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Rio for mutual growth of Nagas

Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio addressing the 57th Phom Day at Longleng, Saturday. (DIPR)
Correspondent LONGLENG, JUN 6 (NPN):
Published on 7 Jun. 2009 1:00 AM IST
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Nagas as a people should be allowed to grow together politically, socially and economically, said Nagaland chief minister, Neiphiu Rio while addressing the 57th Phom Day celebration here Saturday. “Be it in India or Myanmar, Nagas should be allowed to grow together socially, politically and economically,” Rio said and added that a visionary leader must have the vision of possibilities and practicability. He however expressed dismay that though the Nagas had discarded the practice of head hunting, yet improvised head hunting continued to prevail in the Naga society whereby Nagas were killing each other in the name of different underground factions. This ‘modern head hunting’ should not be allowed in the Naga society Rio said and called upon the civil societies and NGOs to work hard for a settlement. He also lamented that the Nagas, leaving aside the Naga issue, were fighting among themselves. “Peace will not come from foreign, peace is here with us and we have to work,” he said. Rio also termed Phom Day as a day of blessing particularly for the Phom community saying that 57 years back, Phoms had taken a big decision to obey the rules and law of the government for peace for which they were enjoying the fruits today. If all Naga tribes had taken similar decision, we could have been better off today, he said. The chief minister reminded that British had declared Nagas as free Nagas basing on which Nagas declared themselves a separate free nation. “However, freedom is not free. Freedom is free only within the laid down rules and regulation,” he said. Rio pointed out that the road show was a government decision to showcase and exhibit to the people what the different departments of the state government were doing. The road show will not end at Longleng but it will also be carried out in all the districts of the state, he said. He urged the leaders from one district to visit the road show in other district and create a competition among them. Public should know what it can benefit from the various government schemes and projects from the road show, he said. Dwelling on the aim of the road show which was to encourage ethnic cuisine, tradition and culture, Rio encouraged that every tribe document its rich culture, tradition and designs so that there would be no distortion or contamination of the original. On the occasion, Rio also inaugurated the Longleng Town Road which was constructed under BRGF scheme, newly constructed gallery Longleng public ground, launched the nutritional support to women living with HIV/AIDS, launched the first Road Show and also released the booklet “1 year of DAN’s 2nd ministry” whereby various achievements made during the DAN’s last one year in power have been listed. Home Minister, Imkong L Imchen and guest of honour on the occasion stressed the need for unity to bring more development in the society. He also lauded the leadership of chief minister, Neiphiu Rio and called upon the people to support the latter’s leadership. Earlier, in his welcome address, parliamentary secretary for RD & REPA Pangyu Phom said that Phom Day was a day of peace and a reminder of the past headhunting era. Fifty seven years ago, on this day the practice of headhunting among the Phom tribal was brought to an end. ACS & Development Commissioner Alemtemshi Jamir delivered the keynote address while Bukchem Phom, former minister talked on the significance of Phom Day. President ENPO, Y. Mangko Phom and President Phom People’s Council, N. Metpong also spoke on the occasion. Altogether, around 40 different government departments are taking part in the two-day road show which will conclude tomorrow with parliamentary secretary for sports and youth affairs, Naiba Konyak as chief guest. (More story on P 3)

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