India commits to reconstruction of devastated areas in Myanmar

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Bangkok, May 25 (UNI) India today expressed its full commitment to to assist in the reconstruction of areas devastated by the cyclone Nargis in Myanmar.

At the ASEAN-UN International Pledging Conference for Myanmar in Yangon, Minister of State for Commerce and Power Jairam Ramesh said India, in a prompt response to the catastrophe, had already sent the much-needed relief and medical supplies there .

Fifty-one countries and several international agencies participated in the conference.

The Minister, who attended the conference with an Indian delegation, said, ''Keeping in mind our civilisational, historic and expanding economic ties, it was natural that there has been a spontaneous outpouring of sympathy in India for the people of Myanmar.'' He called on the international community to provide assistance to Myanmar expeditiously in the true humanitarian spirit and keep the process apolitical.

In the aftermath of the devastating cyclone in Myanmar early this month, India had rushed relief and medical supplies to Myanmar.

Two Indian Navy ships and six Indian aircrafts have carried immediate relief material, food, roofing material and medical supplies so far. Two Indian medical teams, comprising of 47 personnel, are currently in Myanmar, stationed in Pyapon and Bogale towns located at the heart of the affected areas.

India is in the process of sending in more relief material and another Indian aircraft will reach Yangon early next week.

The Minister met Myanmar Prime Minister U Thein Sein and the UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon. Mr Sein expressed the gratitude of his government for India's prompt and generous assistance and their commitment to assist in their rehabilitation efforts. He also commended the work of the Indian medical team.

Also during the conference, the Myanmar government screened a short film about its post-cyclone response. According to the film, the Myanmar prime minister had convened a high-level panel of ministers on May 3 soon after the cyclone.

The film showed the government officials handling relief material and camps with neat rows of tents.

A statement issued by the conference chair after the meeting said it was agreed to set up a Yangon-based Tripartite Core Group with representatives of the Myanmar government, ASEAN and UN to coordinate and monitor the flow of international assistance into the country.

UNI/XC SB US2212

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