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Maintain work culture: Rio

(R) State chief minister, Neiphiu Rio and (L) minister for health and family welfare, Azo take part in a folk dance with Sumi damsels during the Ahuna festival at Zunheboto, Friday. (NP)
Correspondent ZUNHEBOTO, NOV 14 (NPN):
Published on 14 Nov. 2008 11:57 PM IST
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“Thou shall eat by the sweat of thy brow”, state chief minister, Neiphiu Rio quoted from the Bible while urging the Nagas to maintain work culture whenever they celebrate festivals. Rio was addressing a mammoth gathering at Zunheboto public ground Friday on the occasion of Ahuna, a ‘post harvest’ festival of the Sumis, as the chief guest. He urged the gathering to work hard before going into festive mood. Calling for preservation of culture and traditional identity he said, “festival, we have to look behind what our fore fathers have struggled for us”. He also called upon the Nagas not to allow modernization and the entry of foreign culture wipe away their rich cultural heritage. Rio who arrived in a chopper for the festival, termed the huge turn out of crowd as a “symbol” that presents the rich and colorful culture of the state. He acknowledged the different tribes in the state for promoting their culture and said that the government was trying “every thing” for the promotion of culture and tradition in the state. Speaking on the Naga political issue, the chief minister said that problems in the society were arising as the issue was still unresolved. According to him, the key to the reconciliation process was not the sole responsibility of the undergrounds, civil society leaders, NGOs and government but the mass participation and cooperation of the people. “Nagas are one, we have to understand what the state government is working for the unity” he said. On the developmental front, Rio pointed out it was growing but asserted that the first and foremost thing was “unity and peace”. He disclosed that the government had set up “Quality Control Board” to provide pure employment to the state. Earlier, the chief minister also inaugurated the District Level Sports Complex, Zunheboto. President Sumi Hoho, Hokishe Yepthomi while extending Ahuna greetings to all the well wishers praised the chief minister as a capable leader to lead the people. Rio was accompanied by a host of ministers, MLAs and parliamentary secretaries including, minister for health and family welfare, Azo; minister for planning and V&AH, T. R. Zeliang; minister for road and bridges, G. Kaito Aye; minister for forest and excise and ecology, M.C. Konyak; parliamentary secretary for industries and commerce, K.C. Nihoshe Yepthomi; parliamentary secretary for CAWD, Torechu; parliamentary secretary for social welfare, Chotisuh Sazo; MLAs - Nicky Kire; Longri Temjen; Shetoi Sumi; advisor to CM, Z. Lohe; DMC chairperson, Khekaho Assumi; other officials and representatives from CPO, APO and various officers. Meanwhile, according to an official bulletin, Rio while speaking at the Ahuna festival said that the state government had initiated the Hornbill Festival to safeguard the cultural heritage of the Nagas. Enlightening on the replacement of Ashoka Chakra by a Mithun in the official logo of Nagaland, the chief minister said it was to show the identity, work culture, uniqueness and unity of the Nagas. “The logo is historical, significant and dignified” he added. Rio also invoked God’s blessing on the Sumi Nagas all over the state. Highlights of the celebration included special presentation by Chuchuyimlang village, Touphema village, Dzulhami village, Longidang village, Ahuna display by various villages and colonies which was followed by indigenous games. The programme was organized by Concerned Citizens’ Forum Zunheboto (CCFZ).

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