Shillong, March 27: The French Consul General, Didier Talpain, and Anjita Roy Chowdhury, Press Attaché & Diplomatic Liaise, on a three -day official visit to Shillong from French Embassy, Kolkata, visited Law Lyngdoh Mawphlang sacred forest, under Hima Mawphlang Kingdom, on Saturday morning.
The French embassy officials were accompanied by C Alan Lyngdoh Mawphlang, the Lyngdoh of Hima Mawphlang, John F Kharshiing, Chairman, Grand Council of Chiefs of Meghalaya, Adviser & Spokesperson, Federation of Khasi States, S Sohliya, and Kharhunai, both Myntris of Hima Mawphlang, escorted by a guide who gave details of biodiversity and history of sacred forest.
The French consul general, during the walk inside the sacred forest, was also briefed by the Lyngdoh of Mawphlang on the various aspects of the culture, administration and the sacred rituals practised inside the sacred forest by the Lyngdoh, his predecessors untill four to five decades ago. Kharshiing informed the French official that as per data available there are presently over 75 sacred forests all over Meghalaya under the Syiem, Lyngdoh, Dolloi, A’king Nokma, and clans of Khasi, Jaintia and Garo tribes.
Kharshiing presented a copy of the extracts of the official White Paper on India States which included the Instrument of Accession and the Annexed Agreement of 17 August 1948, indicating the date of signing of the respective 25 Khasi States.
The French Consul General wanted to know the status of the other Khasi, Jaintia and Nokma chiefs who did not find mention in the accession list.
Kharshiing informed that the rulers/chiefs have been petitioning since 1950 and are awaiting recognition by the Centre within the Constitution of India for many decades.
The French official also visited one of the oldest ancient indigenous Khasi houses which has been preserved in the vicinity of the sacred grove.