Wrong perception of northeast as conflict zone: Meghalaya CM

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Kolkata, Jan 12 (IANS) India’s northeast was perceived as a ‘conflict zone’ due to the negative media coverage, Meghalaya Chief Minister Mukul Sangma said Monday, and lamented that positive stories from the region were hardly captured.

Speaking at the inauguration of the Meghalaya House here, Sangma said negative publicity has led to many embassies issuing adverse travel advisories leading to the northeast remaining largely “unexplored”.
“The northeast is perceived as a conflict zone. The region is in the news only when there is a bomb blast or ethnic clashes. The northeast is in the news only when there is problem. There are positive stories happening but they are hardly captured,” he said.
“Tour operators often say one of the major problems they face is adverse travel advisories issued by embassies who are influenced by negative stories about the northeast. Obviously, there are areas of problems, but such problems exist in other parts of the country as well, whether it is West Bengal, Jharkhand or even the National Capital Region,” he said.
Calling for retrospection, Sangma called on the people of his state to highlight the potential of the region.
“The need of the hour is to create positive stories and bring them to the world so that people are aware that the northeast is not about blasts or clashes, it is about the beautiful landscape, the enterprising people and its rich culture and heritage,” Sangma said.
Calling for inclusion of Meghalaya in their corporate social responsibility (CSR) activities, Sangma urged the corporate entities to invest in the state.

Last modified: January 12, 2015