GPRN/NSCN upholds vox populi on 6th anniversary
DIMAPUR, NOVEMBER 22
THE 6th Anniversary celebrations of the Naga Unification GPRN/NSCN at its Khehoi designated camp today brought together some Naga political groups,including FGN, NNC (NA), civil society members, student leaders and GBs. The meeting around 30 kms from Dimapur, also provided the public to express their opinions on the issues dominating Naga society. The topics ranged from taxation to Naga unity, from peace to solution of the Naga problem.
Setting the mood for the occasion the GPRN/NSCN president Gen (retd) Khole Konyak, in his message, said there is a great danger in defying the will of the people. He said unless all the people come together with a purpose ‘our past achievements, labour, efforts and sacrifices’ will have no meaning and peace will remain elusive and solution a mere dream.
Noting that some Naga brothers have accused the GPRN/NSCN of hobnobbing with the government of India and inching towards finding a solution for only 16 tribes in the present state of Nagaland ignoring the rest of the Nagas in Manipur, Arunachal Pradesh and Assam, Gen Khole termed the accusation as visionless, shortsighted and illogical.
“We should not day dream any more. The state of Nagaland is the sheet anchor if we are to reach to our people in our ancestral land. It is our launch pad to continue to strengthening social, cultural, historical and emotional connection among Nagas,” he stated.
Striking an optimistic note, Gen Khole, who fought for the Naga cause for last 60 years, advised the dedicated leaders, the intellectuals and the politically conscious Nagas to focus their mind and spirit to true peace. “If we act upon what we say during peace meetings, I believe acceptable solution with GoI is not far from us,” he explained. Watching silently and observing from the top will not make anyone a patriot, he stressed.
Describing the split within NSCN in 1988 as another tragic chapter in Naga history, he pointed out that it was a culmination of simmering tension within the leaders with ideological differences, administrative differences, a clash of egos taking an ugly turn.
“Killing of Nagas by Nagas was shamefully justified while preaching ‘Nagaland for Christ,” he rued.
Speaking as the guest of honour, Naga Mothers Association president Abeiu Meru urged for inclusion of Naga women in peace negotiations with the government of India to ensure a lasting peace. “No society can progress without women, and in the case of Nagaland, without the other half of the population,” she noted.
Meru also urged the national workers to listen to the voice and cries of the people, including mothers and youth, for peace while reiterating the slogan of Naga mothers “shed no more blood” amongst Naga brothers.
She further hoped that the as an organization, the GPRN/NSCN leaders will support the international principles of gender equity in its rank and files as well as in the different spheres of Naga society.
Meru lamented that an Act passed by the State Assembly to empower women through reserved seats in civic bodies was revoked by the same Assembly under flimsy excuses. She said the Naga women have challenged this discrimination in the Supreme Court.
She further stressed that forgiveness has to be the starting point for Nagas to move ahead and urged the GRPN/NSCN leaders to take the lead in mustering understanding among the different groups of National workers.
In his address, GPRN/NSCN Ato Kilonser Kitovi Zhimomi said it is time for the Naga people to open up and say what they want.
Stating that future of younger generation is the priority of the GPRN/NSCN, Kitovi wondered how the thousands of educated youth passing out from various institutions will be accommodated if there is no practical approach to find solution to the Naga problem.
“I know you are fed up, you are tired,” and therefore it is time to speak up without any fear, he told the gathering.
If the Nagas of Nagaland are taken together first instead of taking all Nagas together, solution can be found, he felt.
“We have lots of problems of our own. Why invite problems from neighbouring states,” he said.
Kitovi also asserted that the GPRN/NSCN will accept any solution which is good for the people and which can fulfill the needs of the younger generation.
He further said it is for the Naga people to decide whether to continue the armed struggle that has taken thousands of lives or to find a way out. He said this in the backdrop of government of India ruling out sovereignty and integration of Naga people.
Kitovi also said his organization will solicit the opinion of the Naga people before starting any dialogue with the government of India.
On the formation of Nagaland Tribes Council, Kitovi said he sees no reason why Nagas of Nagaland should not have any platform to address the problems of Nagas.
Regarding ACAUT’s demand for ‘one tax one government’, the Ato Kilonser justified the demand saying Naga people have every right to know why they are paying tax and what they are going to get in return. “It is shameful for national workers to challenge ACAUT’s demand,” he said.
Various civil society members, including ACAUT, Naga Blog, Business Association of Nagas, Youth Association of Nagaland, DCCI, tribal Hohos, GBs Association, DNSU and other student leaders shared their views on the present situation in the State and offered their suggestions during the programme.
To mark the 6th Naga Unification anniversary, the GPRN/NSCN released NSCN (K) education kilonser Kimkong Yimchunger who was held captive by it unconditionally. The invitees to the programme also released ‘unity balloons’ to mark the occasion.