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Curtains come down on Shirui Lily Festival


UKHRUL, Oct 19 - With the announcement of results of various competitions that took place during the last three days, the third edition of the State-level Shirui Lily Festival, organised by the Department of Tourism, Government of Manipur, concluded at the Tangkhul Naga Long Ground here today.

The four-day festival, which was held with performance by international rock bands including the iconic Nazareth and American group Extreme, cultural shows, beauty pageants, exhibitions, programmes on folk songs and traditional dances, indigenous games and sports competitions, showcased the need to protect the Manipur State flower Shirui Lily, and promoted Ukhrul as a new tourist destination in the North East.

Manipur Governor Dr Najma Heptulla was the chief guest at the closing function of the festival, which was also attended by Art and Culture Minister L Jayentakumar, Education Minister Th Radheshyam, Sports Minister Letpao Haokip, chairman of the Tourism Corporation of Manipur Limited Dr Ranjan Sapam, other MLAs and officials.

In her speech, the Governor said, �It is unfortunate that the Shirui Lily, which flowers from late May to early June, is becoming rare and many experts have felt that it may become extinct with the rising temperature and habitat change.�

Lamenting that small bamboo plants are eating up the habitat of the Shirui Lily, the Governor stressed the need of more attention in this regard and a proper scientific study so that the flower can continue to thrive in its natural habitat. Due to destruction of forests on the Shiroy range, the Ukhrul district headquarters is also facing a water supply crisis, she observed.

Minister Jayantakumar stated that the Government would build a war memorial in memory of World War II or a tourist spot at Harva Khangai in Ukhrul district.

As part of the day�s programme, the Governor released the �Child Rights Slogan�, distributed cash and consolation prizes to winners of various competitions.

Union Minister of State for Culture and Tourism Prahlad Singh Patel and Chief Minister N Biren Singh had inaugurated the festival at Shirui village on October 16.

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