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Asean-India Car Rally to start in Yogyakarta today

Publication Date : 26-11-2012


As part of the celebrations to mark two decades of dialogue between Asean and neighbour India, an Asean-India car rally is being held from November 26 to December 20.

"The rally will pass through a number of Asean countries and bring together people from all walks of life in India and Asean. It will reaffirm the physical and emotional connectivity that binds our two regions," Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said in a message recently congratulating the organisers, which include Indian and Asean governments as well as Confederation of Indian Industry (CII).

"It will also highlight the distance we have travelled as we celebrate the 20th anniversary of our dialogue Partnership and a decade of India-Asean Summits."

The 8,000-kilometre-long, 22-day journey, through eight Asean countries and India, begins right here in Indonesia, in Yogyakarta, the cradle of Javanese culture.

"The flag off will be at Royal Ambarukmo Hotel in Yogyakarta," Indonesian Foreign Ministry's director of information and media PLE Priatna said last week in Jakarta.

Deputy Foreign Minister Wardana is scheduled to attend the flag off this morning. According to the Indian Embassy in Jakarta, a special representative from the Indian External Affairs Ministry, officials from Asean and CII will attend. The governors of Yogyakarta and Central Java provinces will also attend.

Indian Ambassador to Indonesia Gurjit Singh said that people-to-people relationships between India and the friendly countries of Asean were both historic and contemporary and the rally would revitalise the traditional engagements at the popular level.

"The rally demonstrates our close links with Asean countries, it will create public awareness, promote connectivity, and enhance trade, investment, tourism and people-to-people links between Asean and India," he said.

The participants will use the new Mahindra XUV 500. Each country is sending eight participants.

The rally will not cover Brunei and the Philippines. "The rally's flag off in Yogyakarta is a symbolic one as all the participants will drive from Yogyakarta to Surakarta only. From there, they will fly to Singapore, where the real rally will begin," Indian Embassy's deputy chief of mission Raveesh Kumar told The Jakarta Post over the weekend.

The rally, which will pass through Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos and Myanmar, will end in New Delhi on December 20, Kumar said.

The rally participants will have a stopover at famous Borobudur temple for the unveiling of a bust of Indian Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore, who visited Borobudur in 1927 and penned his famous poem "To Jawa".


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