Assam rules at House of Lords

GUWAHATI: On June 13 at the House of Lords in the Palace of Westminster - the meeting place of the two houses of the parliament of the UK - the focus was on Assam. In an initiative to showcase the development of tourism in Assam and firmly put the state on the world tourism map, a seminar titled 'Focus on Assam' was held in the world-famous parliamentary house and a video presentation was made as well.

The initiative was taken by the patrons of Friends of Assam and Seven Sisters (Fass) and Rini Kakati, the NRI coordinator for the UK. The seminar was the result of a month-long preparation by Rajen Barua, the chairman of Fass at Houston and Ankur Bora, Fass coordinator from Texas. The occasion was also used to showcase the Fass newsletter 'MITRO' and screen a video presentation on the state's hottest tourist attractions. The seminar discussed how Assam can be promoted in the West.

The programme was attended by Lord Adam Patel of Blackburn, Lord King of West Bromwich, ord Shahid Malik, Lord Sheikh, Lord Paul Yaw Boateng, the first black cabinet minister in the United Kingdom, Keith Vaz, Labour MP for Leicester East and chairman of the home affairs select committee, and J K Sarma, first secretary at the Indian High Commission.

Lord Patel recounted his experiences during his visit to Guwahati at the invitation of chief minister Tarun Gogoi for a CII conference in January, 2008. Lord Boateng spoke about Assam tea and promised to promote Assam and organize visits to the state in future. All present appreciated the wealth of cultural diversity, wildlife, flora and fauna in Assam as well as the other seven northeastern states.