Myanmar Press Council Member Dr Zaw Than (extreme left) sharing his view on the concluding day of two day India-Myanmar media interaction programme in the state capital of Manipur in India's north east bordering Myanmar. Photo: Mizzima News

The journalists’ bodies of India and Myanmar have recommended supporting the implementation of India’s Act East Policy and a visa-free regime particularly for the media fraternity of these countries.

India’s Act East Policy came into existence in the year 1981 as Look East Policy. With the coming of Narendra Modi’s government in the Centre, it was re-christened as the Act East Policy in 2014.

The journalists’ recommendation was made at the end of the two-day Inter-Regional Media Interaction Programme between Myanmar and India in Imphal, capital of Manipur state in India’s North-Eastern region bordering Myanmar on Tuesday.

The interaction programme between the representatives of different journalist bodies in India and Myanmar also recommended improving the relationship between the two countries and conducting more media exchange programmes in future besides working together for better connectivity in terms of road, railways, air and maritime communication, i.e., better transport facilities between the two countries.

The recommendation which was signed by Member Dr Zaw Than of Myanmar Press Council (MPC) and Prakash Dubey of Editors’ Guild of India, Jaishanker Gupta of Press Association of India, Kosuri Amarnath of Indian Journalists Union, Vivek Saxena and CK Naik both ex-members of Press Council of India (PCI) also suggested ensuring a free flow of news between the two countries.

Earlier in the technical session of the interaction programme, most of the speakers suggested a joint media venture between the media personnel of India and Asian nations and war against drugs and psychotropic substances.

They also suggested improving trade and bilateral economic ties between Myanmar and India, and that interaction and effective communication between media personnel of the two countries is of utmost importance.

The Media Interaction Programme between Myanmar and India was an outcome of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s historic visit to Yangon in September, this year where Modi said he was glad that the two countries had agreed to encourage cooperation between the PCI and MPC.

Later in the afternoon, Myanmar journalists team was also accorded a warm welcome and presented with traditional items at the premises of All Manipur Working Journalists’ Union office in Imphal.

On the other hand, a team of 13 Myanmar from the delegation mostly Manipuris in Myanmar called on Chief Minister N Biren’s Chief Minister’s Secretariat wherein they were accorded warm welcome and presented Manipuri traditional Leirung-Phee scarfs to them. Informing that the bilateral relations between India and Myanmar have seen lots of improvement in the recent past, Biren said, “The Government of Manipur is putting in all possible efforts to launch Imphal-Mandalay bus service as soon as possible to boost people-to-people contact especially among Manipuri people of the two countries.” It may be noted that friendly football matches between the women teams of Mandalay and Manipur were also organised as part of the ongoing Manipur Sangai Festival, an annual tourism festival of the state held from November 21-to 30 every year since the past one decade.

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