Archive for August 24th, 2010

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Arunachal Pradesh: Two Divisions Wanting to Die

Huanqiu Shibao – quoting an Assam Tribune report (阿萨姆论坛) via Eastday) – reports that India deployed two additional army divisions in Arunachal Pradesh, a state of India which China claims under the name of South Tibet.*) Sanjoy Takam (Chinese transcription: 乔伊), a member of parliament from Arunachal Pradesh, and the state’s chief minister Dorjee Khandu (Chinese transcription: 多杰坎杜) had recently met with prime minister Manmohan Singh and defense minister Shri A. K. Antony, to discuss the security situation in their state. One division includes ten- to twelve thousand troops, writes Huanqiu Shibao. Arunachal Pradesh had already designated the places which were to serve as military bases for the two divisions.

Huanqiu Shibao also quotes demands by MP Sanjoy Takam for a higher degree of surveillance on the border with China, a demand also reported by the original Assam Tribune article on Sunday.

At present, one division of the Army with its headquarter in Tenga valley is looking after the international border, while, parts of the division based in Dinjan are also deployed in Arunachal Pradesh,

writes the Assam Tribune.

Sanjoy Takam said that for years, the Government of Arunachal Pradesh has been demanding creation of Arunachal Scouts in lines of the Ladakh Scouts to improve vigil along the international border and the Government of India has sanctioned one battalion recently. He said that the recruitment rallies of the battalion of the Arunachal Scouts have started and 50 per cent of the posts of the battalion would be filled up with local youths and the remaining youths would be recruited from the rest of the country. The Government of Arunachal Pradesh has demanded that the youths of the North East should get preference in recruitments to be made from the rest of the country.

Arunachal Pradesh’s development is hampered by corruption, but also by military restrictions on movement within the state. The Arunachal Scouts are a project to create employment for Arunachal Pradesh’s youths,  familiar with the terrains in the international border along the state, within the Indian army. Arunachal Pradesh’s chief minister sought support for this idea from the National Commission for Scheduled Tribes (NCST) more than a year ago, too, when meeting with a delegation from the organization. The commission is in charge of supporting the interests of  certain Communities suffering from extreme social & economic backwardness – like untouchability, primitive agri-practices, lack of infrastructural facilities, geographical isolation.

The Government of Arunachal Pradesh has also demanded that the Government should construct a road all along the McMahon Line to improve vigil and to facilitate movement of troops all along the international border, but the Government of India is yet to act on that,

the Assam Tribune quotes Sanjoy Takam. After the Sino-Indian war of 1962, India adopted a policy to not develop the border areas, according to Global Security. The idea had been that if India developed the border areas, the Chinese could easily use these facilities in the event of a war. India had changed this policy by 2008.

Chinese efforts to strengthen its international position concerning Arunachal Pradesh by isolating the state from international development aid suffered a setback in June last year, when the Asian Development Bank (ADB) approved a US$2.9 billion loan for a project which included a $60 million flood management, water supply and sanitation project in Arunachal Pradesh. In October and November last 2009, a visit to the state by the Dalai Lama sparked controversy between New Delhi and Beijing.

While Huanqiu Shibao report mainly quotes from the Assam Tribunal report, netizen commenters spice the story up with death certificates, for the two additional Indian divisions in Arunachal Pradesh or for China’s rule over Tibet respectively:

20,000 [Indian soldiers, two divisions] wanting to die are still too few! (来找死的20000也太少了吧!),

writes one of them, and another worries that

another 50,000 may control Tibet – today, you concede Tibet, and tomorrow, you may lose the entire country (再增加5万人就可以管理到西藏。今天让了西藏,明天你可能丢掉全国。).


*) Huanqiu Shibao refers to Arunachal Pradesh as “China, South Tibet” (中国藏南地区), in line with China’s claim on the territory (or part of it), but doesn’t put titles such as chief minister into quotation marks, as is custom when it comes to Taiwanese authorities.


“Subservient to his Indian Masters”, January 24, 2010

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