Act East Policy a game-changer for NE: Mein

GUWAHATI, Jan 31: Deputy Chief Minister Chowna Mein said that the Centre’s Act East Policy would be “a game changer for the Northeast states vis-à-vis the ASEAN countries.”
Mein was speaking at a seminar on the ‘Role of Tai community on the Act East Policy & their impact on the social, cultural, linguistic and economic corridor across the border’, organised as part of the silver jubilee celebration of Me-Dam-Me-Phi festival here in Assam on Thursday.
“The Tai community residing in the northeastern states can act as a bridge between India and ASEAN nations because of the cultural similarities, food habits and dialects/languages it shares
with the people across the borders,” Mein said.
“Cultural similarity between the people of ASEAN countries and Northeast India should become the fulcrum of our friendship and the bedrock of all our policies – both diplomatic and economic,” he added.
The DCM also urged the Centre to consider reopening the Stilwell Road upto Kunming in China.
“The people living across the international boundaries of India and Myanmar have common cultural ties, and it would act as a catalyst for cross-border trade,” he said.
The historic Stilwell Road or Ledo Road, which was constructed during World War II, starts from Ledo in Assam, passes through Pangsau Pass (Nampong) in Arunachal, and leads up to Kunming in China through Myanmar, passing through many important towns in Myanmar.
Mein said “it is high time we should give paramount importance to reopening of the Stilwell Road and emphasize on priority for restoration of this road by India and Myanmar as it would be mutually beneficial for both sides.”
Reopening the road would further deepen the age-old cultural linkage and help promote spiritual tourism, he said.
Earlier, extending his greetings to the Tai Ahom community on the occasion of Me-Dam-Me-Phi, Mein urged the younger generation to carry forward the legacy of their forefathers, “so that their traditional value and cultural relation and diversity remain intact.”
He called for “preservation and promotion of the ancient traditions of Me-Dam-Me-Phi,” which is the most important festival of the Ahom community.
Mein also suggested that the Tai community should come under one umbrella to preserve the age-old Tai culture and tradition. (DCM’s PR Cell)