Post Mortem

NMA memorandum to PM Narendra Modi

By Nagaland Post | Publish Date: 8/8/2020 12:40:52 PM IST

 The Naga Mothers’ Association (NMA) convey our greetings to you and seek your immediate attention and intervention on the following:

That, as mothers and women who have borne the brunt of militarization and armed conflict for decades, we have firmly stood on the slogan “Shed No More Blood”, because our future generation deserves the right to live in peace and a world free from war. Naga women have worked hard as peace makers and peacekeepers and supported the long drawn Peace Process in the hope that we can all live in peace.

However, the recent letter of the Hon’ble Governor to the Chief Minister of Nagaland brought to the public domain, has created a deep trust deficit in the peace process. As the Peace Interlocutor of the Naga Peace Talks, it is unbecoming at such a critical period to refer to the Naga Political Groups as mere “armed gangs”, when a political negotiation for peace is ongoing. It mustbe reiterated that both the Chairman of the Ceasefire Monitoring Group and the Governor, live in the capital Kohima and should have coordinated and addressed such issues of extortions with the State agencies, which has not been done. Further, it is most unfortunate that till date, despite the appeals and wishes of the People, the Interlocutor has been unable to bring the Naga Political Groups together for an official Peace dialogue in resolving the Naga Issue, for reasons best known to him. In various Peace meetings with Leaders of the Naga Political Groups, the NMA has been very firm, on the need to sit down together in the interest of the Nagas and chart out our road to a peaceful settlement together. The fragility of the peace process we are facing now, is therefore, due to the inability to do the same in the interest of Peace, by the Interlocutor.

The profiling of Nagas working as state government employees and their relationship with cadres of the Naga Political Groups, under the direct orders of the Governor, who is also the Peace Interlocutor, is highly objectionable. This move indicates the total lack of understanding of Naga political history and the movement for Self Determination, which began decades ago, with the full participation of almost every Naga family. This practice continues till today in many Naga areas. To question the credibility and profile their relations with cadres has brought state government employees under scrutiny, which does not bode well for the peace process, because their contribution to the state Government is crucial and state government employees have been giving the best of their service for the development and growth of the state.

Sir, as you are well aware, the Naga Mothers’ Association has worked tirelessly over the decades, for bringing Peace and an end to armed conflict, without any bias. But now, we are confronted with a situation, where the Interlocutor, who is also the Hon’ble Governor of Nagaland, is bent on threats and hounding the same Naga Political Groups, with whom he is supposed to negotiate and conclude the Peace Talks. His disrespect for the Naga People and Women, in the midst of such crucial dialogue is also obvious in the fact that the Governor has turned down the official request of the Naga Mothers’ Association for an appointment on two occasions,  which is highly questionable. Till date, since his arrival in the state, he does not seem to have the time or inclination to listen to voices of women Peace makers and Peacekeepers, which is most unfortunate. These are serious indications that the Hon’ble Governor of the State and Interlocutor for Peace, has not understood the role and contribution of Naga Mothers and Women for bringing peace thus far and stopping the shed of blood in our land. Experiences of Peace Settlements the world over, has been sustained with the active participation of women, both at the negotiating table and in the Peace process. From the side of the Government of India, despite representations on the same, we have not seen this commitment in inclusion of gender concerns and perspectives for peace.

The NMA strongly protests against the Extension of the Disturbed Area Act and the Armed Forces Special Powers Act in the state. It is most unfortunate that in the midst of ongoing peace talks, the Government of India has extended the DAA and the AFSPA much against our wishes. The heavy movement of Security Forces into the state in the midst of the pandemic, has brought another threat, the large scale spread of COVID 19 from the camps of these Armed Forces. 

Till the 5thAugust, the number of Armed forces testing positive has come to 1078, in the state. We demand that there should be no more reinforcements brought into the state for the safety of the citizens. We reiterate our demand placed before your Esteemed Office earlier, for the repeal of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act, to usher in an era of peace.

That, in the interest of a Peaceful Settlement and Sustainable Peace, we appeal for peace along our border villages and our Naga villages beyond the border. We draw your attention to the killing of six Naga youth in Arunachal Pradesh by the Armed Forces in the recent fake encounter, the ITC Dan, Pangsha ambush by Armed Forces and killing of unarmed cadres and civilians including a woman and maiming other two women for life and the killing of two of our Children in the Wuzu Firing Incident which are yet to see justice. 

The petition against the Pangsha killings was placed, with photographic evidence, before the then Union Home Minister, Mr. Rajnath Singh by the Naga Mothers. The NMA petition on the Wuzu Firing Incident and killing of our two innocent children too has also not seen any action till date from the Government of India. Therefore, the NMA demands an Inquiry into these incidents of extra judicial killings to deter further shedding of blood and impunity of the actions of the Indian Armed Forces.

That, the Ceasefire Agreement without territorial limit, be put in letter and spirit for the sake of bringing a peaceful settlement. The high militarization and harassment of poor villagers, in bordering areas of Nagaland and Myanmar continue, in the midst of poverty and the pandemic crises and Iockdowns of COVID 19. Such armed activities and militarization must stop and give our Naga villagers, their right to peace and security in these trying times of the pandemic and an unresolved Political Peace negotiation. We urge your Esteemed Office to ensure that such mental trauma and insecurity suffered particularly by women and children in these rural areas be taken into cognizance and all efforts be made, to mitigate their suffering.

As Mothers, we urge your Esteemed Authority to ensure that the Naga Peace Negotiations conclude with recognition of our Naga Historical Rights in mutual respect and understanding for Peace, Dignity and Justice. We are confident that the yearning for Peace by all section will be respected in the truest sense, by the sagacious Political Leadership of India.

Abeiu Meru President and Lochumbeni Humtsoe Secretary NMA

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