TODAY -

CM Ibobi meets Manipuri communities at Mandalay
Source: Hueiyen News Service / Manipur Information Centre

Mandalay , May 31 2013 : It was a great and historic moment for the Manipuri communities settling in Myanmar when they meet the Manipur delegation led by Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh during an interactive event facilitated by the Embassy of India, Yangon and the Government of Manipur at Amrapura Ballroom, Hotel Sedona here today.

In his welcome address, U Htun Shwe alias Sunder Sharma, on behalf of the Manipuri Community of Mandalay, expressed his happiness to meet the Manipur Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh and his delegation, and said, "In my life time in 75 years, it was the first visit of a Manipur leader in Myanmar after 1938 when a Manipur leader Hijam Irabot of Nikhil Maniipuri Mahasabha under the patronage of Manipur King Churachand had come here" .

Sundar Sharma said that there are about 20,000 Manipuri Meitieis in Mandalay and other nearby areas.

They organised all Manipuri festivals like Cheiraoba, Kang, Jhulon, Krishnajanma, Radhastami, Deepavali, Maharas, Goverdhon Puja, Basanta Panchami, Durga Puja, Shiva Ratri and Holi along with Yaosang.

Traditional and ritual ceremonies like Swasti Puja, Yum Shengba, Luhongba, Poloiba, Phiroi, etc were observed by Manipuri Communities in Myanmar.

He further informed, "All the children go to school and they got at least Bachelor Degree and learned up to Ph.

.Ddegree.

With regard to occupation, he said, "Manipuris occupied from lower clerk level to Director level.

Some are Doctors, Engineers, Army Captains and Majors.

Some are employed in foreign countries like Singapore, Malaysia, England and USA.

He stated, "Although our community is little prosperous, we are lacking in cultural activities like our language and literature.

Most of the younger generation cannot read, write and speak Meitei language.

Our identity is absorbed in other communities due to the policy of our country" .

He further said, "We are happy that a new change has happened in Myanmar and it is our faith that there will be more avenues for developing business and other interest in the new set up.

It is heartening to note that the profile of the Consulate has changed in the last two years.

With active support of the Mission, the Consulate has been able to do a lot of activities relating to education, health, commerce, social welfare and other sectors.

We are also committed to help the Indian people to do their business in Myanmar" .

Manipur Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh stated that he was also very happy to meet Manipuri Communities settled in Myanmar and appealed to them to preserve Manipuri culture, courage and rights so that they could continue to live as Manipuri.

Ibobi said that Manipur Government with the approval from the Indian Government will send a Manipuri cultural troupe in Mandalay to promote Manipuri culture.

He informed that Manipur University has been upgraded as a Central University and it has a department called the Centre of Myanmar Studies, which is one of its only kinds in Indian Universities.

Chief Minister Ibobi invited the Manipuris in Myanmar to come and study in Manipur University.

He speculated that the Mandalay-Imphal Bus service would be materialised in the year 2016 and Visa on arrival facility at Moreh would be in operation in near future.

In due course, there would be a close tie between Manipuris in Manipur and Manipuris in Myanmar.

Charge D' Affairs of Indian Embassy, Yangon Y K Sailas Thangal proposed vote of thanks.

The function was followed by the screening of award winning Manipuri film, ISHANOU directed by Aribam Syam Sharma.


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