IMPHAL, Jun 14: Chief Minister Okram Ibobi has appealed to all the people of Manipur to promote communal harmony and peaceful co-existence. He was speaking at the distribution function of the Tribal Peace and Harmony Award at the Tribal Research Institute (TRI), Chingmei-rong. The award which is awarded to people who work tirelessly for peace and harmony among different ethnic tribes of Manipur was instituted by the Government of Manipur in 2014. Out of all the individuals nominated for the award by a 17-member committee, Rev S Prim Vaiphei and Pantibonliu Gonmei alias Panti were recommended for the award which carries Rs 50,000 and a citation each.
Speaking as chief guest at the award distribution function, Ibobi called upon all the people to work collectively in order to make Manipur a progressive State rather than working only for their own ethnic groups with parochial outlooks. He stated that the awards distributed today are quite timely and have great significance. People of every religion have been talking about peace and harmony but what they did on ground contradicted their preachings. Forget about inter-community amity, many people are filled with hatred against each other even though they belong to same families.
Man does not bring anything when he is born and he does not take away anything when he dies. Manipur is a god-gifted land and the almighty is the genuine owner of this land.
If the land where a man is living was brought when he was born, he should not be paying any tax. “No one would take way Manipur’s land whether it is in the hills or the valley and we must learn to live together in harmony”, Ibobi asserted. Deputy Chief Minister Gaikhangam who presided the function lamented that the number of people who are concerned only for their own ethnic groups was rising since the past few years.
Self-centric attitude is one prime factor for the growing cases of conflicts in the society. But these conflicts should not deter all those people who have been working to bring peace and har- mony among different communities. “We can live peacefully as a single unit when plain people think for the welfare of hill people and vice versa”, Gaikhangam asserted.