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Rio says government must listen to the people

By EMN Updated: Feb 02, 2017 2:24 am

Dimapur, Feb. 1: Former chief minister, and Lok Sabha member, Neiphiu Rio on Wednesday expressed pain at the tragic ‘sequence of events that have unfolded in the recent past in Nagaland’.

In a press statement, Rio said that the reluctance of the state government to listen to the voice of the masses has resulted in total breakdown of a peaceful atmosphere culminating in the loss of two precious lives and injury to many.

“The situation of confrontation has reached such a stage where virtual faceoff has been declared between the state and the people. Despite the advice of the apex tribal hohos and mass based civil societies, the state government went ahead and passed a resolution in the Assembly which was against the customary practices and wishes of the people.
“I had also clearly stated in my statement dated 19th November 2016 that the issue of conduct of ULB elections needs to be implemented only after dialogue with all stakeholders and the tribal hohos. Sufficient warning was issued by the hohos and mass based organizations, yet the state government continued to pursue conduct of the ULB elections.”

This, Rio said, compelled the people to take to the streets and voice their aspirations and repeated appeals were made to set aside the civic elections. “But the exact opposite happened as the state opposed and confronted every section of society.

“Unfortunately the situation worsened and peaceful protests ended in violence, bloodshed and death. The damage is irreversible and the overall scenario has crossed alarming levels.”

He appreciated the concern and intervention of the Church as ‘most welcome’, while reminding that the Naga people had responded to the call of the Church with mass statewide prayer on Sunday, January 29 last.

“With the positive role of the Church, the civil societies and the state signed mutual agreement to postpone the elections, but again the state went back on its word and betrayed the confidence of the people, especially the Church.

“All these blunders could have been avoided if only the state had taken the people into confidence. It goes without saying that in a democratic society, the elected government must listen to the masses whose mandate is the very reason why the government exists.”

Rio appealed to all sections for restrain and urged the state government to listen to the voice of the people in the greater interest of the Nagas. While conveying deepest condolences to the bereaved families, Rio stated that Bendangningsang Longkumer and Khriesavizo Metha have made the supreme sacrifice by giving their lives while responding to the call of the Naga people.

“Their sacrifice will be recorded in the annals of our history for all times to come. I also wish speedy recovery to the injured persons and once again appeal for calm, restrain and understanding. The only way forward to overcome this serious crisis is understanding, dialogue along with genuine concern for the welfare and future of the Nagas.”

By EMN Updated: Feb 02, 2017 2:24:31 am