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Rallies for ‘Frontier Nagaland’, public respond as ENPO says ‘no turning back on Statehood’

Crowd gathered outside DC’s office, Mon to submit the memorandum, Friday. (NP)
Correspondent/Staff Reporter MON/TUENSANG/LONGLENG/KIPHIRE, JAN 7 (NPN):
Published on 8 Jan. 2011 12:13 AM IST
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Mass public rallies were held in all the four district headquarters of Tuensang, Mon, Kiphire and Longleng on Friday organised by the Eastern Nagaland People’s Organization (ENPO) demanding separate Frontier Nagaland state comprising of the four districts and three sub-divisions.
Through the rallies, the ENPO sent out a clear message that the demand was for real, there was “no turning back” and that the demand for separate statehood was a public movement. The Organization said no political parties/party should take its demand to their advantage or politicize it and fool the public, as the demand was neither political nor a movement organized by few.
In Mon Town: Thousands of people both young and old alike and all the village council chairmen attended the rally, holding placards that read ‘ Frontier Nagaland is a people’s movement,’ ‘Where is our future,’ ‘Right to live not mere survival,’ ‘ No democracy without equal political and economic rights,’ ‘Too little too late other than a full fledged statehood, ie..Frontier Nagaland,’ ‘Frontier Nagaland is the only answer to our quest for rights and justice’ etc.
Speaking at the rally, ENPO vice president Sashi Naga, said rallies were organized in all the four district head quarters of Eastern Nagaland to clear any confusion in the minds of the people and to make known to the public that the demand for separate statehood was not against any other Naga or underground groups/Naga national workers or political parties.
He said that the demand for separate ‘Frontier Nagaland’ state has reached the point of “no return” and that the demand was endorsed by the public of the Eastern Nagas. He asserted that the demand would remain long after they (ENPO office bearers) were gone and would continue till the goal was achieved as it was a movement to fulfill the aspiration of the people of the Eastern Nagas and their right to live for survival.
Stating that the movement for separate statehood was not against any other Nagas or to oppose the peace process, he said the ENPO was committed to the Naga cause and firm on its stand “Unity first, solution second” and unity without territorial demarcation.
When asked on the absence of sitting MLAs, the ENPO vice president said that their presence or absence would neither affect the movement nor would there be any set back. “Whether they co-operate or not, it does not matter, as it is a public movement of the Eastern Nagas,” he asserted.
Others who spoke at the rally were Noke, ex- minister, Hoka ex- president Konyak Union, Wangyuh Konyak ex-M.P, Rev Dr. Bongshing, Throngba speaker ENSF, Khungchah president KSU, Yunmah president KNSK, president GBs union Mon district, president Konyak Village Council Union, Tingnei ex-president KU, L. T Konyak DC (retd) and Thanglong Yalem.
In Tuensang: Addressing a mammoth rally at the parade ground, Tuensang, ENPO president Mangko said the statehood demand was a people’s demand preparing for the younger generation to lead in better way.
The ENPO president also said that the demand was not against any political parties, factions or organisation but sharing and declaring their numerous problems confronting in every developmental aspect to the government of India.
He said that the organisation would move forward with strong determination until its demand was met. He urged the public to cooperate and work together for the common platform of the society.
Mangko alleged that the people of Eastern Nagaland were deprived in various developmental activities, educational policy and the like and described it as “intolerable.” He said the people of Eastern Nagaland would not be a mute spectator. In his keynote address, the steering convenor Pohwang said that the forefathers of Eastern Nagas migrated from China in 386 AD. He said that the British could not rule and occupy them and left them as free Nagas (Freeland) living by their own customary law.
Others who spoke at the rally included presidents of Eastern Naga Women Organisation, ENSF, Tuensang district GBs’ federation, Sangtam Union Tuensang Town, Tuensang Village Citizens’ Union and Pongom Khiam steering committee. A memorandum addressed to the prime minister was read out by ENPO general secretary Toshi Wungtung and later submitted to the DC Tuensang. The mass rally peacefully concluded with slogans “We demand separate state,” “we demand Frontier Nagaland” Etc. Some posters pasted across the town read: “Frontier Nagaland is the only answer to our quest for right and justice,” “right to equality and quality,” “right to live not mere survival,” “an unequal imbalanced Nagaland state assembly can not decide the basic fundamental future and fate of the people of the erstwhile Tuensang frontier division of NEFA.”
In Longleng: A large gathering of around 2500 to 3000 held a rally led by ENPO leaders and students.
Joint secretary ENPO Chingmak said the demand for a separate state was not new since it existed since 1947 when the leaders were promised equal benefits but which were not kept till today. The speakers clarified that the demand was not a political movement nor was it against any but a compulsion that arose due to alleged discrimination and step-motherly treatment meted out to eastern Nagas by the people of mainstream Nagaland.
Phomla Hoichem and student leaders said the demand was not for ENPO but a cry of the eastern Nagas and for the hope of the future.
In Kiphire: Thousands of citizen belonging to six tribe residing at Kiphire came out to the street to attend the mass rally showing their desire to have a separate ‘Frontier Nagaland’ state.
Delivering the keynote address ENPO vice president, Yonglam Konyak said it was the “legitimate right” of the Eastern Nagas to have a separate state.
He said that the present land (ENPO jurisdiction) was not under India, Burma or China but “we are free man.” According to a report sent by citizen journalist, Viky Noel Jimomi, the ENPO vice president also said that after India achieved independence, the present land came under NEFA whereby the present Nagaland state was created. “At that time we were far backward than others,” Yonglam said.
He pointed that the constitution of India enshrined special provision for the region but that the provision was deprived by the state government which was now 48 years “because of which we are backward both politically and economically.”
He told the gathering that the ENPO would not back off till the demand was fulfilled and goal reached.
Former president USLB R. Tsapikyu who also spoke at the rally said that the issue was not a new thing since it is their “legitimate right.”
Others who spoke included president Khimnunang Tribal Council, vice president ENSF, executive chairman USSC, Yimchunger Tribal Council president Kiphire and AST. ENPO people living in other towns who attended the rally commented, “this is the best and successful rally attended so far.”
The program was chaired by USLB vice president Yangkhaba while action committee chairman USLB Thsithrongkyu delivered the welcome address.
Later the gathering marched to DC office Kiphire to submit the memorandum. All shops, business establishments and educational institutions remained closed during the rally.
In Noklak: An official bulletin said that all business establishments under Noklak headquarter were closed and thereafter a copy of memorandum addressed to the prime minister demanding separate statehood for Eastern Nagaland was submitted to the additional deputy commissioner Noklak. The rally was peaceful with no untoward incidents.

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