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Visa on arrival for Myanmarese: Manipur CM

india Updated: Feb 27, 2013 12:55 IST

The Centre has decided to provide visa on arrival at Moreh for the Myanmarese seeking medical treatment, Manipur chief minister Okram Ibobi Singh announced at the flag-off of the BCIM rally in Imphal.

"As a first step towards easing of restrictions, the government has decided to provide Visa on arrival at Moreh for the Myanmarese," he said flagging off the rally at Kangla Fort on Wednesday.

Addressing the gathering, Singh said the restrictions in the movement of goods and services and people across the border need to be eased.

"We are looking at the opening up of road and rail passages to Bangladesh through Tripura so that our goods can be exported by using the ports of Bangladesh," the chief minister said.

The rally on Wednesday set off on its sixth stage from Imphal to Ka Lay in Myanmar.

CII chairman (eastern region) R K Agrawal hoped that the rally would revive ancient links and also forge new ties.

"It would also highlight the potential of northeast and explore cross-border land trade. CII is priviledged to partner the rally and have all the governments in its side," he added.

Karl Slym, MD Tata Motors, who joined the rally here along with his wife, said two Englishmen are also supporting the rally.

"This is my first trip to the area and we are planning on a holiday out here. This is about an area of the world that has not witnessed the kind of growth that metros experience.

We all are looking forward to driving," he added.

Hundreds of school children holding flags and flowers lined up at the Kangla Fort street to send off the rally this morning.

12-day rally will then proceed to Myanmar and culminate at Kunming, in the Yunnan province of China on March 5.

Earlier, in the wake of threat calls by Kuki tribe in Manipur, the BCIM Car Rally passed through the northeastern state amid unprecedented security.

"We have got the assurance from the highest level from the government of India. We don't see any trouble along the route anymore," Indian rally contingent head Sunil Misra said as the rally left Imphal, in the last stretch of India before entering Myanmar.

The Kuki State Demand Committee (KSDC) had earlier threatened to block the entry of the four-nation rally into 'Kuki areas' of the state with an indefinite public blockade in the tough 270-km NH-53 stretch from Silchar to Imphal.

Paramilitary personnel were stationed along the entire stretch from Silchar to Imphal as the cavalcade of 20 cars took more than 14 hours to cover the treacherous hilly terrain.

All along the route, the villagers came out in large numbers waving and cheering at the convoy.

The car rally, which has a motto of 'Building Bonds, Fostering Friendship', is focused to play a catalysis in stimulating interest of the concerned stakeholders in deepening BCIM cooperation.

3028-km rally's next stop is Ka Lay before heading to Mandalay, Ruili and then to Tengchong, Dali and Kunming in China where it is scheduled to culminate on March 5.