they are not supposed to . If it was as simple as you are suggesting it would have been done already , but it hasn't, the handful of people who have managed it have had to spend months getting permits. With the present situation there is no guarantee of getting visa for Burma from Bkok embassy let alone being allowed to travel up to the border .

The previous reply about doing it and writing a book I think was not meant to be serious.

 

122

Funk_e! You found the thread? Do tell us about your trip!

 

123

#119.. did you say "mulah"?.. as in mulah river valey...

  124

RE# 123,
No , he meant mulah as in money .

 

125

Thats Moolah

 

126

http://www.myanmar-tourism.com/

Land-Border Crossing

1-Q

We are a group of German, Swiss and Thai nationals and are currently in the South of Thailand. We plan to cross the border to Myanmar at the Victoria Point . Is this border open to the public? Can we enter Myanmar through this border? Do we need some kind of paperwork prepared beforehand? If so, what are they?

Ans:

This border is open to cross in to Kawthong but you should contact a local travel agent who will be able to apply the needed permit to enter at this point and exit from Yangon .

2-Q

I am planning to travel from China overland to India through Myanmar and would like to spend some time in Myanmar to visit some beautiful sites. Can you tell me if the land-border crossing from Myanmar to India is open for foreigners to cross through? If it is, do I need some kind of paperwork prepared beforehand? If so, what are they?

Ans:

The China-Myanmar border is open regularly and you may cross with a special permit in hand. Again this has to be dome through a local travel agent. However, for the crossing into India , it is not really possible. You need to secure two Indian entry permits as RAP (Restrict Area Permit) and PAP (Protected Area Permit).

 

127

Quote


Someone please, DO THIS!



Oh yeah. I'm waiting for it too.

Until then I will regard any yeke-di-yek about Indian-Myanmar border being open for walk in tourists as RUMOURS.

Cheers.

 

128

Many months later... I'm interested to see whether Acaciatree (or anyone else) managed to get across that border and survive it...

I tried to get to Manipur this time last year from the Indian side but was refused the permit - goodness knows how difficult the Moreh-Burma trip must be. But do tell us if you managed it!!!

rectravel
20-Nov-2007

129

The Nagaland Post has an interesting review today

Click here

Moreh-Tamu: A tale of two towns

Introduction: Unless halted involuntarily by bandh-threat that regularly immobilizes the line-bus and Tata-Sumo services of beleaguered Manipur, India, Imphal's Moreh parking at MG-road - Kangla-park junction, every morning from 7 to 8:30 a.m, has scores of Moreh-bound Tata Sumo-utility vehicles lined up for profit-making departure. While drivers warm themselves up with sips of hot cups of tea, handy-men, street-smart as they are, vie with one another to get more passengers through glib of the gab and help-carry the bag. Some handy-men try to lure in more travelers by waxing eloquent about the newness of their vehicles or by cashing on the impatience of the purse-proud sojourner by promising safer and faster journey ahead.

Some Sumos start half-empty. But they need not worry. Every Moreh-bound carrier registers 90 to 100 percent occupancy before reaching Pallen, situated 45 Km from Imphal on Moreh route where a Manipur Police check-post compels commuters to get down to savour a plate-full of fresh meal in their hot favourite Basant hotel. Footloose and fancy-free, first-timers in the border-town trips grow curiouser as they commute closer to destination. If old-fashioned folks in the sixties hummed, "Zindagi mein ek baar jaana Singapore", the consumerism-smitten domestic tourists of today's collective chant seem to be, "Zindagi mein ek baar jaana Moreh".

Passage To Phobia-Freed Area: The 31 Km up-hill drive between Pallen and Tengnoupal peak used to be every bus-driver's nightmare for more ways than one.

Occurrence of more untoward incidents were reported from this dreaded stretch than from any other route in the state in the past. But such fears are passé, now. Frequent Assam Rifles patrolling and deployment of Indian Reserve Battalion(IRB) as Road Opening Party (ROP), coupled with changed mind-set, no more makes the panicky commuter hide money inside his shocks or sit on the edge of his seat with a pounding heart. The sense of security helps the pot-belied passenger doze off after demolishing a hillock of cooked rice in Pallen's wayside eatery only to be awakened by another round of ego-humbling security-check at Tengnoupal post. High altitude Tengnoupal's Ooty-like weather chills you for a brief period of time and makes you wish you had put on warmer clothes. Otherwise, the highway is almost under control or dominated by armed forces. The only terrible sight one comes across today is that of the poor living conditions and pathetic undernourished children on the way.

Thai Products Better: Tachilake in Myanmar is the happening township in the Thai border from where consumer durables are transported to Namphalong or Tamu. A Chinese electric cooker may be priced at Rs.1600/- and a Thai one at Rs. 2200/-. But when it comes to durability, the proportion of gain far outweigh the difference in prices. A passable wooden sofa-set costs not less than Rs. 25,000/at Imphal. You'll be surprised to discover that Rs 12,000/- only can fetch you a comfortable beautifully designed Thai Sofa set at Tamu. Thai-made kitchen-items like cup-sets spoon-sets, kettles, thermo-flasks, plates and bowls etc. , are second to none in quality although they charge a little higher. The only thing that unnerves the visiting customer is the snooty attitude of the women vendors. You see someone buying something at a price after a long bargain session. When you want the same thing at the same price, the lordly lady at the counter would turn up her nose and curtly say, "Well, to come down at that rate, we have to begin haggling all over again".

A Town of Shop-keepers: Wide streets, decent planning and a common-sense that is uncommon at Moreh make Tamu several times a more livable town than the former. Housing materials like cement, steel-rods, GCI-sheets used to beautify the fast growing town of Tamu are all Indian-phir bhi technique hai Myanmarese. Thousands of people ferried by Japanese-made Toyota Utility vehicles everyday on the 3 Km long paved road between Moreh and Tamu is indicative of the volume of trade in transaction. Almost every residential house at Tamu excepting the church-activity centres , does some buying or selling. Truck-loads of under-invoiced electronic and household goods come from Muse in China border to Tamu. It's all a part of China's strategy to become an Asian economic super-power. The market is flooded with Chinese inverters, generators, ready-to wear garments and kitchen crockery. Nowhere else in Manipur can one buy a torch-light an Rs 40/-or an usable synthetic chapel at Rs. 80/-. But the tragedy is that one is extremely lucky if the torch-light can flash light for the next 40 days or the sandal bought in summer's peak endures through the next week.

Monetary manoeuvres: Namphalong market complex located on the fringe of Myanmarese side across the border is the venue of trade action. Small shops packed with durable consumer items from China and Thailand do brisk business everyday except on a monthly off-day Myanmarese observe religiously. The half-wooden and half-concrete structures are a poor replica of Bangkok's National Stadium shopping complex. In the same manner, Thai shop-keepers speak heavily accented , broken and mother-tongue-pulling English like "Cannot" with a Thai-twang when they refuse the excessive bargaining from foreign buyers. Awkwardly decked-up lady-traders of Namphalong express the same sentiment by saying "Jataleh" in their own "cockneyed" Manipuri. Shrewd as Shylock, these calculating calculator-wielding greedy hunters of the Rupee will make your hackles rise before you successfully haggle a ten-rupee reduction. The feeling of gain is easily set off-balance by the bruise of your ego. However, you forget uncouth behaviours and native cunning when you get some reasonably good things at dirt-cheap rates. Tamu may be the only place the Rupee can flex its muscles against the norms of international exchange rates. The gullible traveler needs to be on the guard. There are hawks in the form of Taxi-handymen who will convert the benefit of doubt in exchange-rates to a looting profit.

Morbid Movements Of Moreh: Gone are the days when the the border town was synonymous with money. Once upon a time, the crime-infested township was the El-Dorado of Manipur where the rich and the wannabe rich rubbed shoulders filthy-ed by easy-gotten gambling lucre. Now, Moreh is a mere shadow of its flourishing past. A reticent resident commented, "Moreh is like the mother-cow that everybody milks but forgets to feed". Barring the imposing recently inaugurated Yatri-Niwas near the ADC's office, the partly functional shopping complex and the awe-inspiring 50-bedded hospital, the only small-town in Manipur's hill areas that comes under Municipal Act, is yet to get its urban act together. The wards are overcrowded with folks who can't give up rural habits in semi-urban settlements. Unplanned growth of wooden houses in scorching tropical environs makes the entire town a potential victim of arson. For a busy tourist destination, Moreh doesn't have a single park where visitors can chill out and take a snapshot to show to home folks. All that one can see on the street are lungi-clad, chain-smoking, weather-beaten people moving to and fro to buy or sell something for a living. Business rules are changed today. Traders come and go back pocketing a large chunk of the profit. The poor localites are left with the crumbs of loading and unloading goods when the don't sell charcoal. Seekers of manual work return home with an overload of woes. Recently, the main roads had been lit up. Nights had some life ever since when the frequently troubled town was not curfew-imposed.

Tamu Entry Formalities: There's a natural urge for every Moreh-visitor to enter Tamu, it's Myanmarese counterpart. At the border, two check-points regulate entry to and exit from the twin towns. Like the twin-bed sale ad that claimed "One hardly used", between the two gates, Gate no.1 is hardly used. Whereas entry into India does not pose much of a problem, official restrictions welcome any tourist crossing the international boundary for a shopping- spree beyond the free-zone of Namphalong market. Uniformed immigr-ation officials make you pay Rs.10/- per person after checking your I-card and keeping it in their custody till you return and hand over the entry-pass they write your particulars in and issue. Forgetful folks who left their I-cards need not crib. Any semblance of an I-card with the rubber stamp of any social, religious, political or administrative authority that you can conveniently get done at your port- of-call itself will serve the purpose. Sometimes, when the official's mood is upbeat, they allow a spouse and a bunch of tailing kids to secure entry on the strength of the head-of-family's I-card. Of course, no visitor can stay in Myanmarese soil after 5 pm MST which means 4 pm IST. And if you happen to fail to deliver the I-card you deposited earlier while coming back, you better get a new one issued. Claiming the same on the morrow will charge you a hefty 300 rupees.

Tamu Town: Boulevards sandwiched by painted two-storey buildings on both sides make Tamu town visually appealing to the onlooker. What the casual visitor does not know is the fact that a lot of crude and rude town planning went into the transformation of the erstwhile dusty and shabby Tamu town into a well-planned modern township that we adore today. Myanmarese military government had a way of doing things. The plot-holders on the road-front were given a time-frame to build up pucca structures. The poorer ones failed to fulfil the Authority's expectations. So that the defaulters may not decrease the prestige percentage of the whole town with their ugly wooden houses, they were ordered to move out of prime plots and make do with the back-lane residential areas. This is something one cannot imagine to happen in a democratic country. However, if you venture to go for a taxi-ride around the back-lanes, you will most probably come back with a back-ache. Despite neighbourly sops from big brother India, Tamu is yet to have black-topped lanes outside the main street leading to the market to join the BRTF-constructed 90 Km Tamu-Kalemyo highway that is almost as smooth as a fair-lady's cheek.

Untapped Resources: The world may dub Myanmar as a third-world country. But when it comes to natural resources, Myanmar has few equals. The soil itself is first-rate. It does not need repeated ploughing. Rice-growers walk and stamp on the surface of the wet fields, plant rice and get bumper harvests. Manure is not required. The quality of rice they grow is in hot demand world-wide. In the Kabaw valley which includes Tamu district, one comes across vast stretches of teak and khangara (cut as timber) growth in fields where rice is not grown. Teak used to fetch a lot of foreign exchange for the resource-laden country earlier when cross-border trade with India was booming. At present, following a Supreme Court ban on transport of teak-wood via North-Eastern states in India, the Myanmarese economy in general and that of Tamu in particular is weakened a great deal. Cut logs of teak-wood are not wasted altogether though. Carpenters carve out furniture and ready-made doors and windows out of them. Moreh traders buy up cut teak and finished furniture that come in various forms and shapes from the other side of the border. The endless stream of buses and lorries that do business between Imphal and Moreh further transport the wooden products to bigger markets. Burma-teak is world no.1. Yet, due to the slump in the market, and as supply exceeds demand, as potatoes do in Punjab market, high-quality teak-wood, at Tamu, is being used as fencing and pig-sty materials. A case of reverse value-addition, what?

Commercial Activities: A large chunk of Indian bicycles find their ultimate destination in Myanmar. Mandalay, the second city, is flooded with Hero cycles from India. Everywhere in greater Tamu, one can see womenfolk wrapping up their lungis and riding cycles meant for gents. The two-wheel-wonder is used to serve all kinds of purposes that the makers themselves could never have imagined of. Weird items like pigs, piglets, paddy, parcels of garments etc., are tied onto every visible part of the bicycle pedaled with raw energy by tanakha( local face-lotion)- smeared and lungi-clad ladies who earn the family bread in carrying goods between the twin border towns. Except for a variety of sweetened polythene-packed edibles which Indian school children cannot do without, and a few other items like fish-cans, garments, flower-pots and artifacts, Myanmar does not produce much. All that its trading citizenry do is do business in consumer durables manufactured abundantly by China and Thailand.

Sticky Rice That Ticks: A crowd gathers without invitation every morning at Moreh's Ward no.1 market. Another mini-mob swells up at the mix-crowded former Moreh parking. They are not clamouring to watch a street-show but rushing to buy a handful of and relish in the hot-favourite steamed sticky rice brought from the neighbouring country. Every tourist visiting Moreh should make to the early morning scene. Church-folks usually go for a fast on Sundays in the morning. But there is no hesitation in breaking the fast en masse at the sight of the irresistible palate-pleasing item that makes a mockery of Sunday fasting. The sticky rice that sells like the proverbial hot cakes comes in different colours and packages. Some like the off-white stuff and others the black one. Another exotic item on sale that visiting guests love to take home to surprise their children with is called "Pongden". The delicacy has an aromatic natural flavour. Bamboo pipes are cut at a length of one foot or so and are filled with the right quantity of water and sticky rice. The raw bamboo-pipes, stuffed to the brim, are heated in fire till the contents are well-cooked. That is Pongden, served fresh for you. You taste it and wonder how rice could smell so good. If your budget fails you and you can't buy the dress-items your kids placed order as 'musts', you better take Pongden home to ensure that your children smile from ear to ear.

Spiritual Perceptions: Budhist Stupas and monasteries adorn a good part of Tamu. They do their own thing on the "middle path" without giving cause for disturbance to others. Elsewhere one comes across church-buildings of different shapes and sizes with as many denominational hoardings displayed prominently at the gates. Credit must to go to the tolerant military administration for giving so much space and liberty to Christians. Despite political upheavals and ideological clashes that made international headlines in post-Independence Burma, the spirit of Adoniram Judson, the Baptist Missionary who translated the Holy Bible in Burmese, surprisingly is very much alive today. Having had many fellowships together with Tamu churches, I must admit that that I had not experienced such a high-decibel singing and worship this side of the international boundary. Tamu-choirs, for sure, can teach a lesson or two to enliven the lackluster singing in our worship.

Language No Bar: The Pastor of Emmanuel Baptist Church, Tamu candidly admitted that he speaks Myanmarese more fluently than Thadou, his mother tongue. Tamu has got its own share of linguistic divide. Tangkhuls and Moyons migrated there in the previous centuries from Manipur. Second-generation Nagas out there feel more at home speaking Myanmarese. Settlers from Chin state like Teddim-Chins, Paites, Falam, Kharkhas etc. maintain their linguistic uniqueness even in religious grouping. Kukis are known as Thadous there. However, in the midst of man-made mental barriers, the Spirit works. There are several churches where different tribes worship together in perfect harmony with the national language as the lingua franca. I think God allows certain languages to be spoken in common so as to undo the curse of the tower of Babel. The reluctance to learn other widely understood languages is the end-result of a pride-bedeviled ethno-centric bent of mind that impedes the pace of Gospel-spread. Tamu-believers have no such hang-up. This accommodating attitude singularly accounts for the tangible and palpable sense of oneness in the prospering township.

Lunminthang Haokip

 

130

I am planning UK-AUSTRALIA by motorcycle (OK, I know - why?, etc etc), towards the end of 2008. Anyway, apart from ructions in Pakistan, the main problem area could be the India-Myanmar land crossing, then access across the country to Thai border. I read of 'bus services', and 'not having transport therefore not permitted' in the border areas, from both Indian and Myanmar 'authorities' (meaning?), so does anyone have recent definitive information/experience please?

Cranky

pearce
12-Jan-2008

131

I met a gutsy Canadian in Mandalay Dec 27 who set off to try it in the other direction - Myanmar to India. I met him again in Yangon Dec 6 and he had made it to Tamu and spent 3 or 4 days trying to cross. He came close and has a pretty good story to tell. Some of the authorities actually tried to help him, but was ultimately "tricked" and escorted back to Kalay. Basically he was in "protective custody" by the Myanmar police or military all the time he was in Tamu. He actually tried to return but found the checkpoints beefed up and could not talk or charm or intimidate his way past the first one. This was a very clever and well traveled personality who had "done the impossible" elsewhere and did his best at this one - but ultimately failed.

pearce
12-Jan-2008

132

Sorry, that was January 6 in Yangon. He spent the whole afternoon telling me his tale.

 

133

RE#130.
Its not a case of that the India-Burma land crossing could be the main problem , it WILL BE the main problem. Even if you have own transport , it could take months to get permits.

rectravel
12-Jan-2008

134

Well, one foreigner seems to have made it from at least Mandalay to Tamu now. See above. On the other hand, the locals either have just done or are about to do the Tamu / Morei crossing via car rally again. Probably with fully armed guards again, eh? This popped up on Google News last week

yangoncity.com.mm

4 Countries cross Aute Rally, Kuming-Kolaculta

Myanmar, People Republic of China, Bangladesh and India participated Kuming-Kolaculta Auto Rally is scheduled to hold in which driving track with 2500 Kilometers (1500 miles) longed lasting for about 10 days is start from Kuming, Yunan Province of PRC and will finish in Kolaculta, India. The four countries rally journey is Kuming-Shwely, Muse, Lashio, Mandalay, Tamu, Morei, Inphal, Sechar, Agatalar, Dhakka, Innaphol and till Kolaculta. Qualified drivers are in need to participate in four countries Auto Rally and eight contending autos and two reserved by each country will take part.

rectravel
25-Feb-2008

135

Here is probably the explanation for why the car rally above will included PRC nationals. The new Chinese built road as far as Myitkyina is schedule to open next month.

QUOTE

China has expressed its interest in reopening the Stilwell Road and has already developed the Chinese stretch of the road linking it with its Super Highway No. 320. China is also involved in the development of various segments of the Stilwell Road in Myanmar too.

A 100km stretch from Tengchong in Yunnan to the Warshoung in Kachin state of Myanmar was completed in April 2007. Another 224km segment from Myitkyina in Kachin to Tengchong is expected to be completed in March 2008.

UNQUOTE

The rest of the article is on

http://indiapost.com/article/perspective/2156/

India not keen on reopening link road to China
Sunday, 02.24.2008, 11:07pm (GMT-7)

Stretching from Ledo in Assam to Kunming in southern China via Myitkyina in Myanmar, the Stilwell Road connects India's northeastern states with China's southern province of Yunnan. Reopening of the road link can transform the economy of Northeast India by reducing the time, cost and distance involved in trade with China and Southeast Asia.

Therefore, the chief ministers of some northeastern states, Assam in particular, have been demanding the reopening of this road. In December 2007, during the inaugural session of international trade center at Nampong town at the India-Myanmar border, India's Minister of State for Commerce Jairam Ramesh indicated that his ministry would be lobbying for the reopening of Stilwell Road by 2010.

The Indian side of the Stilwell, stretching from Ledo in Assam to Pangsau Pass in Arunachal-Pradesh was built in October 1942 during World War II under the supervision of Commander Joseph Stilwell. However, it was closed after the war due to security reasons.

China has expressed its interest in reopening the Stilwell Road and has already developed the Chinese stretch of the road linking it with its Super Highway No. 320. China is also involved in the development of various segments of the Stilwell Road in Myanmar too.

A 100km stretch from Tengchong in Yunnan to the Warshoung in Kachin state of Myanmar was completed in April 2007. Another 224km segment from Myitkyina in Kachin to Tengchong is expected to be completed in March 2008.

China is also assisting the rebuilding of a stretch of Stilwell road between Danai to Myitkyina in Kachin State of Myanmar. The Rangoon-based Yuzana company has got the contract to complete the project. Thailand is also interested in the reopening of the Stilwell Road and Thailand's Deputy Industry Minister Piyabutr Cholvijarm, had during his visit to India in January 2008 appealed to New Delhi reopen this road.

However, India and Myanmar have not been very eager about the reopening of Stilwell. In 2004, during his visit to Assam, Kyaw Dun, the Burmese Director of Border Trade rejected the idea of reopening Stilwell road and favoured identifying other routes in order to develop trade linkages between India and Southeast Asia.

The military junta in Myanmar has remained reluctant about the Stilwell because it passes through the Kachin State where the junta does not exercise effective control. Despite undertaking the repair work on its side of the road, India is still in a dilemma over the reopening of the Road believing that this would only enable greater inflow of illegal arms and drugs and increased insurgent activities in the troubled region of Northeast.

This happened, for example, after the opening of India-Myanmar border between Moreh and Tamu. Apart from security concerns, India's skepticism is also based on the fear that opening of Stilwell Road would turn the northeastern states into dumping grounds for cheap Chinese goods.

India's fear of Chinese dumping is further strengthened by the increasing Sinicization of northern Myanmar's Kachin and Shan states and Mandalay Division after the opening of the border between Myanmar and China. However, the governments of the Northeast Indian states perceive the issue of opening the road in a different way.

They are not worried about the Chinese and even want to repeat the success story of Yunnan through the development of integrated regional infrastructure. However, due to the lack of consensus between India's central government and the Northeast governments no significant progress has been made over this issue.

Enhancing connectivity between Northeast India and Southeast Asia is the core element of India's Look East Policy. India is thus involved in several ongoing and potential infrastructure projects linking its Northeast with mainland Southeast Asia such as Tamu-Moreh-Kalewa Road (India-Myanmar Friendship Road), India-Myanmar-Thailand trilateral highway, Trans-Asian Highway, India-Myanmar rail linkages, Kaladan Multimodal project and so on.

However, the reopening of Stilwell road has not been a priority. India has preferred other projects bypassing China in this regard because there is still a trust deficit between the two Asian giants due to unresolved border conflict and both have miles to go to develop a sufficient level of mutual understanding.

As a result, India remains skeptical about opening borders with China. Therefore, getting the consent of Ministry of Home Affairs and Ministry of Defense regarding the opening of Stilwell Road would be a challenging task for the Ministry of Commerce.

And apart from existing divergent views between the central government and the northeastern states, a potential inter-Ministerial conflict may emerge in the times to come during future discussions on opening the Stilwell Road.

The writer is Research Officer, IPCS

rectravel
04-Mar-2008

136

http://english.people.com.cn/90001/90779/90867/6365256.html

Myanmar to participate in cross-country friendship car rally
March 03, 2008

Myanmar along with three neighboring countries will take part in four-nation cross-country friendship car rally in April, local media reported on Monday.

Eighteen cars from Myanmar, China, Bangladesh and India will take part in the rally, including three cars from each country and six support vehicles, the Myanmar Times quoted an official of the Union of Myanmar Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry (UMFCCI) as saying.

The aim of the 10-day car rally will be developing relations among these countries, including the promotion of trade and tourism, it said, adding that the exact dates of the event are still under discussion.

The 2,500 kilometers rally will start from Kunming, China, and end in Kolkata, India, and the cars will enter Myanmar through the Ruili-Muse China-Myanmar border crossing and exit through the Tamu-Morei Myanmar-India crossing, it said.

The rally will pass through Muse, Kutkai, Hseni, Lashio, Hsipaw, Kyaukme, Nawnghkio, Pyin Oo Lwin, Mandalay, Monywa, Kalewa, Kalemyo and Tamu in Myanmar, covering a total of 962 kilometers in the country.

Source: Xinhua

 

137

Pity the Burmese govt. can't "develop relations" with Aung San Sui Ky .

 

 

 

138

I wonder whos illegally seized 4X4 the Junta will enter in the rally?

 

139

I heard that Tay Za is entering in his Lamborghini:-)

dwipen
13-Mar-2008

140

imphal , myanmar dear all,
i joined this forum especially to reply to this post. Basically i am from Imphal (Manipur) and i know something about traveling to these places you guys have mentioned. Myanmar is the bordering country of Imphal (Manipur). Believe me,its 2 hours journey from my home though i haven't gone there due to personal reasons. But i wish to let you guys know these things:
1) We can go to Myanmar for trading reasons,excursions,picnics on a permit basis
2) India and Myanmar is separated by a bridge only over some river
3) Upon reaching the Myanmar border,they will check for what kind of permit you i have. It may be hours permit - for trading , days permit for excursion etc
4) If your permit time finishes and you did not cross to India ie Manipur (Imphal). You might be held as illegal immigrant
5) Thousands of people from Imphal cross the border for trade reasons.
6) Imphal has the largest International market of Asian goods in India (from China, Taiwan, Korea,..all from Myanmar)

I dont know about coming from Myanmar to Imphal and other states but i know these things:
1) The whole North east india is declared as disrurbed region and you will need special permission
2) Even for other fellow Indians they need an Inerline permit to enter Imphal..if they enter they are at their own reponsibility
3) Manipur is a beautiful place. (you can see the fotos in Flickr )

So you question if you could enter Imphal from Burma is not possible for these reasons:
1) u need special permisiion from the Indian embassy
2) you cannot enter directly to Imphal by road, even if you have permission (as far as i know)
3) You have to fly to Delhi and take permission for that or from Kolkatta (but there is flight link from Delhi only)
4) In imphal cards are not acceptable..there are no swipe system here. ATMs are being setup recently though...

All the best to you all ..and hope to see you someday. I wil also be traveling to Myanmar sometime later in May or June this year hopefully.
Take care

 

141

I wil also be traveling to Myanmar sometime later in May or June this year hopefully

Thank you
Dwipen.

Just curious.. as you live close to the border... how are you planning to travel to Myanmar yourself?

 

142

Dr Chan Aye, co-proprietor of Myanmar Beauty Guest House in Toungoo, told me he had 2 guests (male and female) "about 2 months ago" who arrived in a Landrover with French license plates. Apparently they had entered Myanmar through the Mae Sai/Tacheleik crossing and were planning to exit through the Tamu/Morei crossing. They had "permits all over the windshield."

Dr Chan managed to find their business card, which had the link
http://www.voyage-aroundtheworld.com written on it. I've just been to the site but it is written in French and I did not have time to translate, but it looks like they didn't make it to Tamu and exited the way they came in (see last paragraph at http://voyage-aroundtheworld.com/bag.php)

I'm in Meiktila now and on my way to Pakokku so will probably not have internet access for a few days - but couldn't resist posting this info. Maybe one of you could dig a little deeper and post whatever details you may discover.

rectravel
04-Mar-2008

143

Salut pearce. C'etait un bon reve...

It was a nice thought, but there is no mention of the Tamu / Morei crossing on the page on

http://voyage-aroundtheworld.com/bag.php

These French tourists drove their Land Rover from Bagan to Tachilek. There is no mention on their page about having even thought about crossing into India via the Tamu / Moreh crossing.

Their review about their Burma to Thailand crossing via Tachilek is on

http://voyage-aroundtheworld.com/retour-kl-sing.php

Earlier, they wrote about having crossed from Thailand into Burma via the same Tachilek crossing. See

http://voyage-aroundtheworld.com/bir.php

BTW, if anyone wanted something to read about the Tamu / Morei crossing, see the file on

http://www.asthabharati.org/Dia_July07/m.p.%20bez%20.htm

As davelliot has said many times already, it is not going to happen in our lifetimes. Cheers,

rectravel
04-Mar-2008

144

BTW, pearce, in post #131 above... is it possible that the Canadian mentioned is none other than our very own RobertLittle???

rectravel
04-Mar-2008

145

Also BTW, if anyone wanted to know what Imphal looks like, a friendly Youtube user has videos up on

http://youtube.com/watch?v=2NCtlzXwpXY

and

http://youtube.com/watch?v=pUKEPrgD5Ik&feature=related

 

146

If you are registered with YouTube perhaps you could post comment on the video about the marathon discussion here on TT.

It may happen in our life times , but there will need to be big changes in the security situation and some of the geo politics.

rectravel
17-Apr-2008

147

Gangsters have kept the Moreh / Imphal segment of this road trip closed for the past ten days!?

http://www.telegraphindia.com/1080417/jsp/northeast/story_9146387.jsp

Business wheel at Moreh back on track - Trade with Myanmar to resume after transporters lift strike against extortion

OUR CORRESPONDENT

Imphal, April 16: Border trade between India and Myanmar at Moreh will resume tomorrow with the joint action committee of transporters today suspending its strike called in protest against extortion by more than 20 militant outfits.

“We resume transport services from today. We have decided to suspend the strike after the groups accepted our demands,” a spokesman said.

The organisation has stopped services on the Imphal-Moreh stretch of National Highway 39 since April 5.

The committee has rejected the Okram Ibobi Singh government’s offer to provide escorts to the transporters plying on the stretch.

Trade between the two neighbouring countries, that remained shut for the last 11 days, could not resume today because of a shutdown of markets at Namphalong and Tamu because of the water festival that started on Sunday.

Border trade at Moreh in Chandel district and Namphalong in Myanmar came to a complete halt in the wake of suspension of transport services, preventing traders from reaching the border town of Moreh.

A concerned Delhi rushed India’s ambassador to Myanmar, Bhaskar Mitra, to Moreh on April 8 to assess the situation.

Five transporters’ organisations formed the joint action committee to protest against extortion by militant groups.

As suspension of services is affecting trade and inconveniencing people, the government invited the transporters to solve the impasse.

On Thursday, the transporters rejected the government’s plea to resume service on the Imphal-Moreh Road.

A delegation of the committeee met director-general of police Yumnam Joykumar Singh.

The police chief had reportedly appealed to them to resume services in the interest of the traders and people living in Chandel district.

However, the transporters said they felt unsafe despite security.

An official source at Moreh said trade will resume after the Namphalong market would reopen tomorrow.

The spring festival began on Sunday and the Namphalong market, just across Moreh, has remained closed since that day.

Namphalong and Moreh are the links of the border trade.

Protest: Elected representatives of urban local bodies staged a sit-in at Bishnupur bazaar in Manipur today to protest against extortion demands by militant groups operating in the state.

The secretary of the Joint Action Committee of the All Manipur Municipal Councils and Nagar Panchayats, Bimola Devi, alleged that the threat by militants had stood in the way of smooth functioning of the local bodies.

The councillors, who had held a similar protest in Imphal yesterday, said they would continue their peaceful demonstration in all the districts and launch a pen-down strike if their demand was not accepted by the militant outfits.

“We may even consider resigning en masse,” Bimola Devi said.

This the second time that elected representatives staged sit-in-protests against militants’ demands.

Last month. the pradhans and members of gram panchayats of Imphal East district held a sit-in.

The major insurgent organisations operating in the state are the United National Liberation Front (UNLF), Kanglei Yawol Kann Lup (KYKL), Revolutionary People’s Front (RPF), and the People's Revolutionary Party of Kangleipak (Prepak), among others.

pearce
21-Apr-2008

148

This may interest some of you:

http://www.mynews.in/fullstory.aspx?storyid=3096

 

149

pearce... I trust that you do understand the consequences both for yourself and for those associated with you if you are caught in those areas without the proper paperwork?

 

150

MG, now you're being pedantic!
Everybody! Follow in
pearce's footsteps!

 

151

:-).. I confess.. but please don't feed me to the crooks:-)

 

152

A Indian may be able to cross with permission, not a foreigner. Permits, escorts, bribes and who knows what else...

 

153

pearce, that is an interesting article except for one detail. The picture of the truck parked at the sign of the India / Myanmar Friendship Highway is stolen from the year 2004 web site that has been reviewed here already. See it on

http://www.bootsnall.org/datw/archives/cat_25myanmar_journals.shtml

Gotta wonder why the author of the article would do such a thing, no? As he clearly says in his article, he went up the Ledo Road, not the India / Myanmar Friendship Highway. And anyway, stealing someone else's picture and publishing it in a newspaper article is a definite no, no, eh? Cheers,

 

154

Well spotted, rectravel....:-).. That would be plagiarism.. would they do that?.. hardly!

 

156

To give one example I know about of how foreigners who venture into off limits areas can be treated , - once in Sikkim one European fellow went trekking without permit in sensitive area . He went sraight to jail , and missed his flight home .

pearce
22-Apr-2008

157

To be clear for new readers of this thread, the article mentioned by pearce above is about the Ledo Road, aka the Stillwell Road (General George Stillwell was the World War II era American general who oversaw the construction of the road in the early 1940s). The Ledo Road goes between Assam in northeastern India and southern China via the very northwestern tip of Burma (Myanmar). Some very excellent historical links about the Ledo Road are on

Click here

The article was written by a resident of India who crossed over into Burma (Myanmar) for a day. It is highly unlikely that a foreigner will be able to do this same thing at any time in the near future. The subject comes up because it is currently the plan of the Indian government to rebuild this road to facilitate trade with China.

The Ledo Road is completely unrelated to the road under discussion here. Under discussion here is the "India / Myanmar Friendship Highway" between Imphal (India) and Mandalay (Burma aka Myanmar). To review this road for new readers, see the UNESCAP map on

Click here

The road is labeled as AH1 (Asian Highway 1) on this map. For some quick answers about the United Nations backed Asian Highway project, see the page on

Click here

It should be relatively easy these days for visitors to Mandalay to get to Tamu, which is the town on the Burmese side of the border just opposite from Moreh in India. The real problem is 1. getting across the borderline itself at Tamu / Moreh and 2. the 75 some odd KM ride between Moreh and Imphal. This section of the "India / Myanmar Friendship Highway" is often closed by gangsters. See above for reviews about it.

The trip has been done, most spectacularly by the guys who put up the year 2004 web site on

Click here

Under discussion here is how normal every day tourists are going to one day get between Mandalay and Imphal. Additions and comments are highly encouraged. A big beer Lao to the first independent foreigner who actually makes it on a local bus betwen Imphal and Mandalay or vice versa.

 

 

 

158

Thanks for the map and for clearing things up.
I'd suggest a big Mandalay Beer would be in order too!

 

159

This one is for pearce. It has nothing to do with the road between Mandalay and Imphal. This has to do with the Ledo Road between China and Assam in north eastern India. Maybe pearce will want to look into this ongoing story?

See the new article about the Ledo Road aka the Stillwell Road on

Click here

It was the Ledo Road that was in the focus of National Geographic Magazine in the States a couple of years ago. See their article about it on

Click here

Quite obviously, the authors of this National Geographic article had not only permits up the ying yang, but also armed escorts when they did their trip a couple years ago along the old Stillwell Road.

In Ledo in Assam State in north eastern India, it would certainly be easy to find people who know about the project to rebuild the Ledo Road. Witness the article above that you found.

What would be equally interesting would be to find the place on the Chinese side of this road and interview the people there. I see quite a few money paying free lance newspaper articles here.

Cheers,

PS: the Bangkok Post would most certainly be interested in any new information about the Ledo Road, or even the "India / Myanmar Friendship Highway" between Mandalay and Imphal. If you needed a contact at the Bangkok Post, send e-mail to dawson@bangkokpost.net

 

160

Thanks rectravel. You're a wealth of knowledge on this topic.

By the way, the Canadian I met who went to Tamu was not
RobertLittle. It was a guy named Alexander. Born in Russia, lives in Ottawa. An interesting character. Reminded me of Peter Falk's Colombo. When he was described to me I thought he might be acaciatree (I wonder if he ever tried).

I know the road I referred to is not the one of major interest here, but sometimes I stumble across somewhat tangential articles in the publications I read.

Speaking of which, did you happen to stumble across an item - in Kangla Online or The Mizoran or somewhere - about a confrontation between some soldiers and some monks in Pakkoku? It involved 4 vehicles being torched and 13 soldiers being "captured". If so, can you confirm the source or date of that article?

I've given up any thoughts of crossing that border. It seems to me that all the problems are on the India side. Alexander got as far as Tamu, but it looks to be impossible to get to Moreh from the India side. Even getting to Imphal seems difficult.

In a way, all of this is understandable to me now. I mean, the lack of a road. Like the Darien Gap. But, really, it's just primitive gang warfare in northeast India that's preventing it - isn't it? Or are there bigger politics involved. Does Myanmar not want this road? Who does want it - and how much? And who doesn't - and how much. If those who want it are more powerful - and want it badly enough - it will be built. Won't it?

 

161

'In a way, all of this is understandable to me now. I mean, the lack of a road. Like the Darien Gap. But, really, it's just primitive gang warfare in northeast India that's preventing it - isn't it? Or are there bigger politics involved. Does Myanmar not want this road? Who does want it - and how much? And who doesn't - and how much. If those who want it are more powerful - and want it badly enough - it will be built. Won't it?'

For one the Darien Gap is not possible to build a road, due to marsh and wetlands. Two- Panama does not want the conection as then the drugs would flow overland, creating security issues. On the Colombia side of the Darien Gap, you have bandits, indians, narco traffickers and rebels, and para military forces, all operating independently, not to mention ethnic indians of Afro decent getting murdered and major land grabs from oil/gas and energy companies to plantations owned by locals and multi nationals...a real mess.

Myanmar has no desire for a road, as they dont control the area to the best of my knowledge, its warlords and drug producers and factions not to friendly to the Junta in Yangon. In addition, India does not want the drug trafficking, nor human trafficking and all the security issues that come with the region. Add to this the fact the road to from that border requires permits and has security issues.

The rail line that is planned by ASEAN countries for trade, to link India, Myanmar, Laos, Thailand, China and Vietnam is all held up by Burma....why do you think?

 

162

Talking about the Ledo Road, I went as far as Nampong on the road once, many years ago (Indian Army connections). The Indian side of the border had a gate and a spiffy border guard while, on the Burmese side, the road was overgrown and no human was in sight. We talked about the Lake of No Return, walked across and walked back.

Here is an article from someone who didn't walk back.

 

163

myanmar , birmanie , burma hello

We are Thierry and Coralie the two french travellers who have entered Myanmar with our Land Rover last february. We entered from Thai Mae Saï border with a special permit issued by the Myanmar govt. We were very lucky to obtain this permit because it allowed us to cross the forbidden Shan state from Kentung to Taunggy. This part of Myanmar is really wonderfull, and the people are very friendly. We didn't have ANY troubles at all with the rebels nor with some 'bandits' on the way. There are 9 check points on the way (between Kentung and Taunggy), where we had to show our travel documents. The militaries have been very kind to us, and most of the time offered us tea or food and never wanted us to pay anything.

We planed to go from Tachileik to Tamu at the indian border and then enter India to Imphal and further to Assam and Buthan and drive back to Europe via Pakistan, Iran, Turkey etc...

We had all permits to travel in Myanmar but we were refused to enter India from Tamu because of security reasons (?). The Ambassador of France met the Indian High Commissioner, but the answer was negative, so we had to come back from Yangoon to Tachileik via Shan state. We were heading north to Bagan, and then to Taunggy and cross the 450 km to Kentung and we exit Myanmar at Mae Saï border.

All our trip is written on our web site:
http://www.voyage-aroundtheworld.com
For any further informations, please leave a message at the bottom of any page of the web site by clicking on : "Pour laisser un commentaire, cliquez ICI "
Thierry and Coralie

thierry