India-Myanmar scribes vow to aid Act East Policy

Among a slew of recommendations adopted at the end of the two-day Inter Regional Media Interaction Programme between Myanmar and India, delegates present agreed to work for the materialisation of India’s Act East Policy.

The interaction programme conducted at Sangai Hall, Hotel Imphal under the sponsorship of Manipur Tourism concluded Tuesday with the adoption of seven recommendations. It was organised by Department of Information & Public Relations, Manipur in collaboration with the State Level Committee for Act East Policy in Manipur.

The seven recommendations which were read out by Editors’ Guild of India (EGI) general secretary Prakash Dubey after a lively session included collective efforts amongst the Indian and Myanmarese journalists to build stronger friendship between the immediate neighbours and extending support in the implementation of the Act East Policy; more understanding and improved relationship between the two countries; visa free regime particularly for media fraternity of these countries; to conduct more media exchange programmes in future; better connectivity in terms of road, railways, air and maritime communication i.e., better transport facilities between Myanmar and India; measures to ensure free flow of news, if possible form news agency, social media like Whatsapp etc.; and develop tourist circuit between the two counties.

Proposals were also raised for forming a joint committee to facilitate better coordination and effective implementation of the recommendations by the authorities of the two countries.

The valedictory function was preceded by three interaction sessions on varied issues.

The first session on Tuesday, which was the fourth of the programme, was moderated by Prakash Dubey.

As one of the resource persons on ‘Media’s Role in Promoting India’s Act East Policy’, AIR Imphal news editor Dr A Ibomcha Sharma emphasised on joint venture between media persons of India and Asian nations to tackle the menace of drug and psychotropic substances.

He also mentioned that as per 2011 Census, Manipur holds the record of having the highest number of AIR listeners in the country. Dr Ibomcha highlighted that after rechristening the erstwhile Look East Policy (1981) as Act East Policy under the vision and leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the Union government has been introducing and implementing various programmes to accelerate economic development of the north-eastern states through emphasis on smart and skill development.

Session-V on ‘capacity building of media personnel in Myanmar and India’ had Press Association (India) president Jaishanker Gupta as the moderator while Manipur University’s programme coordinator for Centre for Myanmar Studies Prof MC Arun, Indian Journalists’ Union (IJU) vice president Kosuri Amarnath and San Muang Than of Burma News International spoke as resource persons.

In the sixth and final session of the programme, EGI general secretary Prakash Dubey the moderated the discussion on ‘Media’s Role in Promoting Connectivity and Trade between Myanmar and India’.

Press Association’s Jaishanker Gupta, Editors’ Guild Manipur general secretary Rupachandra Yumnam and Zaw Khan Hein of Myanmar Journalists Network were the resource persons of the session.

Among others, Rupachandra stressed the need for sincerity on the part of the Central government for accelerating development and expansion of national highways in Manipur.

Apart from the journalist delegates from Myanmar, PCI, Editors’ Guild of India and media persons of Manipur, the interaction programme was also participated by students of Mass Communication Department, Manipur University and State Institute of Journalism, DIPR.

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