Putao ( Myanmar )
Arunachal Pradesh Deputy Chief Minister Chowna Mein attending the sacred ‘Poi KongmuLoung Chow Kaang-kham’ at Putao in Kachin State of Myanmar and expressed his gratitude towards the Government of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar for allowing the presence of a large Buddhist cultural delegation from Arunachal Pradesh, India at Putao while speaking in the cultural event held to felicitate guests from India and Thailand.
Mein also met the Deputy Director of the Government of Putao Region, U Thant Zin over dinner Thursday and conveyed his gratitude to the local administration and the government for allowing entry of devotees and pilgrims from India inspite of it being a restricted area.
He told the highest ranking official of the region that the visit was historic and appreciates the Myanmar Government for according so much importance to materialise the visit of the Indian delegation. He said that such gesture will deepen the socio-cultural relations between the people living across the borders which shared common beliefs, language, culture and social structure.
Mein further opined that India’s ‘Act East Policy’ is on the lines of improving people to people contact which is fundamentally envisaged for building socio-cultural relations, increasing trade ties, promoting tourism and developing the economic scenario of the South East Asian region through outreach initiatives.
He reiterated that North East region is the gateway to the ASEAN countries in India and Myanmar shows the route to India to larger ASEAN nations and he emphasized on re-opening of the Stilwell Road or Ledo Road so that it will ease travel and cut distance for people living on either side of the area.
Mein appreciated the rapid development that has taken place in tourism and infrastructure sector in Putao region since his last visit in the region some 14 years before. He was delighted to know that the connectivity with the North East India get prominence in the North East Region Vision Document 2020 of the Union Govt of Myanmar and said that opening up trade routes would expand economic opportunities of the region and accelerate its growth process which would be beneficial for both sides.
U Thant Zin said that he was overwhelmed by the presence of devotees and cultural delegates from India and would be happy to offer further assistance for a pleasant and convenient stay at Putao.
He appreciated what Mein had said and assured that he would convey the message to the higher authorities to further take it up at appropriate levels.
The festival is being celebrated to pay annual homage to the 2320 years old pagoda which is believed to house the relics of Lord Buddha from an earlier incarnation as Kaang-kham (Golden Deer). It is widely believed that paying obeisance at this pagoda fulfils the wishes.
Earlier, Mein along with the Chairman of the Parliament, Kachin State, Mr U Tun Tin, Kachin State Minister for Ethnic Affairs, Mr U Sai Sein Lin; Putao District Administrator, Mr Thant Zin inaugurated the festival.
Mein also inaugurated a newly constructed Stupa made of stones called ‘Peace Pagoda’ here today.
The festival was inaugurated on 5 February and will conclude on 8 February, Saturday coinciding with the auspicious full moon day of the lunar month when Maiko Sum-fai will also be celebrated.
DCM Mein is accompanied by Wangki Lowang,