Imphal: Chief Minister N Biren Singh kicked off the 1st General Thangal Memorial Open Football Tournament 2021 at a formal function held at Mayangkhang Playground, Kangpokpi District Wednesday. The tournament which is to be held from March 10 to 30, 2021 is organised by Thangal Students’ Union.
The Chief Minister also laid the foundation stone for the statue of General Thangal and paid homage to the portrait of the great leader. N Biren Singh was accorded a warm welcome by the people of Thangal Community who were dressed up in their traditional costumes.
Speaking on the occasion, N Biren Singh said that General Thangal was one of the great leaders who fought against the mighty British to save the motherland and it is because of their contributions that the people of the state live their life freely today. Stating that many other unknown soldiers had also sacrificed their lives in defending the freedom of the state, he said that the people should not forget these unknown soldiers and should pay homage to them.
He also assured that the Government would try to complete the installation of the statue of General Thangal and unveil it on August 13(Patriots’ Day) of this year. An amount of Rs 1 crore had been earmarked for this. He further informed that Thangal General Ecological Park at Mayangkhang would be enlarged and a gate would also be installed at a proper place after consulting the Thangal Community. He also added that the Senapati Water Supply project would be inaugurated before March 31 this year.
Stating that there is no religion and politics in sports, he assured that the Government would consult with the All Manipur Football Association to recognize the General Thangal Memorial Open Football Tournament as a state-level tournament and a separate fund would also be allocated for organising the tournament. He also stated that a statue of Chirai Thangal, also known as Chirai Naga, would be installed at a proper place in Imphal area.
Asserting that bandhs and blockades hinder developmental works, he appealed to the public to approach the concerned authority with their grievances rather than resorting to such act. He also appealed to the players participating in the tournament to play fair.
PHED Minister Losii Dikho, while addressing the gathering, said that Thangal Community, although a small community, had witnessed great leaders in the past and so the youths of the community should try to live up to the standard set by these leaders and follow their paths. He also appealed to the players to participate in the tournament seriously.
Advisor to Chief Minister Ngamthang Haokip, Commissioner M Joy, Deputy Commissioner, Senapati District Th Kiranumar, Deputy Commissioner, Kangpokpi District Somorjit Salam, leaders of Civil Society Organisations and Student Unions also attended the function among others.