Shillong ( Meghalaya ), March 28 : On the morning March 26 , the French Consul General, Didier Talpain, and Ms 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 along with French Embassy officials accompanied by C Alan Lyngdoh Mawphlang, the Lyngoh (Ruler) of Hima Mawphlang, John F Kharshiing, Chairman, The Grand Council of Chiefs of Meghalaya, Adviser & Spokesperson, Federation of Khasi States, S Sohliya, and Kharhunai, both Myntri of Hima Mawphlang, escorted by a brilliant skillful guide who gave a detail and in depth account of the biodiversity and history of the Famous Sacred Forest.
The French Consul General during his walk inside the Sacred Forest was also briefed by the Lyngdoh of Hima Mawphlang on the various aspects of the culture, administration and the sacred rituals that was practised inside the Sacred Forest by the Lyngdoh and his predecessors in the last five decades.
The French Consul General enquired as to the availability of documentation on these ancient culture, rituals and administration.
John F Kharshiing, Adviser & Spokesperson, Federation of Khasi States informed the French Consul General that as per data available there are presently over 75 sacred forest existing all over Meghalaya under the custodian of the Syiem, Lyngdoh, Dolloi, A’king Nokma, and Clans of Khasi, Jaintia and Garo Tribes.
The Lyngdoh Hima Mawphlang, presented a memento to the French Consul General.
John F Kharshiing, Adviser & Spokesperson, Federation of Khasi States, 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 date of signing of the respective 25 Khasi States.
On explaining as to the number of Khasi Jaintia and Garo Chiefs the French Consul General enquired as to the status of the other Khasi, Jaintia and Nokma Chiefs who did not find mention in the Accession list.
Chairman, The Grand Council of Chiefs of Meghalaya, John F Kharshiing, in response informed the French Consul General that the Rulers/Chiefs have been petitioning the Government of India for democratically since 1950 and are awaiting recognition by the Government of India within the Constitution of India since many decades. The French Consul General was intrigued by the existence of such ancient cultures administration and practices.
The French Consul General also made a brief visit to one of the oldest ancient indigenous Khasi House which has been preserved and located in the vicinity of the Sacred Forest.