Guwahati, Sunday, July 04, 2010
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Bangla to preserve Jaintiapur as heritage site
Raju Das
 SHILLONG, July 3 – Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has agreed to preserve the ancient kingdom of Jaintiapur as a heritage site, which is now located in Sylhet district of the neighbouring country.

Jaintiapur was the capital of the erstwhile Jaintia Kings, but after partition Jaintiapur fell in Bangladesh. It now lies at the foothill of Jaintia Hills in Surma Valley in Sylhet district.

In Jaintiapur, there are many historical artifacts and ruins of the ancient Janitia Kingdom. Most important being the Jaintia Rajbari – the palace of the Jaintia royals. It is one of the major tourist attractions in Bangladesh.

Several historians are of the view that the Jaintias derived their name from Jaintiapur, which in turn derived its name from the shrine of Jayanti Devi or Jainteswari, an incarnation of Goddess Durga.

Former Lok Sabha Speaker Purno A Sangma during his recent visit to Bangladesh had a meeting with Sheikh Hasina and took up the issue of Jaintiapur and urged the Bangladesh Prime Minister to preserve the site as a national heritage.

“The Prime Minister of Bangladesh immediately agreed and directed her Principal Secretary to nominate a senior officer from the Ministry of Culture to accompany Indian High Commissioner to visit Jaintiapur in the near future,” Sangma said.

He added Hasina would send the officials to the site to find ways to preserve the historical site, especially the royal palace which is in a dilapidated condition.

Sangma also discussed with the Bangladesh Prime Minister matters relating to bilateral cooperation and trade. “The Prime Minister was positive on having better connectivity with India’s Northeastern region for better economic cooperation,” he added.

Sangma was in Bangladesh on an eight-day visit to Dhaka and other parts of the country from June 18. He along with former Rajya Sabha MP BB Dutta went to Bangladesh to attend a seminar on Bangladesh’s war crime trial.

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