Ukhrul: The 4th edition of the state-level Shirui Lily Festival, 2022 concluded on Saturday with the official closing ceremony held at Bakshi Ground, Hungpung. However, the closing day spilled over to ShiRock grand finale bands competition through the night bringing fans in the thousands, marking yet again, one of the biggest festivals in the state and Northeast region.
Speaking at the closing ceremony as chief guest, Manipur cabinet minister Thongam Biswajit Singh said Shirui Lily Festival is the most important festivals the state government is trying to promote through which employment can be generated and push socio-economic development. The minister invited all to come and explore the endemic flower of the state, urging the people of Ukhrul to protect and to conserve Shirui Lily. He also pointed out that the state festival brought along all the different communities in the state, including many from other states and abroad giving the necessary boost to eco-tourism.
Minister Th Biswajit who graced the valedictory ceremony of the festival also stressed on the particular flower Shirui Lily as a unifying factor for all communities and in one way, a gate way to exploring Manipur’s rich cultural heritage. He also added that the flower available only in the Shirui hill was explored and became known to the world in 1940s, but with the lack of effort to explore the flower, people came to know about this flower much later.
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Th Biswawajit Singh, minister for environment, forest and climate change, power, agriculture, science & technology was accompanied by transport minister Khashim Vashum, Leishemba Sanajaoba member of Rajya Sabha, W. Ibohal Singh director Tourism Manipur, chairman Hill Area Committee (HAC), Sharda Devi, BJP Manipur president, PK Jha senior IAS commissioner Tourism Manipur, Sagolsem Kebi Devi, MLA Ram Muivah, MLA Leishiyo Keishing, state officials, deputy commissioner, SP Ukhrul and Tangkhul CSOs.
W. Ibohal Singh director Tourism Department in his welcome speech said, “The Tourism Department has a calendar event and that it has been organizing Shirui Lily Festival with a view to give awareness to the people of the state and abroad that we have a beautiful flower called Shirui Lily.”
A specially designed choreography was presented by artist of all the tribes of Manipur giving out significant message to all the people of Manipur in working towards a better and peaceful future echoed Hingminashi Eikhoi (let’s live together) song.
Minister Khashim Vashum in his speech said that Shirui Lily festival became the state-level festival in 2017 and with the inclusion in budget for the festival, Shirui Lily Festival began with trail. Khashim expressing his appreciation for the success of the state-level festival said, ”I would like to thank the chief minister, ministers, MLAs and party presidents, on behalf of the people of Ukhrul district”, he said.
The closing ceremony concluded with vote of thanks from Krishna Kumar, DC Ukhrul.
Traffic throughout the festival was choked from Kharasom Junction to Dungrei Junction, the two primary entry points to Ukhrul town. The small one lane roads within Ukhrul town to Shirui village and Phangrei, which plays as the main nerve to the festival locations were choked off, due to which vehicular movement completely came to a stand still.