Itanagar: On the second day of the ongoing North East India Festival 2022, Arunachal Pradesh Deputy Chief Minister Chowna Mein on Sunday chaired the People-to-People Exchange Meet themed ‘Connecting India’s NE to South East Asia with Special Focus on Shared History & Tai Heritage’ at Central World, Bangkok.
Mein, in his address, said that the 75th years of India’s Independence coinciding with the 75th anniversary of diplomatic relations with the Kingdom of Thailand has given us an opportunity to celebrate the friendship between two countries with the ‘North East India Festival’ which shared common history, migration and cultural similarities.
He said, “As envisioned by the Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi, India’s ‘Act East’ policy corresponds to Thailand’s foreign policy of ‘Look West’.”
He informed that the Indian Prime Minister considers “Thailand as a trusted and valued friend and one of our closest partners in Southeast Asia” and North East India is considered as the gateway to India for the South East Asian countries.
He also said that the India-Myanmar-Thailand Trilateral Highway which runs from Moreh in Manipur to Mae Sot in Thailand via Myanmar aims to establish seamless connectivity between North East India and South East Asian countries as envisioned by PM Modi.
“It is the vision of Prime Minister of India to connect North East India with the South East Asian countries through waterways, airways, railways, roadways and e-ways which will further facilitate people to people connectivity,” the Arunachal Dy CM said.
He also spoke on the importance of Stilwell Road for facilitating people to people contact with the South East Asian countries through Myanmar, which according to him will also help boost travel, tourism and border trade.
He said that the ‘Lake of No Return’, locally called ‘Noung-yaang’, located on the India-Myanmar border is a major tourist attraction even in its natural self and the Pangsau Pass Winter Festival, held intermittently over the past few years, has also demonstrated strong cultural links across the region.
Earlier, Mein inaugurated the Meet along with former Deputy Prime Minister of Thailand and President of Thai-India Friendship Association, Korn Dabbaransi, in presence of Assam Revenue Minister Jogen Mahan, Ambassador of India to Thailand Suchitra Durai and others.
Eminent academicians, scholars and historians from Thailand and North East India participated in the Meet and made deliberations on various aspects of historical and cultural links between Thai and Tai people of North East and also exchanged ideas and views for opening new vistas of relationships beyond shared history and commonalities. Dr Chowlani Manpoong, assistant professor, Arunachal University of Studies, Namsai and Oken Tayeng, tour operator represented Arunachal Pradesh at the meet.