Naga nationhood reaffirmed by NSCNs

(LEft) Azheto Chophy, NPAC Convenor takes the salute on the 31st Republic Day celebration of the GPRN/NSCN at Camp Khehoi on Monday, March 21. (Morung Photo) (RIGHT)Chairman Isak Chishi Swu (centre), his lady wife Uster and General Secretary Th. Muivah of the NSCN/GPRN paying homage to departed colleagues at Camp Hebron on Monday March 21. (Sorei Mahong photo)

Disengagement linked to ‘forceful’ entry

DIMAPUR, MARCH 21 (MExN): The GPRN/NSCN today maintained that it appreciates the efforts for Naga unification. Stating the unification efforts as the lone principle of the organization, it though came with a catch.
While conveying greetings on the occasion of the 31st Republic Day celebration of the organization, a message from the president of the GPRN/NSCN, SS Khaplang thus read: “I appreciate Naga Unification and this is the lone principle of the GPRN but this nation will not cow down to traitors who come with loaded guns in the name of Unity and Reconciliation.” It also paid homage to all “the patriotic Naga Freedom Fighters who have laid down their lives for the Naga Freedom and today’s soldiers of Nagaland for Christ.”
The message from Khaplang was read out by Azheto Chophy, NPAC Convenor who was the chief guest at the celebrations held on Monday, March 21 at the outfit’s organizational headquarters - Camp Khehoi.   On the recent ‘Highest Level Meeting’ proposed by the ‘Forum for Naga Reconciliation’ (FNR), the message stated that it was compelled to withdraw from the proposed meet for a number of reasons attributed to the rival NSCNGPRN.
“… the back-stab on the NSCN by the IM gang leading to many attempts on the lives of the NSCN leaders, killing of cadres, robbing of NSCN’s weapons and forceful entry into Eastern Nagaland have compelled the GPRN to disengage itself from recent ‘Highest Level Meeting’ proposed by the FNR”. “… It makes no sense of having courtesy meeting with the reactionary forces and its leaders”, it added and demanded “thorough explanations to all recent terrorisms in the NSCN’s administered” regions. Terming as a ‘Herculean Task’ it nevertheless, appreciated the efforts of the FNR led by the Rev. Dr. Wati Aier, the Qaukers, North American Baptist Peace fellowship, Jimmy Carter Center and others, who have shouldered the uphill task of bringing peace and reconciliation among the Nagas.
Appreciating the ‘unilateral invitation’ for talks by the Indian Prime Minister and the Home Minister, it however stated that the GPRN/NSCN is yet to receive a bilateral invitation from the Government of India.  “Further, the NSCN will not sit alongside with the Reactionary Forces, the IM gang to hold any political dialogue with India.”
It stated that the Nagas are being misled by the Indian-sponsored Lodhi spokesperson on Sovereignty and Political Dialogue. “Negotiations will lead to a fatal fall in politics and the survival of a nation can only be determined firstly, by the National Hoho, the Plebiscite by the people or an assurance of Sovereignty by the occupational countries. The GPRN is politically sincere in these commitments and is prepared to give the Nagas a befitting price, a settlement for Sovereignty. This government will not permit any Naga Freedom fighters to pay any tribute to the betrayers and traitors or of any graves of Shillong Accordist.”
Alleging its rival NSCN/GPRN of being sponsored by ‘occupational India from the Lodhi Estate in Delhi’, it stated the NSCN/GPRN “have been trained to play the second role of the Indian Army against the NSCN.” “… the IM gang has settled for an Internal solution (32 points) now clearly recorded as the autonomous Council of the Hill Areas in Manipur and this is a daring challenge to the Meitei  revolutionary organisations in Kangleipak. Stating it understands the internal problem of neighbouring Manipur, it added that GPRN/NSCN will not allow any Indian-sponsored forces to destroy the Sovereignty of Manipur. 
Remarking on the demands of the All Tribal Students’ Union of Manipur, All Naga Students’ Association of Manipur, United Naga Council Manipur, Tirap and Changlang Public Organisations, Eastern Naga People’s Organisation for what it termed as ‘Union Territory’ status and the Kukis for Sadar Hills in Manipur; “Naga Hoho for the Tenemiya, SARK for Zunheboto, Mokokchung, Wokha, Tseminyu and Dimapur”, it asserted: “I will not allow any civil society to challenge the integrity of the NSCN or accept the revivalism of the fate of Imkongliba’s 16th Point Agreement.” 
Lauding the move for unification initiated by the by the Ato Kilonser, N. Kitovi Zhimomi with the FGN (Shingnya), NNC (Senka) and the PSG, it stated: “My government is prepared to review these issues at the party level and bring formal system to end all forms of crisis.”
It further conveyed ‘nationalistic greetings’ to all the ‘Revolutionary Organisations’ of Assam, Manipur, Mizoram, Arunagachina, Tripura and Meghalaya. “The relationship maintained with UNLF, ULFA, NDFB, KYKL, PLA, KCP, UPPKF, PREPAK, KCP, ATTF, HNLC, CNF and many organizations inside India and Myanmar will be strengthened.”

Kitovi says NSCN/GPRN responsible for tension

DIMAPUR, MARCH 21 (MExN): Ato Kilonser of GPRN/NSCN, N. Kitovi Zhimomi today accused NSCN/GPRN general secretary Th. Muivah for what he asserted as sabotaging the ongoing reconciliation process and held Muivah responsible for setting off tension in Eastern Nagaland.
Addressing the 31st Republic Day celebration of the organization at Camp Khehoi on Monday, March 21 stated that the ongoing conflict in Eastern Nagaland has rendered the proposed ‘Highest Level Meeting as a waste of time. “Even as we celebrate our republic day here today, let it be known that out there in the eastern part of our state some village is being burnt down or some of our brothers are being killed in a war.” The NSCN/GPRN will be answerable to the Nagas as well as the Lord God, he maintained.
Muivah’s ruling out of the ‘inclusiveness of all Naga inhibited areas’ pre-condition for the ongoing political talks with the Government of India, Kitovi averred, the former has excluded himself from the Naga political process. He added that the ruling out was done in the presence of the FNR.
He nevertheless insisted that the GPRN/NSCN does not in any way oppose the ongoing talks between the NSCN/GPRN and the GoI. “We have never opposed and never will we. But it should be noted that the talks are between the NSCN and the GoI and not between Nagaland and GoI.
Kilo Kilonser, Hothrong Yimchunger toeing a similar line of attack said: “Outwardly they say Nagas are a people bound by common vision yet inwardly there are individuals who preach reconciliation in Nagaland and deploy armed men at another place.”
Justifying the deferment of the ‘Highest Level Meeting’, he said that the president SS Khaplang “visibly upset by the sudden appearance of armed intruders in eastern Nagaland”, pleaded for its deferment.
“When a section of people sabotage on their commitments and continue to deny facts, I am of the opinion that the Naga people spearheaded by the FNR, Hohos and civil societies must choose and depute men with integrity as observer teams to any part of Naga homeland and inform the Naga people as to who is for reconciliation and who is violating the Covenant of Reconciliation,” he said.

Reconciliation not at nation’s cost

DIMAPUR, MARCH 21 (MExN): NSCN/GPRN ‘Yaruiwo’ (President/chairman) Isak Chishi Swu has reiterated the NSCN’s commitment to Naga Reconciliation based on the historical and political rights of the Nagas.
Addressing the 32nd Republic Day celebration of the NSCN/GPRN at Hebron Camp, some 40kms from Dimapur, Monday, the NSCN chairman said that Naga people should be reconciled and united around the political and historical rights of Nagalim. “Naga reconciliation is not for disintegration of Nagalim. It is meant for unity and integrity of Nagalim. What shall we achieve if we reconcile ourselves to the plots of the enemies?” Swu asked.
Conveying gratitude to the Forum for Naga Reconciliation for “ceaselessly working hard for Naga Reconciliation,” the NSCN leader reminded that Naga nation cannot be divided in order to please the enemies of Naga solidarity. He also expressed gratitude to the international organizations for helping Nagas to internationalize and secure recognition of the “righteousness of our cause.” Swu said that there are still Naga people who, like some of the Israelites, complained during their journey to the “Promised Land”: “We told you to leave us alone and let us go on being slaves of the Egyptians.
It would be better to be slaves there than to die here in the desert.” (Exodus 14:12)
“The choice of fighting against their own fellow citizens in collaboration with the enemies is not at all the will of God. All must come back to the national mainstream,” he said. The NSCN leader also said that the need of the hour is “absolute solidarity” among the Nagas and that all Nagas should look forward to the “new Nagalim” with one mind and one voice.
He also said that in the present world, no nation can live in isolation as all countries are interdependent and therefore the need for Nagas to establish good relationship with neighbours and other nations.
The Yaruiwo however maintained that Nagas will never go for any compromise at the expense of their national rights and principles while seeking “interdependent relationship” with any people or country.
Swu further said that until an “honourable settlement” to the Naga issue is arrived, the Naga people will continue to struggle. 
Asserting that standing on their rights, Nagas will decide their destiny, he added, “We will not give up our rights nor will we stop defending it.”
 NSCN/GPRN general secretary Th Muivah in his message also said that it was time for Nagas to understand and appreciate each other and that the NSCN is willing to talk of “Reconciliation” with any group that is ready and can stand. “If we go according to way of people, Reconciliation is impossible. Only through way and will of God is Reconciliation possible,” he said.
Reacting to reports of the rival GPRN/NSCN decision not to take part in the “highest level meeting” of the Naga political groups and allegations of NSCN/GPRN “offensive” and “betrayal” of Naga people, Muivah said that, “When the time for talks come, they try to escape or make excuses.”
“They harp about Naga history but (it) is we who have talked about Naga history for more than ten years. Since when did we betray Naga history or the Naga people?” he asked.
Highlights of the celebration included unfurling of the Naga “national flag” by the Yaruiwo, a 2-minute silence led by CNC vice president Rev. A Puni in remembrance of the fallen comrades, cultural dance by Sumi troupe and special numbers by Galilee Choir and others.
The celebration was also marked by the presence of two living legends of the Naga struggle from Rengma area- 86-year-old Mrs. Lathon Kemp who weaved the first Naga flag by using indigenous threads and 84-year-old Yhunshile Semp who painted the rainbow and star on the flag.
This flag was raised during the first Naga Republic Day celebration on 22nd February 1956 in Rengma Region.

India is changing: Muivah

DIMAPUR, MARCH 21 (MExN): After 14 years of truce and more than 60 rounds of peace talks between the Government of India and NSCN/GPRN, a breakthrough seems to be in the air as the NSCN today disclosed that there is a “significant change” in India’s approach to the Naga issue.
“Allow me to say that there is a significant change in their (India’s) approach. They no longer ignore the rights and history of the Naga people,” said NSCN general secretary Th Muivah.
The NSCN leader in a message to the Naga public on the occasion of the 32nd Republic Day celebration of the NSCN/GPRN, said that the question now is how much sovereignty can Nagas exercise and how much sovereignty can India exercise.
Muivah who is the chief negotiator of the NSCN/GPRN in the ongoing political talks, said that after more than 13 years of talks and meetings with three Prime Ministers, India can no longer say that it doesn’t know the Nagas and their problems.
He said that after years of tough talks where the NSCN had persistently insisted that there can be no solution as long as Naga history and identity is not respected and as long as Nagas and their land are divided, Indian leaders have finally admitted that Naga history cannot be ignored.
And that is why three successive Indian Prime Ministers including late Narasimha Rao, AB Vajpayee and Manmohan Singh, have also assured of a solution “honourable and acceptable” to both parties.
Muivah also said that during he and chairman Isak Chishi Swu’s recent meeting with Manmohan Singh, the latter proposed a solution through negotiations and not guns “outside the box” since Nagas have outrightly rejected any approach from the Indian Constitution.
“If we take the commitments of the three Prime Minister, solution may not be far off,” the NSCN leader said.
On earlier media reports that GoI will not talk about Naga “sovereignty and integration,” Muivah said, “We raised the issue some 2-3 years back and told them (GoI negotiators) that if that is the case, ‘you go your way, we will go our way,’”
Now, no question of sovereignty or integration is being raised, he added. Muivah however said it was his view that “Naga sovereignty Nagas alone and Indian sovereignty India alone is also difficult…now question is how much sovereignty Nagas can exercise and how much sovereignty India can exercise.”
He also said that Nagas cannot blame India all the time as Naga history has shown that Nagas have also committed a couple of great blunders in the past. Turning to the Naga people, Muivah said, “Unless Nagas take the right decision, we are a lost people. But as long as we stick to our rights, we are honourable and respectable people.”
The NSCN leader assured the Naga public that as per the commitment given to the Naga people during the 2004 consultative meeting, the NSCN will not go ahead on its own but always come back to the Naga public whenever any decision of national importance is to be taken.