A two-day Inter-Regional Media Interaction Programme between Myanmar and India began on November 27 at Imphal, capital of India's Manipur state bordering Saigang division of Myanmar.
Manipur Chief Minister Nongthombam Biren Singh along with State Chief Secretary RR Rashmi, Commissioner (Information and Public Relations) K Radhakumar and Convenor of State Level Committee for Actualisation of Act East Policy RK Shivachandra attended the inaugural function of the interaction programme.
Speaking on the occasion Chief Minister Biren who had visited Myanmar’s Yangon township to attend an International conference ‘Looking forward: India Myanmar Relations’ on November 10, 2018, said that his government is taking steps to introduce a bus service between Manipur and Myanmar and visa issues in order to improve people to people contact for a better relationship between the two neighbouring countries.
“Discussions are on to hand over the bus service (Imphal to Mandalay in Myanmar) to a private operator as the government of India accepted the proposal,” Chief Minister Biren said. “The External Affairs ministry has also been urged to take up necessary steps for visa issues by the respective embassies of the two countries.”
Stating that the interaction programme had marked the beginning of a new chapter in the bilateral relations of the two neighbouring countries, he observed that in a democracy, media should be strengthened so that it may play a crucial role in delivering good governance to the people .
Stating that during his last visit to Yangon in the first week of September this year, Prime Minister Narendra Modi mooted the idea of having a media interaction programme between India and Myanmar, the Chief Minister said that the two-day interaction programme was an outcome of the said historic visit of the Prime Minister.
Expressing hope that the media delegates would explore the potentials of the State during their stay in, he further spoke of his firm belief that bilateral relations between the two sides can be enhanced through ‘people-to-people connectivity’ though giving emphasis to diplomatic channels was also equally important.
The interaction programme is attended by 11 Myanmar journalists representing Myanmar Press Council, Myanmar Journalists Association, News Media Council Myanmar, Mizzima media group and Burmese News International etc.
Two representatives from Press Council of India, one representative each from Press Association, Indian Journalist Union and Editor Guild of India and a number of senior journalists from Manipur are also taking part in the interaction programme.
The interaction programme will continue to discuss ‘Media’s role in promoting India’s Act East Policy’, ‘Capacity building of media personnel in Myanmar and India’ and ‘Media’s role in promoting connectivity and trade between Myanmar and India.’