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Seemingly unfazed at being ousted from the Asian Athletics Association, scam-tainted Suresh Kalmadi on Monday said losing the presidential re-election bid to Qatar’s Dahlan Jumaan Al-Hamad has actually given him a chance to work at the “grassroots” level.
“I have no issues today and I congratulate Mr Al-Hamad for being elected as President. I am rather relieved that I will be able to work at the grassroots level in athletics,” Mr. Kalmadi said after losing the vote during the ongoing AAA Congress in Pune.

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Myanmar's democracy aids in better ties, trade: India

Thursday - Feb 16, 2012, 11:06am (GMT+5.5)
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New Delhi -  As Myanmar moves forward with its democratisation process, India Wednesday said the new civilian dispensation in its neighbouring country was paving the way for furthering of  their bilateral relations and for increased two-way trade.

India's Foreign Secretary Ranjan Mathai said the destinies of the neighbours was closely linked due to their shared land and sea borders.

"I have no doubt that as Myanmar continues on its new path charted out by its leaders, the strong ties between our two countries will only deepen and strengthen even further," Mathai said  at a seminar on "India-Myanmar Relations: Strengthening Ties and Deepening Engagements" here.

The event was organised by Global India Foundation, a diplomacy think-tank, and the Maulana Abdul Kalam Azad Institute of Asian Studies.

Mathai said the bilateral relations between the two nations will help in "a new identity being created" in the region as a result of the enhanced economic and cultural ties.

"We are conscious of the need for greater land, air and sea connectivity between our two countries to facilitate trade. But as investment climate in Myanmar improves and connectivity  improves, Indian companies are bound to invest in a variety of sectors," he said.

He said Indian business companies are actively assessing opportunities in Myanmar and the Indian government was happy to collaborate with Indian business for the Enterprise Indian Show  held in Yangon last year.

The Indian foreign secretary said the most critical area of focus in India-Myanmar ties was the people-to-people contact.

He said the Indian government had extended support to Buddhist pilgrims from Myanmar and is also trying to encourage more tourist visits by extending visa-on-arrival scheme for them.

However, he acknowledged the need for increasing the air connectivity between the two countries.

In his remarks, Global India Foundation member-secretary Omprakash Mishra said India's Look East policy of the last two decades will produce result as the country's North-eastern region's  connectivity and people-to-people contact improves with its neighbours such as Myanmar.





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