State

Naga stakeholders for ‘one solution for one people’

Naga stakeholders for ‘one solution for one people’
Neiphiu Rio addressing the consultative meeting on Thursday.
Correspondent KOHIMA, OCT 15 (NPN) | Publish Date: 10/15/2020 12:52:37 PM IST

A 7-point resolution was adopted after a marathon 6-hour meeting of around 200 attendees representing various apex Naga tribe hohos, ex-parliamentarians, public leaders and civil society organisations etc. convened by the state government at the newly constructed State Banquet Hall at the CM’s residential complex Thursday.

After conclusion of discussions, the house passed a salient aspect of the resolution in committing– to relentlessly work in a collective and unified manner, with one voice, so as to facilitate the peace process and strengthen the negotiations for early realisation of the desired one solution in a transparent manner that is acceptable and honourable.

Nagaland chief minister Neiphiu Rio, while giving his keynote address, disclosed that the reason for convening of the consultative meeting was to dwell on the message from the government of India, which had been reiterated at various meetings, that there will be only one solution for the Naga political issue.

Rio also disclosed that the same message was conveyed to him by union home minister Amit Shah at a recent meeting on September 19 where deputy chief minister Y. Patton was also present. Given the scenario, Rio emphasised on supporting the peace process, strengthening the negotiations and facilitating the journey towards achievement of this “one solution” at the earliest. He also expressed appreciation of the Centre for acknowledging the “unique history and culture of Naga people” and also recognising the Naga movement as political issue.

In his speech, Rio also acknowledged the beginning of Naga consciousness since the first world war, to the formation of Naga Club and its memorandum to the British Simon Commission, formation of NNC and subsequent events. Rio pointed out that if Nagas were to achieve progress and realise their aspirations, they need to come together. He said the British used a divide-and-rule policy to govern and this was inherited by India and today, this policy has divided Naga society by creating too many groups and organisations having many different opinions and voices.

Rio said the way forward was therefore, unity and oneness among Nagas through relentless pursuit for realising genuine peace and with this spirit, achieve a “political settlement based on Nagas’ historical and political rights” and “unique history and position of Nagas”.

He also acknowledged the sacrifices and sufferings of Naga nationalist organisations, besides expressing gratitude to tribal hohos, mass-based civil society groups, church organisations and NGOs for their consistent support and contributions towards the Naga cause and for making constant efforts towards reconciliation and oneness.  Rio also appreciated the negotiating parties for signing the Framework Agreement on August 3,2015 and the Agreed Position on November 8,2017. 

He said the meeting was historic as such an approach will make the voice of Nagas heard by the government of India and Nagas to gain the trust of the international community. Rio said the Naga voice must rise above all other considerations and set aside differences and “hear the cry of our people” in order to leave a lasting legacy that would be cherished by generations to come.

Meanwhile, tribal leaders, representatives of various organisations, political parties and intellectuals in unison have reportedly called for an early solution at the Consultative Meeting held at State Banquet Hall here Thursday. 

Presidents of various political parties reportedly took the first stage where NDPP president Chingwang Konyak, BJP state unit president Temjen Imna Along, leaders of NPP and NCP spoke at the meeting. 

The political leaders pointed out the division amongst the Naga tribes and Hohos and had urged for a united stand. 

Eastern Nagaland Peoples’ Organization slammed the 60 legislators not being united when the government was talking repeatedly about “unity”. Asserting that there should not be any bloodshed post-agreement, ENPO called for an acceptable, honorable and inclusive solution. 

On behalf of the 14 tribes, president Angami Public Organization (APO) Dr. K. Terhuja reportedly read out the representation on the need for peace and early solution and the same was handed over to the chief minister.  

CNTC president was informed to have stood by the decision of the 14 Naga tribes on peace and early solution. 

Tenyimi People’s Organisation (TPO) echoed the call for a solution that includes all the Nagas. 

Lok Sabha MP, Tokheho Yepthomi, minister health and family welfare S. Pangnyu Phom, minister agriculture G. Kaito Aye, ex-parliamentarians-- Joshua Sumi and Z. Lohe, representative of senior citizen K.K. Sema, NSF, Overseas Naga Association, Catholic Association of Nagaland, FNR among others also spoke at the meeting. 

7- POINT RESOLUTION

1. Appreciate the Government of India for acknowledging the Unique History of the Nagas and for recognising the Naga issue as a political issue. 

2. Acknowledges the sacrifices and contributions of the nationalist workers in the course of the Naga political journey and towards the Naga political cause. 

3. Expresses gratitude to the civil societies and the church for consistent support towards the Naga cause and making constant efforts towards reconciliation and oneness. 

4. Affirm our commitment to continuously work towards a political settlement based on Naga historical and political rights to determine our future on the unique history and position of the Nagas. 

5. Urges the Naga political groups to honour and respect the Covenant of Reconciliation and maintain the sanctity of non-violence in letter and spirit for a Shared Naga Future as members of One Naga Family. 

6. Appealed to the negotiating groups to come together under a spirit of oneness, mutual trust and understanding with sincerity and commitment towards achieving “One Solution for One People as early as possible.” 

7. Affirmed to relentlessly work in a collective and unified manner with one voice so as to facilitate the peace process and strengthen the negotiations for early realisation of the desired One Solution in a transparent manner which is acceptable and honourable. 

Sd/- Chairperson, Neiba Kronu & Co-Chair, Mmhonlumo Kikon

NMA representative appealed for an early solution by bringing all groups on board and reportedly asserted that flag and constitution was important for the Nagas since it was Naga identity. NMA also reportedly said that solution must accommodate all Nagas irrespective of boundaries. 

Several representatives staged a walk out during the consultative meeting for varied reasons. 

14 ANTH: Representatives of the 14 Apex Naga Tribal Hohos walked out when a delegate of NMA began to speak. According to Pollem Tep a representative of the 14 Apex Naga Tribal Hohos and president Rengma Hoho, both NMA and Naga Hoho were “un-mandated organisations.” Asked to explain, Pollem Tep said office bearers of both NMA and Naga Hoho were “just working” without following their respective constitutions. 

Tep also said the 14 Naga tribes expressed satisfaction over the outcome of the consultative meet.

NH: Earlier, Naga Hoho walked out at the first session, after its president HK Zhimomi said he expected to get the first opportunity to speak, but was denied the opportunity.

Talking to media persons, Zhimomi said he had come with “positive mind” despite knowing the sharp division amongst the Nagas. Zhimomi  said had he been given the opportunity, he would have suggested the best way for solution and for unity. 

He also asked how could an appeal be made to NSCN (I-M) and 7 NNPGs to unite when there was disunity among the Nagas? Also NSF delegates reportedly left the venue while the meeting was at its conclusive stage. When queried, the NSF president Ninoto Awomi refused to comment.

Uninvited CSOs: Nagaland Gaon Bura Federation (NGBF) and Nagaland Tribes Council (NTC) did not attend Thursday’s consultative meeting.

Speaking to Nagaland Post, NGBF general secretary Shikuto Zalipu said NGBF received the invitation” very late and that too verbally”. He said since it was informed at the eleventh hour, NGBF decided not to attend the meeting. 

NTC general secretary Nribemo Ngullie said the council was not invited. 

At press conference, co-chair of the consultative meeting and advisor Mmhonlumo Kikon claimed that NBGF was invited, but expressed ignorance about the reason behind NGBF’s abstention. Kikon, however, said that the outcome of the meeting would be communicated to NGBF.

On Naga Hoho staging a walk-out, Kikon explained that the meeting was divided into two session (pre and post-lunch). NH was allotted time post-lunch, which was also made known at the meeting, he said. If they (NH) had any doubts about their slot, they could have asked the officials present at the meeting, Kikon said.

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