IMPHAL, November 18: “Let’s not forget that Manipur and its resources belong to all of us”, the Manipur Chief Minister Okram Ibobi reminded the people of the state today.
Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh was speaking at the Tribal Research Institute auditorium while opening the first state level tribal cultural festival.
The inauguration of the two day long festival was also attended by DIPR minister TN Haokip and MP Lok Sabha, Thangso Baite as guest of honour and functional president and other tribal MLAs, ADC chairmen, executive members and members of ADCs.
Chief Minister O Ibobi while addressing the gathering elaborated that Manipur and its resources belong to each one of us who have inherited it from our forefathers.
“We have shared a common past and common ancestry and our interest also lies in a common goal and common future” he added.
The Chief Minister further elaborated that Manipur is a land of diversity. It is multi-lingual, multi- ethnic and multi-religious state with more than 30 tribal communities living together in peace and harmony with other communities since time immemorial.
Further elaborating the on the present issues in the state, the Chief Minister stated that “The recent times have been full of troubles in Manipur in terms of ethnic rivalry and conflict. Sharp divides in ethnic line have emerged due to conflicting claims and aspirations”, and added that this conflict has adversely affected all efforts to bring development in the State.
In this backdrop, the theme of the festival, “Harmonizing and Honouring our culture” is very relevant and appropriate and it is the need of the hour, the Chief Minister said.
Both hills and valley should be equally developed and we should learn to live together in harmony, he reiterated.
Acknowledging that the tribal communities have traditionally been deprived and backward societies, the Chief Minister said that all out efforts are being made by the government for their development and empowerment.
Revival of the six District Councils after two decades is a big step in this direction, he added. Substantial power and authority has been delegated to the democratically elected ADC members and stated that the government is committed to take the initiatives for greater empowerment of the Tribal people.
He further congratulated the TRI Manipur for conceiving and organizing such festival and asserted that the event not only holds immense importance for the tribal brethren but also the people of the entire state. The Chief Minister also expressed his wish that the Festival would emerge as a unique annual event to serve as a platform for all the communities to share their cultural heritage and evolve harmony.
Presentation of cultural dances and folk songs, special numbers by popular singers from various tribal communities were the main highlights of the opening function of the festival.
The festival is being organized and sponsored by Tribal Research Institute, Manipur.