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Rio celebrates Moatsu

Rio and Imchen being carried in a Riju type platform, Monday. (NP)
Correspondent Longkhum, 2 May:
Published on 3 May. 2011 1:40 AM IST
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Moatsu, the premier festival of the Ao Nagas was celebrated in Longkhum village were chief minister Neiphiu Rio graced the occasion as chief guest. In his speech Rio stressed on the need to preserve culture and tradition as it is the only identity that can show to the world that Nagas are also a race.
He said if Nagas were not united and strong, then it would be difficult to protect our identity and “we would be lost”. He spoke about earning self respect and recognition. He said Longkhum is a historic village much of whose history has been inherited by the Ao villages. He said the British recognized the uniqueness of the Nagas and provided them protection in the form of Inner Line Regulation Act 1873. He said Nagas should always acknowledge what the British had done for them. He however said while others recognized Nagas, yet Nagas did not recognize themselves.
Referring to the complaint of the Congress to the Election Commission of India to prevent VVIPs from using Moatsu for campaigning, he said celebration of a festival cannot be stopped due to conduct of election. He also lauded the Ao Senden for its stand that festivals have no relation with election. He claimed two years of road shows were successful though there was criticism from some quarters.
Home minister Imkong L Imchen also graced the program as the Guest of Honor also gave a brief speech at the program. The program also witnessed cultural troupes Sumi (V.K Range), Lotha (Sungro range) besides from Longkhum youth. After the program, the Chief Minister and his entourage were taken to Longlangba to “discover Longkhum”. The chief minister was accompanied by a host of ministers and MLAs.

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