Manipur chief minister Okram Ibobi Singh has appealed to the insurgents of all hues to come to the negotiating table for talks. The government is keeping its door wide open for them. He was speaking on the conclusion function in Imphal on Saturday evening of the ten day international tourism festival.
He said that tourists do not want to come to Manipur in view of the alarming law and order situation. Though several businessmen and industrialists want to invest considerably in Manipur, they are having second thoughts since the insurgents are making their presence felt here and there. It may be recalled that some businessmen and foreigners had been kidnapped in the past for huge ransom.
Manipur is facing growing unemployment. Out of hardly 30 lakh population, over 7 lakh educated youths are in the live employment register. If tourism is developed in a big way, many of them could get employment, he said. Revenue from tourism will be of great help to the government which does not have much revenue sources. Apart from the natural beauty of this hill state, there are brow antlered deer and Shiori lily which are not found anywhere in the world. In the past, anti-social elements had taken refuge in the national park where the brow antlered deer are kept. He said that they had slaughtered the rare deer. But police and security forces have driven them out of the sanctuary.