Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Maibam Lokpa Ching

Maibam Lokpa Ching

The Embassy of Japan's first Secretary Masahiro Tamoi returned here a dejected man after he was denied entry into Tamu of Myanmar today.

Minutes after reaching the border town of Moreh this morning, Masahiro was scheduled to proceed into Tamu but was halted before crossing over as Myanmarese security officials posted on the Indo-Myanmar border contended they had not been informed of the visit.

Producing relevant visiting documents including valid visa permit, the First Secretary was seen intensely trying to prevail upon the Tamu-based Myanmar officials from around 11 am till about 2.30 pm only to be denied entry.

Reasons cited by the Myanmar officials pertains to non-receipt of 'precise' intimation from higher authorities in Kalemyo even though they accepted the fact that Masahiro possessed travel documents issued by the Myanmar Embassy.

When the Deputy Director of Immigration Office U Aye was approached at his office located near Mrinal Bridge by masahiro, the former perused through the papers and endorsed its authenticity but nevertheless expressed helplessness in allowing further foray to the Japanese official until the visit was cleared by Kalemyo-based officials.

Besides explaining procedural norms, the Immigration Officer insisting that approval of higher authority is inevitable to enter Tamu.

The Japanese official had to also wait for nearly three hours being told that Kalemyo authorities are being contacted.

With the wait yielding no positive response a visibly peeved Masahiro prior to leaving the Tamu office demanded that the Immigration Officer state all the problems concerning the visit in the travel document of the Embassy official.

On his return to Moreh, masahiro told this reporter that the matter would be deliberated through the diplomatic channel and whatever action is necessary would be pointed out to the higher-ups as myanmar officials manning the Tamu offices are helpless to cope with such a situation.

Accompanied by representatives of Indo-Japan Friendship Association, masahiro Tamoi had reached Moreh at around 10 am and was soon seen intensely engaged in getting the clearance from Myanmar authorities.

He confided that purpose for his visit concerns culling information on sojourn of japanese troops in Manipur and nearby areas during World War II and personal assessment of memorial sites of martyred Japanese soldiers.

Masahiro, who probably had a bumpy ride on the Indo-Burma road, said he was fascinated by the scenic beauty of Manipur's hill range and with the exception of the road, the landscape resembles the landscape in parts of Japan.

He also conveyed of visiting the Maibam Lokpa Ching memorial site in Bishnu-pur district yesterday along with top ranked State officials of Art and Culture Dept.

During the visit, it was agreed to replace eucalyptus trees in the memorial park with other variety as the former is internationally considered to be harmful to the soil, Masahiro said while adding that construction/repairing works in the park will begin in the early part of next year.

On his visit to a Kabui settlement area near Langthabal Kunja the Japanese official is informed to have become inquisitive on seeing close physical/facial similarities with Japanese people.

He also posed questions on brewing processes of the local liquor.

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