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Khodao Yanthan’s last journey
Published on 3 Mar. 2010 12:56 AM IST
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The “state funeral service” of NSCN/GPRN vice-president Khodao Yanthan would be held March 3, 11 a.m. at Hebron camp. According to funeral committee, after the funeral service the mortal remains would depart from Hebron camp by road and reach Kohima GHSS playground, at around 4 p.m. for public to pay their respect. It would then proceed to Wokha the same evening and halt at LTC Hall, Wokha overnight for public to pay their last respect. On March 4, 7 a.m. send off ceremony would be conducted by Lotha Hoho and then resume its journey by 8 a.m. for Lakhuti for final rest. The Burial rite would be held that day at 12 p.m. at Lakhuti local ground. Meanwhile, the body of Khodao Yanthan was brought to Dimapur by road on Tuesday evening after the chopper which was supposed to land at Lakhuti and lift the body stopped enroute at Wokha and instead proceeded towards Dimapur. It was reported that the body of Khodao was to have been flown by Pawan Hans Helicopter service since the state chopper could not accommodate the coffin. The body of the NSCN (I-M) leader could not be brought as planned, reportedly on the instance of the pilots who informed that their instruction was to land at Wokha and not at Lakhuti. NLA, deputy speaker, Ralanthung Yanthan who was also present at the Dimapur airport expressed disappointment over the incident and said there was “certainly some communication gap.” Meanwhile, the Lotha Hoho Dimapur (LHD) has informed all its members to gather at Lotha Baptist Church compound March 3, 7 a.m. to attend funeral service of “Naga freedom fighter” late Khodao Yanthan in Hebron Camp. The Hoho has also welcomed all Naga citizens and organization to join the funeral service. Condolences The death of NSCN (I-M) vice president Khodao Yanthan, who passed away March 1 in Lakhuti village, has left people shocked and grief-stricken. Several leaders and organisations, cutting across the political spectrum, Tuesday mourned the demise of Naga leader and eulogized him for exceptional contributions towards Naga freedom struggle. Nagaland chief minister Neiphiu Rio, voicing deep sadness over the demise of NSCN (I-M) vice president Khodao Yanthan, Tuesday said Khodao would always be remembered for his “simplicity and straightforwardness.” Giving a brief account of late Khodao Yanthan’s life, the state chief minister, in a condolence message, said: “In his death, the people of Nagaland have lost a true patriot and a dedicated national worker, who always stood firm on his principles, and for the cause of the people.” The chief minister, on behalf of government of Nagaland and himself, conveyed deepest condolences to all the members of the bereaved family, and prayed to Almighty God to provide them strength and fortitude to bear the irreparable loss, and the departed soul rest in everlasting peace. GPRN/NSCN led by its chairman SS Khaplang and general secretary N Kitovi Zhimomi, along with thousands of Naga patriots both in civil and military set-up, also mourned the passing away of a respected Naga leader Khodao Yanthan. Describing his death as “colossal loss” to the Nagas, the GPRN/NSCN, in a statement issued by its MIP, said: “GPRN/NSCN, undaunted by narrow differences, recognizes this Naga political stalwart hailing from Lotha Naga tribe as a profound human being capable of expressing his views quietly without hogging the limelight.” It also stated that Naga history would remember him as a “towering patriot” who exhibited “a rare quality of walking away silently into the sunset of life, having given his best to the Naga nation during his prime.” Describing the deceased Naga leader as “a gentleman to the core,” the GPRN/NSCN said though the position he held at a later stage did not “thrill him”, he never complained but shared life’s little secrets and patriotic vision to all who called on him irrespective of faction, tribe or region. Also, the GPRN/MIP statement said he lived life on his own terms and never doubted the political right of the Nagas. The GPRN/NSCN further saluted “the last of the genial freedom fighters” for his magnificent life, his unchained revolutionary spirit and unquestioned love for Nagaland. Also, sharing the great pain and sorrow of the hour with the family, friends and comrades of the departed Naga leader, the GPRN/NSCN prayed God Almighty, the creator of Nagaland “welcome our dear comrade into His Heavenly Abode.” Paying final goodbye to the legendary figure in the making of Naga history, the Naga Hoho today described the deceased leader as a committed Naga nationalist, historical leader, a vanguard and a tireless fighter for the wellbeing of the Naga people. The Naga Hoho, in a condolence message issued by its general secretary P.Chuba Ozukum, said: “Because of his fruitful life, his eighty nine years devoted to the Naga cause, in which he suffered the hardship of prison and underground life, he became a symbol of the fatherly figure, and won respect and acknowledgement both within and outside his own country,” The Hoho strongly felt that in his death the Nagas have not only lost a veteran and true nationalist. Lamenting that his absence from the Naga political scene, which he had so long dominated, would leave a void, the Naga Hoho expressed hope that collective leadership of the NSCN (I-M) would be able to fill. Naga Hoho also conveyed solidarity to the cadres and leaders of NSCN/GPRN. Hoho also prayed God Almighty to bestow solace, courage and strength to bereaved family members and keep going through this tough time. Stating that it was deeply shocked at the sudden demise of NSCN (I-M) vice president Khodao Yanthan, Eastern Nagaland People’s Organization (ENPO) today expressed regret that late Yanthan had left Naga people before achieving the goal which he had fought for. Lamenting that Nagas have lost a legendary figure of the freedom movement, the ENPO said vacuum created by his demise would be difficult to fill. It further prayed for the departed soul to rest in peace. Mothers’ Association (NMA) president Abei-u Meru, in a communiqué, paid respect to “a man who gave everything for the cause of the people…” The NMA also maintained that “we have lost a leader who has no equals in all matters of national principles and sacrifices of the highest order.” Further, mourning the death of “most respected leader,” the Naga mothers prayed God the Almighty would grant solace to all his near and dear ones, including the Naga people, who have been bereaved of a father, a leader and an inspiration. State minister for agriculture Dr. Chumben Murry also expressed shock over the demise of Lt. Khodao Yanthan. In a condolence message, the minister said: “He was an ideological revolutionary Naga patriot. He was not swayed by what modern life could offer but sticked to his conviction.” Also, conveying “heartfelt” condolence to all near and dear ones of the deceased, Dr. Murry prayed God to rest his soul in peace. Expressing deep pain over the demise of Khodao Yanthan, the Naga Leader of opposition Tokheho Yepthomi, in a condolence note, said he was “extremely shocked and saddened” at the demise of Naga national leader. Terming late Khodao Yanthan as one of the “adorned collective leadership of the NSCN,” the CLP leader said he worked throughout his prime life with utmost dedication for the cause of the Naga nation. The Congress leader further said that his selfless contribution towards the Naga cause would be remembered for all Naga Students’ Federation (NSF), grieved over the demise of NSCN (I-M) vice president, Tuesday said his death has created a space which would be difficult to fill. Asserting that Khodao was amongst the first Naga leaders who had relentlessly rendered his service with dedication and integrity for the cause of Naga society, the NSF in a note issued by its general secretary O Wati Jamir, said: “his supreme sacrifice and contribution rendered towards the Naga society would always be remembered by one and all.” Also, sharing heartfelt condolences with the bereaved family members, the NSF prayed God Almighty to grant solace and strength to his dear ones. In an e-mailed statement, the Naga International Support Center (NISC) said it received the news of the death of Khadao Yanthan with great sorrow. Describing him as “a man of silent stature” who had the sense of loyalty, the NISC said: “On the eve of the long awaited final and honorable conclusion of the peace talks it was truly unfortunate for us to miss Khadao Yanthan.” Terming the deceased as one of the founders, who laid the stones to make the ‘solution’ possible, the Naga support centre said Naga people would miss him dearly. It further expressed condolences to the bereaved family, the NSCN and the entire Naga family. Member of Parliament Lok Sabha, C. M. Chang, deeply pained and grieved at the demise of Khodao Yanthan, today said the deceased was a fatherly figure in Naga Political Movement and a rare Naga leader who sacrificed everything fighting for the cause of the Nagas till his death. In his condolence message, the MP Lok Sabha said the vacuum created by his demise would be hard to fill in, and added that his contribution towards Nagas cause would go down in the pages of Naga history. Also, mourning the death of Khodao Yanthan, the MP prayed God the Almighty grant solace to all his near and dear ones. In his condolence message, the state parliamentary secretary geology & mining, irrigation & flood control and border affairs Y Patton, described departed Naga leader as “a great revolutionary and visionary leader in the struggle of Naga freedom” who dedicated his whole life till his last breath. The parliamentary secretary also termed that the death of late Khodao was like “a giant tree fallen on the political firmament of Naga freedom struggle, adding that in his demise, Nagas indeed have lost a great and honourable leader. “Though he left us to rest with his creator, his noble sacrifice for the cause of Naga nation shall remain like an awesome rugged rock protruding in the land of Nagas to all the generations to relate. Also, conveying his heartfelt condolences to the bereaved family members, the parliamentary secretary prayed Almighty God to give noble soul rest in peace and grant comfort and strength to near and dear ones. Political Affairs Committee (PAC), Nagaland while expressing shock over the demise of late Khodao Yanthan Tuesday said the deceased leader was one of the father figures in Naga political movement and a rare Naga leader who sacrificed everything fighting for the cause of the Nagas till his death. The PAC chairman and DAN co-convener Dr. T.M. Lotha, in a message, said that his contribution towards the cause of the Nagas was immeasurable, adding that it would go down in the pages of Naga history. PAC has also conveyed its deepest and heartfelt condolences to bereaved family members and prayed that his soul rest in peace. Naga Peoples Movement for Human Rights (NPMHR), mourning the death of Naga leader, said that it suddenly felt the irreparable loss of a fatherly leader who stood as a symbol of sacrifice, courage and dignity that were incorruptible. In a condolence message, the NPMHR secretary general Dr. N. Venuh prayed Almighty God grant solace to the people during this period of grief and sorrow. It also prayed God to provide courage and strength to live with renewed commitment to serve the Naga Nation in the very spirit of what great leaders like Khodao Yanthan lived and died for. Further, the NPMHR prayed Almighty to grant his soul eternal peace.

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