| Manipur chief minister Okram Ibobi Singh flags off the car rally at Kangla in Imphal on Wednesday. Picture by UB Photos |
Imphal, Feb. 27: The Union ministry of external affairs has decided to provide visas on arrival at Moreh to Myanmarese nationals seeking medical treatment.
Manipur chief minister Okram Ibobi Singh today announced this while flagging off the BCIM rally for the Myanmar leg from Kangla Fort here.
Ibobi Singh said restrictions in the movement of goods and people across the borders of Bangladesh, China, India and Myanmar (BCIM countries) need to be eased. And the on-arrival visa facility was a stepping stone to greater co-operation.
The chief minister addressed the participants of the car rally at an impressive function held inside Kangla Fort. The rally crossed the border through Manipur’s border township of Moreh and entered Myanmar in the afternoon.
Many people lined the roads to welcome the cars when they entered Myanmar through border gate No. 1.
“It is imperative to open the available channels of transport and communication among the people. The restrictions in the movement of goods and services and people across the border need to be eased,” Ibobi Singh said.
“The visa arrangements with Bangladesh and China may also be eased so that travel between India and its neighbour becomes easier. We are looking forward to opening up of road and rail passages to Bangladesh through Tripura so that our goods can be exported by using the ports of Bangladesh,” he said.
Ibobi Singh tried to hard sell Manipur by stating that the state had rich culture, intricate handloom and handicraft products, lustrous silk and a popular destination for tourists.
“We will be in a position to export Manipuri silk to neighbouring countries in the near future,” he said.
The rally reached Imphal late last night and a cultural programme was organised at Manipur Film Development Corporation auditorium here.
“We enjoyed the whole trip from Calcutta and also the different foods we had along the way. Yesterday’s cultural programme here was wonderful and the Manipuri food fantastic. It’s a once in a lifetime experience to see all the different cultures of our neighbours,” said Chen Yunchuan, leader of the Chinese team.
Last night, many people waited along the Imphal-Jiribam route to welcome the rally. Today, too, students lined the roads of Imphal to cheer the teams while they were leaving for Moreh.
Ibobi Singh presented the participants with traditional shawls.
Security measures were tightened in the Kuki areas of Chandel district to prevent trouble during the trip, in view of the Kuki State Demand Committee’s ongoing blockade.