CM preaches peace, unity at Mera Houchongba Fest

IMPHAL,24th Oct: Chief Minister N Biren Singh has said that the present government is trying its level best to bring peaceful co-existence and harmony among the communities of the state. Attending the Mera Houchongba Festival 2018 held at Kangla here on Wednesday, Biren said that it was his cherished aspiration to bring unity and integrity among all the communities living in the state. The Chief Minister expressed his happiness on seeing the massive turn out of people this year as compared to Mera Houchongba festival last year.

Such turn out showed our strong feeling and desire for a peaceful and united Manipur, he said, adding that the government has constituted a permanent committee for organising Mera Houchongba festival properly. Biren maintained that people have seen a sea change, a positive transformation in the state in the last 18 months. People of the state are appreciating and giving positive feedbacks to the government for various welfare and people oriented initiatives.

Clarifying on the issue of construction of Church within RIMS premises, the Chief Minister said that it has nothing to do with the state government. The said case is pending in the High Court. The present government does not discriminate any individual on the basis of caste, religion, community, etc. The government believes in secularism, unity and respect for all the communities belonging to different religion, creed and caste, etc., he added.

Titular King of Manipur Leisemba Sanajaoba extended best wishes to all denizens of the state including those residing outside the state on the occasion of Mera Houchongba and appreciated the government for making the organising committee permanent and allocating fund for Mera Houchongba in the government’s budget.

He continued that Mera Houchongba is one of the most important and meaningful festivals for both hill and valley. Because of financial constraints, the festival could not be organised regularly by the Sana Konung (Royal Palace) but with the initiative and support from the present government, there is no financial problem anymore. As such, number of participants in the festival will increase next year and will be able to show the strength of Manipuris, he noted, while adding the festival is a unique one and there are no such festival in the world that unite different communities.

Leaders of various communities in their traditional attires attended the festival. Exchange of gifts between the hill and valley people marked the festival. Various cultural dances and items of various communities were also showcased during the function. Art and Culture minister L Jayantakumar attended the event as guest of honour. It was also attended by Cabinet Ministers, MLAs, Chief Secretary, top civil and police officials and people belonging to various communities.

Prior to attending the festival, many people led by Titular King Leisemba Sanajaoba took part in a procession towards Kangla at about 8.30 am and performed rituals including ‘Main Tongba’ and ‘Yengkhong Tamba.’

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