Saturday, May 31, 2008

Rio laments ‘senseless’ killings

PEREN, MAY 30 (NPN): Chief minister Neiphiu Rio Friday said the most worrying aspect of the present Naga society was the senseless killings that have deeply hurt the sentiments of the people.“At a time when the cry for of the people is for peace and progress, it is most unfortunate that we Nagas are killing amongst ourselves,” the chief minister said in his inaugural address of the 9th general session of the Naga Hoho held here at Peren Town Hall premise. Thrusting greater responsibility to Naga traditional institutions, Rio said the tribal hohos and mass based civil societies must carry forward the voice of the people who were crying for peace and progress. “It must be made known to all national workers that the people want the killings to come to an immediate halt. Any person or organization that professes to represent the interests of the people should also listen to their voice,” he said.Reiterating the DAN Government’s stance that factional clashes were political in nature and must be handled differently, unlike normal law and order problem, the chief minister said even the Government of India had accepted the Indo-Naga problem as a political issue and, therefore, the ceasefire agreement and dialogue.He also cautioned that one has to be careful not to undermine the Naga political issue by terming it as a mere law and order problem.On the issue of Naga integration, Rio said the State Government and the NPF party remain committed to this aspiration, and would continue to carry the voice of the people. Highlighting on the plight of the Nagas in Myanmar living under the yoke of the junta, the chief minister said it was high time that “we focus our attention towards them too, instead of fighting amongst ourselves here.”Rio further reiterated the DAN government’s commitment to contribute towards the peace process as an active facilitator.Expressing pain over the unabated factional killings, outgoing Naga Hoho president I Bendangmanyang Jamir in his presidential address, which was read out in absentia by the Hoho vice president Keviletuo Kiewhuo, said Nagas have fought more wars among themselves than with the Indian state under the banner of Nagas’ cry for sovereignty.Stating that hatred, jealousy and tribalism have dominated the Naga movement, Jamir said the time has come for Nagas to reconcile and unite to bring permanent settlement to the Naga political problem.He also reminded that while striving for peace and unity among Nagas, the unity should not be at the cost of ongoing Naga peace talks.“The present political negotiation with India is a hard-earned for the Nagas and this opportunity should not be allowed to sway away owing to petty differences among the Naga families. The Naga Hoho is fully aware that piece meal unification and reconciliation will bring more disaster and pave way for more bloodshed,” he said.The outgoing Hoho president further said it would be another heartbreaking episode in the annals of Naga freedom movement if any Naga intellectual or freedom lover under the banners of NSCN (I-M), NSCN (K) or FGN attempted to derail the definition of “Indigenous people” as these people are supposed to be the champions of indigenous people’s struggle in different parts of the world.The Naga Mothers’ Association (NMA) and GBs/DBs Joint Forum also read out messages of solidarity on the occasion. NMA president Khesheli said though inimical forces both within and outside were “sleeplessly engaged in engineering divisiveness”, Nagas have withstood such trials in the past too. She also said Naga mothers have full confidence in their menfolk that they would be able to settle the Naga issue once and for all. GBs/DBs Joint Forum convenor A Taku Longkumer said due to the deteriorating situation, the Forum was compelled to undertake its with the support of Naga Hoho, ENPO, NMA, all tribal hohos, students’ bodies, churches and the State Government.The session was attended by a host of ministers and legislators including Home minister Imkong Imchen, Planning minister TR Zeliang, Power minister Doshehe, parliamentary secretary Chotisuh Sazo, NIDC chairman Shetoyi, MLA Tarie, besides representatives of various hohos and civil societies. Rio, GBs/DBs plea to Eastern Nagas Chief minister Neiphiu Rio and the GBs/DBs Joint Forum have stressed on the need for the Naga Hoho and the Eastern Nagaland People’s Organization (ENPO) to come under one umbrella.Pointing out that in so far as the Naga political issue was concerned, unity among the overground Nagas was equally imperative, Rio appealed to the people of Eastern Nagaland to “rejoin” the two frontal Naga organizations - Naga Hoho and NSF. Similarly, the GBs/DBs Joint Forum has appealed to both Naga Hoho and ENPO to “come together, bury all the differences to rescue and lead the Nagas to foster peace and harmony in all round developments economically, socially and politically.”

(Courtesy: Nagaland Post)

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