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Tears of hope for Naga Reconciliation
Correspondent ZUNHEBOTO, FEB 7 (NPN)
Published on 8 Feb. 2010 12:23 AM IST
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: The ongoing series of public meetings organized by the FNR and Joint Working Group (JWG) comprising members of the NSCN (I-M), GPRN/NSCN and NNC/FGN, with different Naga tribal hohos, apex tribal organizations and Churches, reached Zunheboto Saturday and Satakha Sunday. The first gathering was held at Zunheboto Town Sumi Baptist Church, D.C Hill followed by a soul wrenching joint service held at Satakha Town Baptist Church on Sunday morning. Hundreds of Nagas, irrespective of denominations congregated along with the FNR members led by its Convener Rev. Dr. Wati Aier and JWG at the Satakha Town Baptist Church. The congregation patiently listened to the sermon delivered by Rev. Dr. Wati Aier and tearfully prayed for the FNR and JWG in their mission for Naga reconciliation, peace and unity. Meanwhile, addressing a meeting with the Sumi Hoho at Zunheboto on Saturday, FGN ‘Kedallo’ (Vice President) Zhopra Vero lauded the FNR for their commendable task and said that the result of “their efforts are visible wherever Naga spirits and souls reside.” Recalling his personal experience during “A journey of Common Hope” tour to Ukhrul and Senapati recently, he said “despite the arbitrary geographical divisions, there is a spontaneous and yearning desire of our people to live together as One People, One Nation.” He also assured that the NNC/FGN intended to allow the move for reconciliation, peace and unity reach its logical end. Further, he affirmed that the NNC/FGN would not compromise or betray the common yearnings and desires for peace and unity among Naga brothers and sisters. Vero declared that the NNC/FGN would abide and adhere to whatever has been committed and assured by the Naga national leaders and the Joint Working Group. Similarly, the GPRN/NSCN on the occasion reiterated its earlier message towards Naga unity and reconciliation which was read out by ‘Kilonser’ Meren Nokpu. He stressed the need for the Nagas to accept the truth that “Naga political issue has been pushed to the backburner as a result of our vengeance against each other.” He assured that the commitment of the GPRN/NSCN towards Unity and Naga Reconciliation, despite great setbacks, was “unshakable.” The NSCN (I-M) conveyed sincere apology for its inability to attend the meeting and assured its full commitment to stand by the covenant of reconciliation. The message was read out by Neingulo Krome, secretary general NPMHR and member of the FNR. Sumi Hoho president, Hokishe Yepthomi, Rev.Kari Longchar and Rev.V.K.Nuh both representing the Nagaland Baptist Churches Council also addressed the gathering. The formal meeting was followed by informal interaction where several Sumi leaders including women leaders boldly shared their views, suggestions and remarks. The FNR & JWG team while on their way to Zunheboto Saturday morning was warmly received at Chozuba by the citizens with banner and posters expressing support to the FNR. After a brief stopover, the team then proceeded to Yoruba village where they were again welcomed by the villagers. The team was then led to the National Prayer House, Yoruba where a luncheon was served and a brief service held before departing for Zunheboto. All the way to Zunheboto, the team was welcomed by people with banners and posters expressing their full support to the FNR and Naga reconciliation, peace and unity. It may be mentioned that the FNR and JWG had held similar meetings at Ukhrul with the Tangkhul Long (Hoho) and at Senapati. The next meeting is scheduled to be held at Mon with the Konyak Union (Tribal Hoho) on February 13 next followed by Meluri, Phek, Tuensang and Peren. FNR envisages Having facilitated the signing of the Covenant of Reconciliation and the rejection of “any form of conditional package offered to the Nagas by the Government of India,” the Forum for Naga Reconciliation (FNR) which has been spearheading the reconciliation process of the different Naga political groups since February 2008, has now found it “logical” that for common interests and actions of the Nagas, a united front of sorts was most desirable. Addressing a meeting with the Sumi Hoho at Zunheboto on Saturday, FNR convener, Rev Dr. Wati Aier said one of the fundamental truths of the Nagas today was the call for political reconciliation in pursuit of common interest based on the “Historical and Political Rights of the Nagas.” Any political model of government has to be focused contextually, he said. Stating that what might function politically in one country may not be suitable for another country, the FNR pitched for a Naga political model to be envisaged and discussed upon. Contextually, Wati said Naga political groups were ‘self-governing in its own right.’ He, however, emphasized that the Nagas now needed to think of a government that would combine the strength of every political group. (Full text on p 4)

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