GNF-led seminar plans way forward on FMR

Dimapur, February 21 (MExN): The Naga people, like any other community, possess an inherent and undeniable right to inhabit an undivided land and “no force on earth can disrupt” their rights to live in an undivided area.

This, among others, were some of the conclusion of a virtual meeting on February 19 organised by the Global Naga Forum (GNF) where deliberation revolved around  contentious issues of the discontinuation Free Movement Regime (FMR) and the proposed Indo-Myanmar border fencing, impacting the Naga community across international borders.

The undivided Naga area is not just a geographical space; it is the heart and soul of a people with an indomitable spirit, the meeting concurred. 

It also expressed concern that the scrapping of FMR and proposal of border fencing were “inconducive” and strikes at the “very heart” of the ongoing Indo-Naga political dialogue.

It sends a chilling message of insincerity, jeopardising the fragile trust painstakingly built during negotiations, as per a GNF press release, sharing the essential proceedings of the meeting. 

Stating that dialogue is the pathway to lasting peace, the meeting noted that  such regressive actions only undermine the progress made in achieving a mutually beneficial solution.

Subsequently, it contended that future of India and Naga progress lies in building bridges and connectivity in an undivided Naga land.

The future is not fortified walls bridges that facilitate connectivity, it maintained, 

Making a strategic planning for protection of FMR, the meeting called for establishment of a Coordination Committee to sustain the momentum generated during the webinar and drive forward the actionable points.

To this end, it discussed for a significant event at Longwa international border aimed at not only shedding light on the border issue globally but also to harness it as an opportunity to garner support for a united call to Naga Unity. 

Emphasising the historical significance of Nagas gathering at Kutsapo in Phek District under the Forum for Naga Reconciliation and Shisha Hoho, with diverse participants from Naga politicians, NPGs, and civil society organisations, the Longwa event is envisioned as a pivotal moment for Nagas to reassert their unity and pursue self-determination, the GNF added. 

As per the GNR, the meeting “Fences that Divide a People Come Down" was organised response to an unprecedented crisis that threatens the autonomy and future of the Nagas.

The urgency arose from the recent announcement by the Union Home Minister of India, Amit Shah, signalling the intention to abolish the FMR and implement border fencing, it added. 

Recognising the gravity of the situation and with the objective of uniting Nagas across tribes, regions, and ideologies, transcending differences in the face of a common threat, GNF reached out to the Naga community through an open invitation, it added. 

The invitation served as a rallying cry for every Naga to join forces, understanding that the battle required a united front, it said.
With civil society organisations and Naga Political Groups (NPGs) already raising their voices against the unilateral decision, the webinar aimed to consolidate this momentum and strategise for the challenges ahead, it added. 

“In unity, the Nagas found strength, and the GNF believed that this strength could withstand the impending onslaught.”

The meeting among others was addressed by Prof Paul Pimomo, Dr Visier Sanyu, Chungtin Sheu, Kenilo Kent, Vareiyo Shatsang, and Ngachonmi Chamroy.