NAY PYI DAW: Prime Minister Narendra Modi in a joint press statement with State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi today announced that citizens of Myanmar who wish to visit India will be given gratis visas — Gratis (free of charge) Visa are issued to those holding Diplomatic or Official passports.
PM Modi arrived in Myanmar’s capital Naypyidaw on Tuesday following his visit to China where he attended BRICS summit. PM Modi was given ceremonial welcome by Myanmar President Htin Kyaw on his arrival.
“I am pleased to announce that we have decided to grant gratis (no-cost) visa to all the citizens of Myanmar who want to visit India,” Prime Minister Modi said. He also announced that India has decided to release 40 Burmese citizens, currently lodged in various jails in India.
The Prime Minister also hailed Aung San Suu Kyi and said, “Aung San Suu Kyi’s courageous leadership to the Myanmar peace process needs to be lauded.”
Speaking on the fight against terror, Modi said that being neighbours, we have similar security concerns. “I am confident that in future we will work together to create a strong and close partnership for mutual benefits”, he added.
Currently, the government issues gratis visas to nationals of Afghanistan, Bangladesh, North Korea, Jamaica, Maldives, Mauritius and South Africa, among others, as per the Ministry of External Affairs.
Notably, PM Modi’s visit to Myanmar coincides as back home Union Minister of state for home Kiren Rijiju while speaking to media said that a task force has been constituted by the government to identify illegal Rohingya refugees living across the country. Once done, the process of deporting them will be initiated, reported TOI.
Earlier, the apex court while hearing a plea filed by two immigrants challenging the fate of Rohingya Muslim in India, asked the government to provide with a detailed report of their future course of action on the matter.
The petitioners stated that they were facing persecution in Myanmar and opposed the decision to send them back. The plea was heard by the apex court bench comprising Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices AM Khanwilkar and DY Chandrachud.
Meanwhile, there are over 16,000 Rohingyas in India registered with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) while the unregistered tally would take the figure to be over 40,000.