Imphal Peace Museum celebrates 3rd anniversary
Imphal, June 22 (EMN): The Imphal Peace Museum (IPM), located at the foothill of Maibam Lokpa Ching, popularly known as Red Hill about 20 km south of Imphal, an area that saw fierce fighting during World War II, celebrated its third anniversary under the aegis of the Manipur Tourism Forum (MTF) on Wednesday.
Speaking on the occasion, Manipur Governor La Ganesan said, “Today, the IPM has become the hallmark and testimony of the strong historical connection, which the people of Manipur have with Japan”.
He added, “I believe that this can be an event to make Manipur known to many parts of the world and to make Manipur a World War II heritage site, attracting tourists from across the globe especially those countries, whose citizens’ lives are laid down here”.
In his speech, Minister and Deputy Chief of Mission of the Embassy of Japan to India, Kawazu Kunihiko said that he would like to cooperate with the citizens of Manipur to strengthen the Japan-Manipur relationship as well as the India-Japan relation.
Atsushi Sunami, President of Sasakawa Peace Foundation (SPF) thanked the people of Manipur for the museum. This is a great moment for us, he said.
According to Haobam Joyremba, Museum Director, the IPM has been visited by nearly 29,000 people since its opening in June 2019. The museum has been closed for more than eight months due to the global COVID-19 pandemic, he added.
The IPM, which was established with the support and assistance from Nippon Foundation and SPF, has three sections. The first section of the museum exhibits a timeline of the Battle of Imphal, along with names of casualties in the war. It also features names of the local people of Manipur who joined the Indian National Army.
The second section depicts the post-war scenarios in Manipur, highlighting the impact of war and the recovery process. Displays such as antique television sets, photographs, cameras etc. are part of the section, highlighting entry of the modern era into Manipur as a consequence of World War II.
Another section displays the arts and cultural life of Manipur through photographs, audio-visual features and still models. A framed calligraphy by the former Prime Minister of Japan, Abe Shinzo with the word ‘Peace’ or ‘Heiwa’ in Japanese, which is an unfaltering hope for a peaceful future, is also the main attraction of the museum.
Stating that they are requesting the state government to declare the entire peace museum site as a heritage site for peace and reconciliation, Museum Director Joyremba said, “We would like to continue this journey in a bigger way and promote the message of peace and reconciliation. We have been tying up with the Japanese authorities and most probably, we will be having the Manipur-Japan festival prior to Sangai festival in November this year”.
The day’s ceremony brought delegates from the Embassy of Japan, officials from SPF, founder president Dr. Th Dhabali-led functionaries of MTF, Commissioner (Tourism) PK Jha, Imphal Campaign Foundation and others to show support for the museum as a symbol of peace and reconciliation.
A documentary film was also released during the event.