Peace pre-requisite to attract tourists: CM

CORRESPONDENT/DIPR BISHNUPUR, 19th Nov: People would face no difficulty in earning their livelihood if tourism flourishes in Manipur and hence the state needs to project itself to the world as a peaceful place in order to attract large number of domestic and foreign tourists.

This was stated by chief minister N Biren while addressing the gathering at the curtain raiser ceremony of Manipur Sangai festival, the biggest tourism festival of the state which is all set to begin from November 21.

No tourist wishes to visit any trouble-torn country/state, the chief minister during the ceremony which was held with mesmerizing display of cultural dances and music at YICC ground at Keibul Lamjao in Bishnupur district Sunday. The chief minister also exhorted the public to convey their grievances to him or any ministers/MLAs concerned before resorting to any agitation on any issue. Reiterating his government’s commitment to serve the people with utmost sincerity, the chief minister said that the new government is not only committed to preserve and protect the history of Manipur but also to create new history with its innovative accomplishments.

According to the chief minister, it has been a dream of the people of Keibul Lamjao to witness Manipur Sangai festival near the original habitat of Sangai and the present government has now fulfilled that wish. He also assured that some programmes of Manipur Sangai festival would be compulsorily held at Keibul Lamjao every year from this year onwards.

Seeking cooperation from the villagers in this regard, the chief minister urged them to make the visitors feel homely during their stay in the village.

Earlier, the chief minister inaugurated Loktak Inland Transport complex at Sendra. Speaking at the inauguration function, the chief minister highlighted that something needs to be sacrificed to gain some opportunity and the development projects being taken up by the present government are to enable the state to join the race of changing global scenario.

Later, the chief minister flagged off Sangai Run (half marathon) from Sendra. The half marathon organised as part of Manipur Sangai festival had three categories - half marathon (21 km), Loktak Run (7.5 km) and School Run (3.5 km). Deputy chief minister Y Joykumar, ministers, MLAs, top civil, police and military officers also attended function.

On the other-hand, as part of Manipur Sangai Festival 2017, Manipur State Shumang Leela Council will be organising ‘Sangai International Shumang Lila Festival’ from November 22 to 29. Announcing this at Iboyaima Shumang Leela Shanglen, Palace Compound here on Sunday, Manipur State Shumang Leela Council life time General Secretary Hemanta said that the Shumang Leela (court-yard play) Festival will be held during the Manipur Sangai Festival at the request of the state government.

A 15-member committee has been formed to organise the Festival and eight groups will part in the event. He further informed that a discussion committee has also been formed for analysis of the various Shumang Leelas that will be showcased during the festival.

The discussion will be conducted every day at 1pm, after which the Shumang Leela will be shown started from 2pm. Hemanta also said that the Council considered it fortunate that the government is enthusiastic about promoting this unique performing art form and showcasing it to an international audience.

He further said that the Council will try to achieve its dream of presenting the art form at the international platform through Manipur Sangai Festival.

Council chairman Naba Wareppa, who was also present during the press conference, said that from 2018 onwards, the Council will try to collaborate with famed traditional art-form troupes of other states and countries to present an international cast-Shumang Leela and appealed to everyone to attend this year's festival. The press meet was also attended by Council president, former president and members.

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