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November 1, 2009

Srinagar hosts Golf Championship for ambassadors

     Srinagar: Tourism in Jammu and Kashmir got a shot in the arm with the hosting of the Autumn Kashmir Ambassadors Golf Championship here. The tournament, in which several diplomats are participating, was teed off on Saturday at the Royal Springs Golf Course. Envoys of Singapore , Malaysia , Thailand , Cambodia , South Africa , South Korea , Namibia , Zimbabwe and Taiwan have taken part in the tournament. With the hosting of the tournament, the J-K tourism ministry intends to send across a message to countries, which have issued travel advisories asking their citizens not to visit the state for security reasons. "I have requested the ambassadors to tell their countries' tourism boards that they had been to Kashmir and everything is fine there and to nullify the advisories against visiting Kashmir ," said Nawang Ringzin Jora , Tourism And Culture Minister. The diplomats enjoyed the game as well as the scenic beauty of the valley. "From the fact that we are here, we feel that we are safe to come here. We feel that we can play golf, a leisure activity. We feel like even putting on our other hats as tourists, we can enjoy ourselves looking at the magnificent sceneries and the mountains that form the backdrop right now," said Jonahatan Otowana , High Commissioner of Zimbabwe. The number of ambassadors coming for the Championship is increasing every year and thereby removing certain apprehensions about the valley region. "When I came here for the first time, I was the only ambassador in a group of people who came to play golf here. This time we have 19 ambassadors and High Commissioners with their wives and their children and other non-golfers from New Delhi . So, certainly my experience of this beautiful place has been that it is a place to enjoy, a beautiful place and a safe place," said Francis Mouloyta , High Commissioner of South Africa.
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