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Rio on sovereignty

Chief minister Neiphiu Rio addressing the 16th conference of CGOF
Correspondent KOHIMA, OCT 17 (NPN):
Published on 18 Oct. 2009 12:40 AM IST
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Even as Nagas have a history and the right to fight for their birth right, state chief minister, Neiphiu Rio asked the people to ponder over whether that right was sustainable while pointing out that even the nine-point agreement with then Governor of Assam Sir Hyder Ali agreement did not demand for full sovereignty. He said that the Naga leaders of those days did not demand for full sovereignty in the nine-point agreement signed with the then Governor of Assam, Sir Hyder Ali which the government of India refused to accord any recognition after the latter’s death. Addressing the 16th General Conference of the Chakhesang Gazetted Officers’ Forum at the Zonal Council Hall here on Saturday, Rio also reminded that when the first Naga Flag was hoisted in 1947 at Mission Compound, the then DC of Kohima C. R. Pawsey was also present. He said the voice and desire of the Naga people was for unity, integrity and reconciliation and asked the gathering officers not pass the responsibility for brining about unity and reconciliation only to the politicians alone.Rio said though Nagas were small in population spread over a small geographical area, they were divided on isms along party, tribe and village and opined this has to be done away with. He asserted that the government of India was sincere in resolving the Naga problem this time and the ball was in the court of the Nagas. “At this crucial juncture, we’ll be responsible for our destiny,” he said. Rio also pointed out that the over ground groups had always stressed on the need for unity among various Naga underground groups but they (over ground) themselves remain divided on political party, tribe and village lines. He reiterated that to achieve unity, reconciliation and bringing solution, every Naga should take part in one way or the other. “You must contribute”, he said. Speaking on the prevailing global scenario where there comparison between the rich or developed countries and poor or developing countries, the chief minister said the age or geographical size or natural resource of a nation did not make a nation rich or developed. He said there were certain criterion and added , “ we are not poor because we lack natural resources, but it is our attitude.” Rio said that the survival of a nation depended on the integrity and character of its citizens and wondered as to where the integrity of the Nagas and their Christian values was at present. He called for introspection in this regard among Nagas as a tribe and a family. Nagas were once proud of being hard working and honest but it has been corroded with the impact of Indian culture resulting in fast changing mores, he said. In this regard, he urged upon the Chakhesang government officers to accept it as their duty to reverse the trend. Taking a dig at the government officials in general , the chief minister said the general opinion was that the government servants, particularly officers, were not serving the people but only themselves and their family members. He hoped the officers would disprove the general notion among the public. Advising the government officers not to shift blame on politicians alone for various problems, Rio also said while the party ruling the government spells out policies and programmes, the government officer (Bureaucrats) implement the policies to the grass root level. He urged the officers to implement the government programme with integrity for the benefit of the people adding. “The future of the society lies in the hands of those who are holding responsibilities, ” he said. Describing the Chakhesang community as one of the most progressive tribe because of their sincerity and dedication, he also lauded the CGOF for their yeomen services rendered to society and asked them to be a role model for other Nagas. Earlier, CGOF president Er. Dokhrolo Mero who delivered the presidential address highlighted the various activities undertaken by the forum during the last eight months of the present tenure. On the occasion, obituary references were made for three members, that included two regular members and an honorary member who expired during the last eight months. A one-minute minute silence was observed as a mark of respect. Highlights of the inaugural session included folk tune from Hukrosalu and Thenonulu and special appearance by Wenyitso Kapfo Sr. Lecturer Kohima Science College. M.V Chakhesang, ADGP who was the guest of honour addressed the afternoon session, while Rev. Vezopa Tetseo, executive secretary CBCC delivered an exhortation and Mzivolu T. Therieh general secretary CGOF presented a report followed by business hour.

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