IMPHAL, November 27: The economic conditions of the Meitei’s residing in Myanmar are wretched, even though, the educational qualification amongst the population is quite good when compared to the other communities in Myanmar, said Kongbrailatpam Sundergopal Sharma, a meitei from Myanmar.
K Sundergopal is one of the direct descendants of the many meiteis who left Manipur for Myanmar following the Seven Years’ Devastation.
Addressing a meeting at the Manipur People’s Party office today, the Myanmar national said he had appealed the Manipur Chief Minister during a meeting to urge the Indian government to remove the Protected Area Permit from Manipur for better accessibility between the state and his country.
He had also appealed for the establishment of regular flight between Myanmar and Manipur, he said.
Despite the several assurances from the Manipur and Indian government for better road condition and connectivity between Myanmar and Manipur, the roads continue to be in deplorable conditions, however, there is much likelihood that the road conditions will improve in the near future, he said.
The population of the Meitei population in Myanmar had reached five lakhs in 1938, however it has been reduced to a mere 20 thousand now owing to several factors, he expressed.
He asserted that one important factor which has led to the huge decrease in Meitei population in Myanmar today is that Meitei grooms who marry into other Myanmar communities of other religion adopt the religion and community of their brides.
On the other hand, in order to encourage the Manipuri language amongst the Meitei youths in Myanmar, he has been teaching them the Bengali script, he expressed.
The Meiteis in Myanmar have also been preserving the traditions and ritual ceremonies of their forefather’s in Myanmar, he continued.
He further identified Bamon Khunjao as the place with the highest Meitei population density in Myanmar.
Most meiteis in Myanmar have two names- one which is their Meitei name and the other which is of Myanmar.
The Meitei name is mostly confined only in their birth charts, he observed.
The Myanmar national who is in the state in connection with the ongoing Manipur Sangai Festival also said that the Meitei community in Myanmar has preserved a hand written chronicle of the history of the meiteis’, which will soon be printed so that the youths and younger generation get to understand their past in a better way, he continued.
He further lauded and thanked the state government for its initiative to enable the meiteis of Myanmar visit Manipur and vice versa.
MPP president, Subhakiran; vice president, O Jugindro; vice president, Amutombi; spokesperson, Nabashyam and other office bearers also attended.
K Sundergopal was presented with sculptures of Maibi Jagoi and Khambana Kao Phaba.