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Meeteilon speaking persons in Myanmar less than 1000 now: Surjagopal
Source: Hueiyen News Service

Imphal, November 29 2015: Kakchingtabam Surjagopal, who is leading the Myanmar's Meetei delegate at the ongoing Sangai Festival 2015 on Sunday stated that Meeteilon speaking people in Myanmar are less than one thousand in number now.

He was speaking at the felicitation programme of the Myanmar delegates organised by Research Forum, Manipur at the residence of Dr M Loken of Soibam Leikai.

A total of nine persons including two Assamese who lives in Myanmar were felicitated at the programme.

Speaking at the function, Surjagopal stated that language has become one the main barriers faced by the Meeteis living in Myanmar.

"Most of the Meeteis in Myanmar speak Myanmarese language.

The number of Meeteis in Myanmar was above one lakh few years back but now it is estimated to be around only twenty thousand out of which less than a thousand speak Meeteilon," informed Surjagopal.



Meeteilon speaking persons in Myanmar less than 1000 now: Surjagopal
Meeteilon speaking persons in Myanmar less than 1000 now: Surjagopal


Surjagopal further informed that Meeteis in Myanmar tried establishing a school in the country to preserve and promote the Meeteilon language but the military regime had continuously sidelined the move for recognition of the langauge.

However, few Myanmar leaders who are well aware of the Myanmar Meeteis have assured them to wait for an opportune time.

Chances of recognition of a school teaching Meeteilon have now brightened up after the landslide victory of Aung San Suu Kyi led National League for Democracy (NLD) Party in the recent Myanmar election, said Surjagopal.

Expressing dismay with the thought that Meeteis in Myanmar will be extinct one day, Surjagopal also stressed on the importance of learning the Meeteilon as it was their mother tongue.

He said that it will be impossible for the Myanmar Meeteis to preserve their own customs and traditions without the help of the people of Manipur.

"Myanmar Meeteis will not be able to speak the language if they fail to start speaking from their own homes", said Surjagopal.

He expressed delight on being part of the participating delegates at the Sangai festival and voiced his desire to participate at the coming editions.

In connection with the programme, Research Forum Manipur President Indramani appealed the Myanmar Meeteis to speak their own mother tongue Meeteilon to preserve and promote the language.

Indramani on behalf of Research Forum Manipur also promised to extend possible help to promote the language.

As part of the programme, Research Forum Manipur, MEELAL and International Observation Committee of Puya Mei Thaba (ICOP) presented the Myanmar Meeteis with Mapi Lairik, Meetei Mayek written calendars and mementoes.


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