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‘People’s Dialogue’ pledges to protect interest of Nagas on border

By EMN Updated: Aug 10, 2014 12:20 am

Staff Reporter

A clarion call to fix “the historical injustice” inflicted upon Nagaland – in relation to the 4974.16 sq miles of Naga territory transferred to Assam by the British rulers for administrative reasons – has emerged from the “People’s Dialogue” on Nagaland-Assam border, which was held here today at Town Hall, Dimapur.
The dialogue was initiated by the United Naga Tribes Association of Border Areas (UNTABA), which has pledged to work towards protecting the interest of all Nagas sharing boundary with Assam.
In front of a jam-packed Town Hall, Dimapur, the retired bureaucrat and resource person TN Manen delivered an elaborate power-point presentation that ranged from the historical facts the surround the Nagaland-Assam border imbroglio to its present status and also the possible steps towards an amicable solution. Manen, who had also only recently written in the local newspapers the historical perspective of the Nagaland-Assam border tussle, reminded the audience that the past leaders of Nagaland have been “too simple-minded and trusting” in their negotiations with their Assam counterparts.
This, however, does not imply that the former Additional Chief Secretary was transferring the blame for the present border headaches to his predecessors. The simple-minded and trusting nature, he said, was merely an extension of their honest virtues.
However, such virtues have not been forthcoming from across the border, Manen said while suggesting that the Assam government has repeatedly flouted the numerous agreements signed between the two states.
Manen informed that the Nagaland government has always objected to short-term solutions while persistently pushing for the formation of a Border/Boundary Commission to work at the grassroots level on both sides of the border.
He reminded the audience that any alteration to the present boundaries on both sides could be effected only through the Parliament and not through the court of law.
On the 4974.16 sq miles of Naga territory currently occupied by Assam, Manen presented a detailed, sector-wise dissection – dividend into four sectors – of the total area. The need to reclaim those lands and fix the “historical injustice” in the process was underscored.
Later in the evening, the convention adopted six-point resolution in which one of them was the demand to implement in letter and spirit, the point No. 12 of the 16-Point Agreement between the Government of India and Naga People’s Convention which pertains to the inclusion of all Naga areas under Nagaland State.
The projecting theme of the various speakers of the day was that of safeguarding one’s own rightful territorial area. As succinctly put by the retired IGP, NN Ngullie, “Is there any Naga who does not want to protect his land?”
A panel discussion was the highlight of the second session that followed in the evening. The panelists included the retired bureaucrats Khekiye K Sema and TC Kithan, Principal of Tetso College Dr PS Lorin, Editor of the Ao vernacular Tir Yimyim K Temjen, Principal of City Law College Dimapur P Leonard Aier and Principal of Japfu Christian College Dr Visakhonu Hibo.

By EMN Updated: Aug 10, 2014 12:20:58 am