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WW II commemoration concludes in Imphal

By Sobhapati Samom

IMPHAL, June 28 � With a message of peace and reconciliation, the three month-long commemoration of the 70th anniversary of the Battle of Imphal (World War II) concluded at the MFDC auditorium here in presence of top leaders of Manipur and diplomats from Britain, United States, Australia and Japan this evening.

Manipur Governor VK Duggal speaking at the closing function expressed the need to have an advanced planning in order to make the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Imphal a mega event.

�I hope during the 75th anniversary celebration, besides the Colonel Commandants of the Indian Regiments that took part in the great battle, representatives from more nations will be invited and will be part of the commemoration as there were Nepali Regiment, men from Africa and other countries who had participated�, Duggal added.

�The challenge before us is how well we can tell the story of what happened in Manipur during the War and develop the related heritage in a manner that makes it enriching for visitors,� said Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh while acknowledging the effort of organising such an event. �We also need to explore how besides preserving the war memorabilia, we can spread further the message of peaceful co-existence in the world.�

Besides Arambam Angamba of 2nd World War Imphal Campaign Foundation, First Secretary (Defence) Jane Spicer of Australian High Commission to India, Colonel Larry J Redmon, Military Attach�, Embassy of USA, British Deputy High Commissioner to India Scott Furssedonn Wood, Dr Hugo Slim, Grandson of Field Marshal William Slim (1891-1970) who commanded the 14 (Forgotten) Army during the Burma Campaign, also spoke at the closing function. A souvenir was also released on the occasion.

On Friday, a memorial service was held to pay tributes to the departed soldiers of Imphal Battle which was termed as the the most fierce battle involving the Britishers during the historic World War II.

The 70th anniversary celebration of the Battle of Imphal (World War II) was launched on March 23 by holding a series of gatherings and functions at various battle fields in the State.

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