Soma Laishram

Imphal, Sept 20: Popular Manipuri film actress Soma Laishram has been banned from acting in films and attending social functions for a period of three years by the Imphal-based organization, Kangleipak Kanba Lup (KKL). This ban comes as a consequence of Laishram’s defiance of an appeal made to celebrities to abstain from participating in entertainment events as long as Manipur remains embroiled in conflict.

The ongoing ethnic conflict in Manipur has resulted in the loss of over 170 lives since May 3, prompting a general call to actors to refrain from participating in entertainment events.

Laishram, who has acted in more than 150 Manipuri films and received numerous awards for her performances, faced criticism from KKL for participating in a beauty pageant held in New Delhi on September 16. The organization deemed her participation in the event a violation of the collective call to boycott such gatherings in light of the ongoing crisis in Manipur.

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Film Forum Manipur (FFM), an umbrella organization representing all film bodies in the state, has criticized KKL’s ban on Laishram and pledged to work towards having it revoked.

Laishram defended her decision to participate in the North East Students’ Festival at New Delhi’s Talkatora Stadium, stating that the event celebrated the cultural heritage of the northeastern region. She emphasized her role as a professional actor and social influencer, expressing her responsibility to address the crisis in Manipur through this platform.

KKL had reportedly approached both FFM and the Film Actors’ Guild Manipur to request that Laishram refrains from participating in the New Delhi event. However, her decision to proceed with her engagement at the festival led to the imposition of the ban.

In a statement, KKL expressed its disappointment with Laishram’s defiance, citing it as a sign of total disrespect for the Meitei people who have lost their lives in the ongoing ethnic conflict.

The ban on Soma Laishram marks a significant development in the ongoing tensions surrounding Manipur’s ethnic conflict, as it highlights the complex interplay between the entertainment industry, social responsibility, and regional political issues.