3rd Annual Social Gathering 2003 – Carlise, England

EMA Meeting 2003 Press Release

Carlisle, England, 13th July 2003:  The European Manipuri Association conducted its third annual get-together on Sunday, the 13th of July in Carlisle England. In a change from the previous meetings in which members arrived and left on the same day, members arrived in Carlisle on Friday and Saturday for the meeting on Sunday. Members stayed at the Old Brewery (not now brewing!), the hostel of the University of Northumbria campus in Carlisle.

Carlisle is a very attractive border city, with a history stretching back to pre-Roman times. It has many features of interest, and is the eastern end of the famous Roman wall constructed by Hadrian in the 2nd century. On Saturday, members went on a meandering drive in the Lake District covering Ullswater, Patterdale, Kirkstone Pass, Ambleside, Grasmere, and Keswick, with appropriate stops for walking, drinking and eating besides a lot of photo-opportunities in the picturesque mountainous hinterland which reminded members very much of Manipur. Members also got to mingle informally during a barbeque hosted by Dr. Saroj Parratt and Prof. John Parratt. Untypical of English weather, the weather was just the perfect English summer with sunshine all throughout the day with not a drop of rain!

The gathering on Sunday was held at the home of Dr. Saroj Parratt and Prof. John Parratt and was attended by around thirty members from all walks of life. After an opening statement from Dr. Sinha, the outgoing chairperson, Dr. Shachi Sharma, the outgoing General Secretary, conducted the meetings. Actions from the meeting in 2002 were discussed including topics such as EMA website, Mentorship Programme, Inner Line Permit and Restricted Area Permit, EMA fund, membership fee and EMA bank account, and on ways to increase diversity.

The meeting covered various agendas and members updated the group on various activities carried out over the year. Dr. Shachi Sharma gave an account of his speech at the International Manipuri Association Meeting held in Imphal in 2002. Mr. Thoiba Meetei and Dr. Upen Nongthombam also gave accounts of their trips to various schools and universities in an attempt to promote EMA and the Mentorship Programme. An overview was also given by Dr. Saroj Parratt and Prof. John Parratt on their recent trip to Manipur and Manipur University. During the open forum, Dr. Bishwajeet Elangbam invited all the members to attend the next KUT celebration in England. Various other issues and future activities of EMA were also discussed including improving the conditions of orphanages in Manipur, looking into government school funding, and setting up a fund where members would contribute regularly. The possibility of setting up regional committees, and an Executive Council comprising of regional representatives, with more frequent local meetings was also discussed.

Elections were also held and new two-year office bearers were elected. Dr. Saroj Parratt was elected as the chairperson, and Mr.Thoiba Meetei and Mr. James Vaiphei were elected as the General Secretary and Treasurer, respectively. The new office bearers will continue to hold high the spirit of EMA, togetherness, unity, and will carry on to work for the benefit of Manipur.

Finally, all EMA members would like to thank the family of Dr. Saroj Parratt and Prof. John Parratt for volunteering to host the event and excelling in it.