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"State funeral" for Khodao

Rev.Seksim Kasar administering the last rite at the funeral function held in honour of late khodao Yanthan, vice president of NSCN (I-M) at Hebron camp on Wednesday. (NP)
Staff Reporter Dimapur, Mar 3 (NPN):
Published on 4 Mar. 2010 12:47 AM IST
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Late Khodao Yanthan, vice president of the NSCN(I-M) was accorded a farewell at an impressive yet solemn funeral service held in Hebron Camp, near Dimapur, the general headquarters of the outfit Wednesday where leaders of various unions, organizations and high rankings officials from NSCN/GPRN paid glowing tributes to the memory of the departed soul. Over a thousand mourners attended Wednesday’s service after the coffin containing the body of late Khodao arrived Hebron by road from his native Lakhuti Tuesday.. All those who spoke described late Khodao Yanthan as a dedicated, sincere and respected figure in the Naga society. Late Khodao who was 87 was among the first batch of NNC leaders who later joined the NSCN(I-M)while in London in 1999 and served as its vice president (Woshino) NSCN/GPRN, till his passing away in his native Lakhuti village, Wokha on March 1,2010. Wednesday’s funeral in Hebron Camp, Dimapur was the “state funeral service” accorded by the NSCN(I-M) Wednesday. President NSCN/GPRN, Isak Chishi Swu in his condolence message, which was read out by executive member steering committee, Q. Tuccu said late Khodao lived his whole life practically in the service of the nation. “His revolutionary zeal and commitment to the nation is highly admirable and his life testimony and dedication for the cause of the Nagas is a prime example for us all to learn from and emulate”, Swu said. Recollecting fond memories and paying rich tributes to the departed leader, the NSCN(I-M) president Isak Chishi Swu described late Khodao as a man, who had fully dedicated his whole life for the Naga nation since the birth of the NNC. Isak said that late Khodao was a great leader who deserved a great honour and respect from the people for his selfless sacrifice to the nation. Giving a revolutionary salute to the departed leader , Kilo Kilonser, Rh. Raising in his speech said Khodao had dedicated his entire life for a cause and it was a noble deed that needed to be praised. Describing the late Khodao as a “straight forward and a man of strong determination”, Raising recollected the uttered by late Khodao to him when they first met in Niuland in 1999: “Mr. Raising, I want a quiet life. I will stay at my village, Lakhuti; but I will be a part of whatever you have decided at council headquarters. I will never run away from the decisions of the government and nation.” Naga Hoho president, Keviletuo Kiewhuo, in his condolence message to the bereaved family and the NSCN/GPRN described late Khodao Yanthan as a legendary hero in the Naga freedom movement struggle. Quoting late Khodao Yanthan who once said, “If ever Nagas give up the demand of sovereignty, Nagas have given up everything” ; urged all Nagas to have the self determination which the legendary Khodao had lived and died for. He described late Khodao as a national worker, who never thought about his personal gain but instead worked for Naga nation till his last breath. Keviletuo said ‘His Excellency’ late Khodao Yanthan deserved to be honored urged the NSCN/GPRN government to preserve his legacy and his records for posterity. President Naga Mother’s Association, Abei-ü Meru , in her condolence described the departed soul as a leader of the highest order, who lived and served the Naga nation till his last breath. Rev. Fr Abraham Lotha, who also spoke on behalf of family members, described late Khodao Yanthan as one of the founding fathers of Naga Nationalism. Dr. Abraham quoting the late legendary leaders said, “Sovereignty is an inheritance and the rock of Naga solution and this rock alone shall the Nagas rest their existence in this world”. He further stated that the late national leader stood for peaceful solution and advocated Gandhian type of non violence and rejected any crime against mankind. Ralanthung Yanthan, deputy speaker, Nagaland Legislative Assembly spoke on behalf of relatives while Renchio Yanthan spoke on behalf of the Yanthan clan. Others who also spoke included Eastern Naga Public Organization, United Naga Council, Political Affairs Committee (PAC), Rev Nrio Ezung, Ezanbemo Odyuo and several others. A print out of the funeral programme contained words purportedly spoken by late Khodao : “I have done my part, what I can and has left everything in the hands of Isak and Muviah”. After the funeral service, the mortal remains followed by hundred of vehicles departed from Hebron Camp by road where it will halt at Kohima. It will then proceed to Wokha the same evening and halt for overnight for public to pay their last respect. On March 4 at 7 am send off ceremony will be conducted by Lotha Hoho and the burial rite would be held that day at 12 pm at Lakhuti local ground. ‘Mass funeral ritual’ In honour of the legendry and senior most revolutionary Naga leader NSCN (I-M) vice president Khodao Yanthan, a “mass funeral ritual” would be conducted on March 4 at local ground, Wokha town. In connection with this, the Kyong Hoho, Kyong Eloe Hoho and Kyong Students’ Union, in a joint statement, have decided to impose closure of educational institutions, business establishments and restriction on traffic movement within Wokha town from 8 a.m. till 12 noon. They have requested the public and all responsible to extend cooperation. Meanwhile, the chamber of commerce association Wokha has also informed all business establishments under its jurisdiction to remain closed from 8 a.m. till 12 noon.

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