Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Pema Khandu Thursday said US Ambassador to India Kenneth Juster’s visit to the state was not intended to convey any message. Khandu said he had invited the Ambassador after he received a letter from him seeking to visit the state.
“(Juster) said he wanted to attend the Tawang festival. In response, I wrote to him. It is very good… he was chief guest at the festival,” Khandu told a group of visiting journalists in Tawang.
In fact, Union Minister Kiren Rijiju also attended the Tawang festival.
Khandu said Juster wanted to visit Arunachal as it was one of the few states in the country he had never been to.
US Ambassador to India Mr Kenneth I Juster attended the Street Show this morning where various cultural dances from #Monpa tribe were displayed. The Street Show is the main attraction during the #TawangFestival. @USAndIndia @ArunachalTsm @incredibleindia pic.twitter.com/JYsQECmzQU
— Pema Khandu (@PemaKhanduBJP) October 29, 2019
Khandu told reporters his government and the US are collaborating in projects together in the state. “The Arunachal government and the US are doing some projects together here. In collaboration with the University of California, Berkeley, we are running a smart village programme. We have identified around 70 villages for it,” Khandu said.
“We have unique handcrafts and textiles in our state. Through the programme, artisans are trained and their products are sold in the international market. Soon, the artisans themselves will be able to sell their products globally,” he added.
The annual Tawang festival celebrates Arunachal’s rich cultural heritage. First hosted in 2013, it includes Buddhist religious functions, traditional dances, indigenous sports, films and documentaries, food festivals and more.