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Rios call on common goal for peace

State chief minister, Neiphiu Rio takes the salute from the marching contingents in Kohima, Saturday. The country’s second women IRB, the 15 IRB takes part in the Independence Day celebration in Kohima. (NP)
Correspondent KOHIMA, AUG 15 (NPN):
Published on 16 Aug. 2009 1:26 AM IST
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Nagaland joined the rest of the country in celebrating the 63rd Independence Day with the main function held at the Nagaland Civil Secretariat Plaza Kohima Saturday, with chief minister Neiphiu Rio as the chief guest. Addressing a moderately large gathering, amid slight drizzle and mist, Rio lauded the new approach and initiatives of the government of India towards the Naga political problem and looked forward to an amicable solution. He said the cease fire agreements signed between the government of India with the Naga underground groups reflected the cry of the people for lasting peace across Naga society .The cease fire agreement resulted in a series of negotiations during the past 12 years. . “More than a decade of ceasefire and negotiations is sufficient time for the peace process to reach a logical conclusion and it has become imperative for negotiating parties to expedite the talks in order to fulfill the desires and aspirations of the people,” he said. The chief minister also appealed to the underground groups to maintain peace and bring a halt to the senseless killings. Rio also reminded that the need of the hour was for all sections of the people, both the underground and the over-ground, to rise above differences and affiliations and work towards the common goal of achieving permanent peace in the state. “We must always keep in mind that the Naga political issue stands above all else, and therefore, we must not allow divisive forces and internal differences come in the way of our desire for peace,” he said. In his seventh successive address to the people, Rio affirmed his government’s objectives to bridge the gap between the rich and poor, men and women, urban and rural and between the forward and backward areas through empowering, training and capacity building. Rio said, his government’s main objective remain a collective and inclusive growth of the entire state and which would be pursued with full commitment and sincerity in meeting people’s expectations. Asserting that the law and order situation in the state has improved considerably, the chief minister also commended the tireless efforts of administration, state police, army, para military in containing the law and order situation. He claimed that there was a “very” visible reduction in factional clashes and loss of lives made possible due to the sustained support of the Hohos, the Church, civil societies and concerned citizens. He further reiterated that the state government had banned all forms of tax collections at the check gates throughout the state besides a check on proliferation of unauthorized collection of tolls, fees and taxes by organizations and individuals including government departments. Rio also reaffirmed his government’s resolve to remain alert and vigilant to fight anti-national elements that were threatening the unity and integrity of the country. Highlights of the celebrations in Kohima included march past by the 15 IRB(Women), the country’s second and the all-girls band party.

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