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PM asked to talk to Myanmar over freedom movement sites
Saturday March 1, 2014 9:04 AM, IANS

With Manmohan Singh visiting Myanmar next week, the Assam branch of the All India Patriotic Forum has urged the prime minister to talk with authorities there regarding proper preservation of sites related to India's freedom movement.

Manmohan Singh will be in Myanmar March 3-4.

The AIPF is taking special interest in the visit, and has urged him to take the initiative with the concerned authorities in Myanmar, where a good number of places still bear memories of the heroes and events of India's freedom movement.

"India's exiled emperor Bahadur Shah Jafar, one of the prominent leaders of the first war of independence in 1857, was buried in Rangoon (now Yangon) after his death there. Firebrand leaders Bal Gangadhar Tilak and Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose were also sent to the Mandalay prison by the British," Rupam Baruah, the forum's secretary for Assam, said in a statement.

"During World War II, the Azad Hind Fauj fought gallant battles against the British in and around Myanmar under Netaji's leadership. So, the hills and plains of Myanmar witnessed a glorious chapter of the INA's freedom struggle," he said.

The forum said India's freedom struggle also got support from the people of Myanmar.

"Naturally, the sites in Myanmar related to our freedom struggle are considered pilgrimage spots by the patriotic Indians.

"Considering the importance of the fact, the prime minister should request the Myanmar authorities to do the needful in preserving the memorial sites as archives for which India should also extend necessary support."

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