Pothashang News Service
Imphal, November 21: President Ram Nath Kovind today launched the 8th edition of Manipur Sangai Festival amid boycott imposed by the Coordinating Committee (CorCom), a conglomerate of various rebel groups of Manipur.
This was the maiden visit of President Ram Nath Kovind in Manipur.
“Manipur is India’s window to South East Asia and key player in our governments Act East Policy. As a result there is a concentrated effort to quickly develop developmental projects.” said the president.
The regional connectivity scheme of the union ministry of civil aviation is giving a boost to afford possible link with the region specially Manipur, he added.
The potential for tourism is immense and the prospect of international fair with Manipur linking with the Indian economy to Myanmar and rest of ASEAN is unimaginably big. The benefits of such effort will benefit the people here with provision of new market and jobs for farmers and handloom weavers. “I am going back to Delhi with enough quantity of black rice. This is my favourite and the whole countries favourite is the Magnificient Mary Kom” said the President.
He also congratulated the eight Under 17 football players of Manipur who played in the Indian team in the recent Under 17 FIFA world cup. “Manipur is the capital of Indian sports. The traditional sport of Sagol Kangjei was the inspiration of the modern Polo and Imphal has the oldest polo ground in the world. The traditional sports including Huen Lanlong and Yubi Lakpi are the treasures here and that must be shared with the rest of the world”, said the President.
“India takes great pride in Manipur’s cultural identity, it’s a social diversity and economically potential. All of us need to ensure Manipur realizes this potential” concluded the President.
Union minister of state for tourism Alphons Kannanthan said for more than 60 years North East has been ignored by people in Delhi. “Conducting the first ever North East Development Summit the President, central ministers and chief ministers of North East are here. Together with you we going to build a beautiful Manipur”, said the union minister.
The President also highlighted the heroes of Manipur like Tikendrajit who sacrificed their lives fighting against the British regime. He said as Manipur was a battle field in the second world war the war participant countries like Japan has love for the state and it has added to the tourism potentiality of Manipur.
Governor Dr. Najama A. Heptulla in her address highlighted the tourism potentials of Manipur with the Loktak Lake, the only fresh water and largest lake in the South East Asia having the world’s only floating island on a lake, Keibul Lamjao on it habited by Sangai, the precious animal on earth. She said, she is happy to be appointed as first woman Governor of the state where the world’s largest women market-“Ima market” is located. Drawing attention of the President the Governor said,” Women are already empowered here”.
Chief minister Nongthombam Biren Singh announced opening of Imphal to Delhi direct flight from the New Years day, 2018. Welcoming the chief ministers in the tourism festival, Biren proposed to together create a North East tourism circuit. Highighting Lotak lake and its Sangai, Sirui lily of Ukhrul, original place of Polo as unique treasures of Manipur found nowhere in any other part of the world besides its diverse culture and cuisines said, Manipur is proud to offer the world a tourist attraction.
Suresh Babu, union minister of commerce and industries, Jayanta Sinha, minister of state for civil aviation, Sarbanand Sanowal, Assam CM, TR Zeliang, Nagaland CM and Pema Khandu, Arunachal Pradesh CM were also present at the launching ceremony.
Cultural performances of different compositions individual and groups were showcased by the cultural troops of Manipur.
Large number of thronged the festival main venue at Bhagyachandra open air theatre to witness the bissgest tourism festival of Manipur.
Boycotting the President of India’s visit by CorCom imposed general strike from today 5 am till 8 am tomorrow. Imphal wore a deserted look with closure of educational institutions and business establishment.
No untoward incidents were reported during the Sangai festival launching ceremony.
Ram Nath Kovind landed Imphal international airport at 11: 30 am today. Earlier in the morning the President also inaugurated the first North East Development Summit here. Tomorrow he is visiting INA war memorial complex at Moirang in Bishnupur district.