Governor inaugurates Manipur Sangai Festival 2015

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Festival emphasises to bring the world best of Manipur: CM

IMPHAL, November 21: Governor V Shanmiganathan today inaugurated The Manipur Sangai Festival 2015 at 4:30 pm at the Bheigyachandra Open Air Theatre, Hapta Kangjeibung.

The inaugural function was also attended by Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh, Royal Norwegian Embassy, New Delhi Ambassador Nils Ragnar Kamsvag, Deputy Chief Minister Gaikhangam and Parliamentary Secretary (Tourism/YAS) Mairembam Prithiviraj Singh as president, special guest and guests of honour respectively.

Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh welcomed the Ambassador of Norway for his presence in the inaugural function and said we are really happy to have you with us and hope that you will carry back a beautiful memory of Manipur.

“I do extend my warm greetings and welcome the participants from our neighbouring Countries as well as from other States.”

He further expressed expectations to see Ambassadors/ high commissioners of their representatives from Bangladesh, Indonesia, Bhutan, Japan, China, Sri Lanka and others during the festival and said their participation would foster stronger relations between their countries and India in general and with Manipur in particular.

“The annual schedule of Sangai Festival of Manipur has been noted in the itinerary of tourists all over the world and our country. The continuous participation of foreign countries in our Festival would make it into an ‘International Event’ that would be looked forward to by all tourists in the world.”

The ‘Festival’, he said emphasizes to bring to the world, the best of what Manipur has to offer, be its cultural heritage, folk dances, indigenous cuisine and music or adventure sports and natural beauty.

The event is watched and publicized across the world through social media and live streaming, he said.

He said this year, we are having a separate Manipur Tourism Pavilion showcasing the Arts & Crafts, Food, Handloom etc. of Manipur like the Kouna Craft, Pottery, Phe, Embroidery, Bamboo Craft, Wood Carvings, Crafts, Dolls and Toys, Thang Saba, Indigenous Musical Instrument, Tribal Jewellery, Tribal Textiles etc, Traditional Huts depicting way of life of different Tribes of Manipur, a 2nd World War Exhibition Pavilion where Photographs, Displays, Maps, War Records etc. of Second World War would be showcased.

The Ministry of Tourism, Government of India has recently sanctioned the project ‘Development of Tourist Circuit in Manipur: Imphal-Moirang-Khongjom-Moreh’ under Swadesh Darshan and we hope to take our steps forward for developing reliable infrastructures, the Chief Minister continued and thanked the ministry.

“We have the Manipur Tourism Policy, 2014 for comprehensive development, promotion and marketing of Manipur Tourism.” Further, to utilize tourism infrastructures optimally, our Government has also approved policy for leasing out these facilities under Public-Private Partnership with a view to make these functional and tourist worthy, he continued.

We are also taking-up development of World Class Tourism Facilities at Loktak Lake and towards this ends, we are in the process of implementing another ambitious project i.e. ‘Integrated Cable-Car and Lakeside Tourism Development Project at Loktak Lake, Manipur’ which has been sanctioned during 2013-14 by Ministry of Tourism, Government of India for implementation in Public Private Partnership mode under Large Revenue Generating Scheme, he added.

This year, we are conducting several events simultaneously to make the Sangai Festival livelier and enjoyable by tourists. As part of the Sangai festival, we have the Asian Theatre Festival, the Manipur Film Festival, Indo- Myanmar Conference, the Shumang Leela, Thabal Chongba, the Indigenous Sports Events at Hapta Kangjeibung as well as Khuman Lampak, the International Polo Tournament simultaneously. This is an attempt to meet the appetite of all kind of tourists coming to Manipur. Not only these, but we also have adventure sports and events going on at different places, he said.

Norwegian Ambassador Nils Ragnar Kamsvag speaking at the function said having travelled around in the “very beautiful Manipur” the last couple of days he found that there are more similarities between Norway and Manipur then he knew beforehand.

“We both have an abundance of wide and beautiful mountains. But I have to admit that we don’t have the richness of flowers and trees as you have here,” he said.

“We also do share the appreciation or maintaining our own tradition and culture in a world which becomes smaller and smaller where we travel more, we trade more, with each other.”

“At the same time we do understand that it is important to honour and to keep a good understanding of our history and our culture. That is why a festival like this is so important.”

He said for over ten years he has been supporting cultural events all over India in all the States.

He said he has been promoting traditional Indian cultural together with Norwegian culture in India in the same way as they have promoted Indian culture in Norway.

“Because to become global theatre it is important to be aware of our roots,” he said.

“I think this festival where you are displaying your very rich and diverse culture and combining with the astonishing beauty of Manipur would be a very way good of attracting more and more tourist to this part of India which is so far, too far unknown to many.”

“I wish good luck with the festival. Congratulation,” he added.

Governor V Shanmuganathan, who was attending his first public function in the State, addressing the function said he is deeply impressed by the overall concept and the splendid arrangement for this festival.

He said Manipur is well known for its rich traditions and culture and it is a beautiful state with tremendous natural resources.

With the steady improvement in the tourism infrastructure such as hotels, road transport and the initiatives taken up by the State Government like the Sangai Festival, things have started to look up in the tourism sector, he observed.

Tourism is very important for the economic development of the State, he said.

He said by organizing a festival like this we are inviting the world to come to Manipur.

The main propose of this festival is that when the tourist comes here, they should get a clear message that Manipur is a peaceful State, it is a State for harmonious living and the people are by nature very kind, very hospitable and at the same time they understand each other and absolutely there is no problem in Manipur, he said.

“That stage is definitely going to come. I am able to visualize in a very near future all the problems of Manipur will be put to an end,” the Governor said.

We have some small problems that definitely can be solved, he said.

“…In our Tamil Nadu there was a separatist movement. There was a separatist attitude…”

“…because of dialogue, understanding, mutual give and take attitude the separatist attitude has gone… it has vanished.”

“There was a problem in Punjab also. There was a Kalisthan movement.”

“With continuous dialogue the Kalisthan movement also is over. It is because of democracy.”

Coming back in the context of Manipur he said whatever your conflicts are, all will go if we have the attitude of dialogue, discussion and understanding each other.

“Then your fine day will come. The glorious time for Manipur is going to come,” he said.

All this festival, tourism thing are all aim at lifting the economic condition of Manipur to a great level.

The economy, the industry, education, infrastructure, everything should be development so every Manipuri lives a happy live and slowly let us give up violence, he added.

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