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Rinku Khumukcham

Rinku Khumukcham

Rinku Khumukcham, Editor of Imphal Times has more than 15+ years in the field of Journalism. A seasoned editor, was a former editor of ISTV News. He resides in Keishamthong Elangbam Leikai, with his wife and parents. Rinku can be contacted at [email protected] 

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MERA HOUCHONGBA celebrated in a grand way; CM underlines hill-valley unity

Imphal, Oct. 5: Showcasing oneness and brotherhood among the people of different ethnic communities, Mera Houchongba was celebrated with pomp and gaiety at Kangla Uttra today.

This year’s unique feature of the festival was organising the celebration at State level in a grand way by a joint committee known as the State Level Mera Houchongba Committee formed under the supervision of Chief Minister N. Biren Singh.

The committee comprised representatives from Kangla Fort Board, Sana Konung (Royal Palace), Sanamahi Temple Board and State Government.

Performing age-old rituals, exchange of gifts and presentation of colourful cultural items of different communities were the main highlights of the celebration.

Chief Minister N. Biren Singh, Art and Culture Minister L. Jayantakumar Singh and titular king of Manipur Meidingu Leishemba Sanajaoba graced the joyous occasion as the chief guest, president and guest of honour respectively.

Ministers, Parliamentary Secretaries, MLAs, top civil and police officers, village chiefs and large number of people from both hill and valley were also present at the occasion.

Addressing the gathering, the Chief Minister said, “We need to forgive and forget the past mistakes sincerely to retain the strong fraternal bond between hill and valley people.”

Stating that there were misunderstandings in the past, Shri N. Biren said that people need to sideline all these differences and march forward to achieve progress.

Mentioning the importance of Mera Houchongba festival towards strengthening hill-valley unity, the Chief Minister hailed titular king Meidingu Leishemba Sanajaoba for his efforts of keeping up the tradition of celebrating the festival every year.

Acknowledging the significance of Mera Houchongba, the new Government had decided to celebrate the festival in a grand way under its aegis from this year, he added.

Stating that there has been considerable improvement in hill-valley ties ever since the new Government was formed in the State, the Chief Minister said that he was moved by the kind gesture and fine hospitality shown to him and his Minister during reception ceremonies held at Ukhrul, Kangpokpi, Senapati and Churachandpur.

Maintaining that no development is meaningful if the needy people of hill and interior areas are uplifted and empowered, N. Biren Singh said that he is planning to visit Tamenglong district by road soon to look into the inadequacies of the district and review various development works.

 He assured that people would witness considerable developmental changes both in hill and valley districts within 2 or 3 years. N. Biren said that his Government had decided to revamp all the major roads across the State on mission mode soon after rainy season.

The Chief Minister further said that a WhatsApp Group comprising PWD engineers, SOs, contractors and himself as its members had been formed to expedite developmental works.

In order to complete the projects within stipulated time, he had even instructed the Works Minister to increase the working hour of officials from 8 hours to 14 hours with overtime allowance if necessary, the Chief Minister informed.

Regarding Imphal Evenings, the Chief Minister clarified that the Government is simply trying to provide recreational space to the public as the people of other States think that there is no life in Manipur after nightfall.

Admitting that there were some traffic congestion problems on the first day, the Chief Minister assured that proper planning has been made to avoid such inconvenience in future.

Speaking at the occasion, L. Jayantakumar said that the State level Mera Houchongba celebration had been incepted from this year under the supervision of Chief Minister N. Biren Singh.

He said that the idea behind organising the festival in such a grand way is putting effort to mark the beginning of an event which would be remembered forever by the future generation from this year’s Mera Houchongba celebration.

Earlier in the morning, a large number of people from different hill and valley districts gathered at the Royal Palace and took out a colourful procession up to Kangla as part of the celebration.

Later, the age old rituals like Mera Men Tongba and Yenkhong Tamba were performed there to strengthen the fraternal bond among people of different ethnic communities.

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Bangladesh signs $4.5bn 3rd LOC deal with India

Siam Sarower Jamil,

IT Correspondent,

DHAKA, Oct 5: Bangladesh today signed $4.5 billion third Line of Credit (LoC) agreement with India as both sides pledged to bolster the economic ties between the two close neighbours.

Economic Relations Division (ERD) Secretary Kazi Shofiqul Azam and Managing Director of Indian EXIM Bank David Rasquinha signed the agreement on behalf of their respective sides at the Finance Ministry in presence of Bangladeshi Finance Minister AMA Muhith and Indian Finance and Corporate Affairs Minister Arun Jaitley. 

The funds will be used for 17 priority infrastructure projects, which include health, education, electricity, railroads, roads, shipping and ports. 

"The money will be spent in projects of infrastructure, health and education. I am hopeful of implementing the projects within the stipulated time," Muhith told reporters. 

"The two countries have excellent relations at the moment," he said. 

Arun Jaitely said Bangladesh has developed significantly on the socioeconomic front over the past seven years and India has stood by Bangladesh's attempts to develop. 

"We will do so in the future. This significant agreement is a continuation of that effort," said the Indian finance and corporate minister. 

"India continues to attach the highest importance to its relations with Bangladesh . . . a strong, stable and prosperous Bangladesh is in India's interest and we are committed to working with Bangladesh to deepen our mutual engagement," Jaitley added.

The Indian Line of Credit of $ 4.5 billion was announced for Bangladesh during Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's visit to India in April 2017.

This will bring the total quantum of credit lines extended by India to Bangladesh over the last six years to $8.0 billion. 

The Joint Interpretive Notes on the agreement between the two countries was also signed at the ministry to promote and protect of investments.

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Indian Finance Minister Arun Jaitley arrives in Dhaka on three-day visit

By: Siam Sarower Jamil

(IT Correspondent)

Dhaka, Oct 4: Indian Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has arrived Dhaka on Tuesday on an official visit.

The three-day visit comes at the invitation of his Bangladesh counterpart AMA Muhith.

A special aircraft carrying the Jaitley-led Indian delegation landed at Bangladesh Air Force Base in Dhaka around 3pm.

He was received by Bangladesh Finance Minister Muhtih.

Jaitley is accompanied by Economic Affairs Secretary Subhash Chandra Garg and other senior officials and a 30-member business delegation from the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry or FICCI.

He was taken to the Hotel Pan Pacific Sonargaon from the air force base.

Jaitley is scheduled for a meeting with representatives of the Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industries or FBCCI in the afternoon at the hotel, where he will be staying during his visit.

During this visit, Bangladesh and India are expected to sign deal on $4.5 billion line of credit during this visit, which was announced during Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's 2017 New Delhi visit.

An agreement for the implementation of the third line of credit is expected to be signed in the presence of two finance ministers on Oct 4.

In addition, the 'joint interpretative notes on the agreement between India and Bangladesh for the promotion and protection of investments' will also be signed.

During his visit, Jaitley will address an audience on India’s 'macroeconomic initiatives, at an event organised by the Policy Research Institute of Bangladesh and the High Commission of India.

The two finance ministers will jointly inaugurate a new scheme for cashless transactions in visa services run by the State Bank of India on behalf of the High Commission of India.

They will also inaugurate the Dhaka representative office of the EXIM Bank of India.

Jaitley will leave Dhaka on Thursday.

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Black Day Observes: over 905 victims still not delivered justice

Imphal, Sept 13: Commemorating the 1990s bloody ethnic cleansing perpetrated by the NSCN-IM, at which over 905 Kukis including women and children were slaughtered in the most merciless manner, Kukis from across the state today observed ‘Black Day’ or SHANIT NI.
Between 1992 and 1997, NSCN (IM) had launched attacks across Manipur, killing over 905 Kukis and burning down 360 Kuki villages. One lakh villagers became refugees on their own land.
Kukis the third largest community in the state observe September 13 as a ‘black day’ every year.
Observing Sahnit Ni or ‘black day’ to mourn the victims, the Kuki Inpi Manipur (KIM) submitted a memorandum to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, demanding that these criminal acts be brought to and resolved in a court of law before the Centre and NSCN (IM) reach an agreement in the ongoing peace talks. KIM is the apex body of Kuki civil bodies in Manipur.
Observing Sahnit Ni or ‘black day’ to mourn the victims, the Kuki Inpi Manipur (KIM) submitted a memorandum to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, demanding that these criminal acts be brought to and resolved in a court of law before the Centre and NSCN (IM) reach an agreement in the ongoing peace talks. KIM is the apex body of Kuki civil bodies in Manipur.
“The demand for justice has not been met despite the fact that the government is morallu obliged to resolve it,” the memorandum, signed by KIM president Thangkhosei Haokip and general secretary Khamliankhup Lianzaw, said. It added that the Kuki Inpi will be “forced to decide the collective political fate of the people” if the Centre fails to address this. every year by the Kuki people everywhere as a day of mourning and prayer for the 900+ innocent Kukis slaughtered by the NSCN-IM.
“The Kuki people have been seeking justice for these innocent who had fallen victims to NSCN-IM’s ethnic cleansing policy. But the central government seems to feign ignorance of this crime against humanity. Rather than prosecuting the criminals the government instead engaged them in a dialogue and signed the Framework Agreement” a leader of the community said.
In connection with the observance protest rally were staged at various places.
The KSO General Headquarters has earlier appealed to all and sundry to observe the 2 hrs long bandh/hartal as a mark of respect for all the deaths.

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