Indo-Naga talks: APO says trust among Nagas paramount; asserts it stands by Naga Plebiscite of 1951 - Eastern Mirror
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Indo-Naga talks: APO says trust among Nagas paramount; asserts it stands by Naga Plebiscite of 1951

By EMN Updated: Sep 27, 2020 7:22 pm

Dimapur, Sep. 27 (EMN): Observing that the Naga political struggle has arrived at yet “another crucial moment of dangers and opportunities”, the Angami Public Organisation (APO) has asserted that the “right solution” could be achieved this time “if the genuine apprehensions and concerns of different groups are understood and addressed, and not treated lightly or ignored”.

In a statement issued on Sunday, the APO maintained that a conducive atmosphere of trust and understanding within the Naga family, with all sections of society making their honest contribution is needed to resolve the issue without further delay.

It recalled that on the occasion of APO’s 25th anniversary in 1997, the organisation had issued a statement on the Naga issue. “The Angamis have always stood by the terms of the Naga Plebiscite of 1951. This was reaffirmed by the Angami Public Organisation in June 1996. The rejection of the Shillong Accord by the Angamis therefore should have been automatic from the beginning as clause 1 of the Accord violated the basic stand of the Plebiscite. APO stands by the plebiscite. This position remains unchanged.

“Subsequent APO clarifications have revolved around the stand taken in the above mentioned statement. For the ongoing peace processes and negotiations for settlement, Angamis wish the negotiation teams will succeed in writing a good chapter in the book of Naga history, so that coming generations will pick up to properly respond to the call of their time in the best spirit and peaceful methods of true democracy and genuine non-violence which will be fulfilment of the Naga struggle,” the statement read.

According to the APO, the choices Nagas had made and stated to the Simon Commission in 1929, their reaffirmation of the same position 18 years later in the declaration of independence on August 14 1947 and the Plebiscite of 1951 are all a matter of record.

“APO restates today that it stands by the position of the Nagas that their struggle for their aspirations cannot be characterised as one with any intention to cause harm to India. To declare we are incapable of causing harm to our neighbour is to state the obvious. But Nagas keep repeating it for the Indian public to understand the truth.

“The Nagas fought the British invasion of their land at a time when the Nagas had not yet come to know India or Burma in any political shape or form. The Nagas had no connection with these neighbours before the British came. The Nagas were of no interest or value to the Maharajahs or monarchs who ruled the feudal kingdoms west and south of their homeland. The Nagas were not anti or against the British created India and Burma and their peoples in any way when they started to declare and define their understanding of their identity and their land as their history fully entitled them. To the Nagas the moral, legal and political authority of their struggle comes from these unique facts,” the statement further read.

 Therefore, it stated, if India and Myanmar continue to insist they cannot even discuss the core issue of sovereignty in their negotiations with Nagas, then to the Nagas any settlement that may be reached by any group is interim and does not change the original Naga position of sovereignty.

“Nagas believe Indian policy shapers will see the long term good for both sides to trust the Nagas and enable them to evolve the right relationship with India on the basis of their history, we want India to know that she will not be damaged by doing what will be best and wise with us,” it stated.

Out of what “may from the negotiations by the two groups and where Nagas should change to restore their unity to be able to go forward”, the APO stated that it must not damage what Nagas always had or have achieved but be honourable and acceptable to Nagas and India, therefore workable; Nagas should thank Almighty God and acknowledge and appreciate one another’s contribution for what have been achieved together; and cease blaming and destroying one another for what have not been achieved yet.

“We have become a people and a nation. It is not a small achievement. Whether we consolidate it and build on it or destroy it will reveal what motivates us. It is up to us,” it reminded.

Also, the APO asserted that Nagas now urgently need to reach out in humility, transparency and far-seeing willingness to its neighbours to bring about a common stability for the region.

“This is now priority number one if we are to have economic development. If we do not achieve this together our dreams will become nightmares. The need for mutual trust and co-operation built on genuine goodwill for one another is desperate,” it stated.

By EMN Updated: Sep 27, 2020 7:22:19 pm