President Pratibha Patil arrives

President Pratibha Devisingh patil received by Nagaland Governor Nikhil Kumar and Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio on her arrival to Nagaland at the Kohima Assam Rifkes helipad on March 9. Also seen in the picture is Chief Secretary Lalthara and DGP K. Kire (DIPR)
 
The President of India Pratibha Devisingh Patil arrived at Kohima on 9th March 2011 for her two day visit to the state. The three Indian Air Force helicopters, carrying the President and her entourage landed at Assam Rifles Helipad. The Governor of Nagaland, Nikhil Kumar and Chief Minister, Neiphiu Rio received the President with bouquets as she alighted from the special aircraft. The President received a ceremonial Guard of Honour from a large contingent of 15th IR Mahila Battalion and DGP band. The President was accompanied by her husband Dr. Devisingh Ramsingh Shekhawat. State Chief Secretary Lalthara and Director General of Police, K. Kire were also present to receive the President.
Later in the evening, the Chief Minister and Governor called on the President. She also met various NGOs and later witnessed a colorful cultural programme at Raj Bhavan. Several organizations met President and submitted memorandum to her.  Naga Mothers Association in its memorandum while dealing on peace, was hopeful that President will help in bringing about amicable honorable solution to Naga political issue and usher in the much needed peace to find its roots in Nagaland at an early date. Also touching on 33% women reservation, NMA believed that President will continue to stand for the rights of women so that women can take part in all levels of decision making bodies and contribute to the society and the nation. The NMA also urged President to take cognizance of the NPF Inquiry Committee Report of the ruling state government and put an end to Nagaland University Imbroglio.
“We seek your Excellency’s support to ensure that the stipulated rules of representation for women is implemented at all levels of decision making in the state as the Nagaland Municipal Act 2006 giving 33% reservation to women is yet to be implemented by the state,” said Tenyimi Women Organization in a representation and reiterated its stand for reservation and “we believe that under your guidance Naga women’s plight will be addressed appropriately.”
TWO also appealed for an early solution to the Naga political issue through peaceful negotiation in the interest of the Nagas; particularly Naga women who have been the victims of the Indo-Naga conflict for more than half a century.
TWO also requested President to pay special attention on the problems faced by “our children in Nagaland University of which you are its Hon’ble visitor.”
The Angami Public Organization in their memorandum addressed to President has called for protection of Intangki forest and setting up of Post Graduate Institute of Medical Science in Kohima. The Muslim Council Dimapur also requested the President to establish Central Board of Secondary Education at Dimapur under Muslim Council Dimapur.
Later at the cultural programme this evening,  the Chakhesang choir enthralled the visiting VVIP and the audience with the number Halleluyah while the Hope Centre for Excellence, a group of professionally trained musicians led by Nise  Meruno, presented Amigos Para Siempre, tears in heaven and We Are The World, with a touch of folk fusion arranged by Nise Meruno.
The cultural programme also featured the Divine Connection, a gospel band and the most recent achievers of the reality show ‘Rock On’ hosted by MTV and winners of the 2011 edition. They presented a medley selection of music including Vande Mataram which stole the show of the evening.
Another highlight of the evening was the fashion show, showcasing a blend of traditional and modern attires of the 16 tribes of Nagaland. The programme held at the banquet hall Raj Bhavan was attended by the chief Minister of Nagaland, Neiphui Rio and his lady wife, his cabinet colleagues, Parliamentary secretaries, Administrative heads of Department, officials of the President’s entourage and NGOs.
On March, 10, the President will interact with tribal Hohos/NGOs and representatives of civil societies at Raj Bhavan from 9:00 AM onwards. Thereafter, she will proceed to Naga Heritage Village, Kisama, where she will be accorded a civic reception. She will unveil monolith at the entrance of the main arena.
Rev. Dr. Anjo Keikung, general secretary, Nagaland Baptist Church Council will say invocation prayer while welcome speech will be delivered by Toshi Wungtung, general secretary, Eastern Nagaland Peoples’ Organization. Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio and Governor Nikhil Kumar will also speak on the occasion.
Vote of thanks will be proposed by Er. Y. Chuba, advisor, Kohima Municipal Council.  Meanwhile, all officials, public leaders, NGOs and the public have been invited to attend the public reception at Kisama. Public transportation will be available at NST Station Kohima at 7.30 AM on March 10.
(With inputs from DIPR news)
 
‘No trace of NU campus funds’
Students want redress from President

 
Dimapur, March 9 (MExN): Students of Nagaland University are hopeful that the President of India would see for herself the mess in Nagaland University during her stay in Nagaland. Students of the university from the Kohima campus and SASRD issued a joint memorandum today seeking the President’s, Visitor of NU, to address long-standing grievances. 
Among the points of demands highlighted in the memorandum included questions on funds meant for development of campuses, which the vice chancellor has allegedly yet to implement. The Nagaland University students of Kohima campus (NUCK) and the School of Agricultural Sciences and Rural Development (SASRD) questioned where funds allocated for campus development in 2004 have disappeared. 
The memorandum from the NUCK and the SASRD requested the President of India for “immediate solution” to the problems plaguing the campuses of Nagaland University namely the Kohima, Meriema and SASRD campuses.

Elaborating the demands, the students said that after shifting the Nagaland University headquarters to Lumami, the campuses of Meriema, Kohima and SASRD were “abandoned” without any proper administrative set-up. The Nagaland University Act of 1989 and the statutes of the university “No. 4” stipulate the appointment of pro-vice chancellor in a separate campus. No such arrangements are in place even now, the students said. The Meriema, Kohima and SASRD campuses need a pro-vice chancellor to take administrative decisions, ensure smooth running of the campus and oversee development in the university, the students said.

Regularly absent Vice Chancellor

NUCK and SARD students demanded – “The Pro-Vice Chancellor will have both administrative and financial power which cannot be held by the professor in-charge. In most of the cases, it is found that the Vice Chancellor of Nagaland University is out of station, which creates inconveniences to the students’ community. There is no timely intervention to the grievances and problems faced by students in the campus. Therefore, we demand that a pro-vice chancellor be appointed to reduce the delaying of decisions and functioning of the University in the Campuses.”

Questions on VC and campus funds

The students have also queried on funds meant for development of campus as was given by former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee during his visit in the year 2004. He had given a fund package for development of Nagaland University’s K ohima campus. “Whereas till today there is no trace where the funds have gone. The master plan for NU Meriema Campus, Kohima, which includes hostels, auditorium, library, laboratories, cafeteria and other facilities as projected and approved has not been implemented by the vice chancellor. We demand that the projected and approved Master Plan be immediately implemented according to the sanctioned University grant received from the center,” the students stated to the president.

‘VC deviated from master plan’

The students stated in the memorandum that a recent advertisement the vice chancellor floated in the newspapers was for the construction of pre-fabricated hotels in the Kohima campus. “But we the post graduate students after consulting with the engineers have learnt that the proposed construction plan is in total deviation of the Master Plan which is planned and approved. The buildings in the university premises are intended to be used by generations to come. The cost perhaps may be cheaper using pre-fabricated technology but it cannot be ignored that in long run concrete buildings prove more efficient also mentioning that pre-fabricated structure are not fire-proof which means it is not safe for the students to reside in such hostels.”
The students have demanded implementation of the construction plan for NU Meriema campus in Kohima as planned and approved in the Master Plan of Nagaland University and not the one “proposed” by the Vice Chancellor in the tender published in the newspapers. “The union is strongly against such proposed of the Vice Chancellor,” the organizations stated.
 The students also mentioned SASRD, that although the college is in its 32nd years of establishment, the buildings are on “temporary basis” and with limited space. “Most departments are ready with course structure to start the PhD courses system but due to lack of proper space and infrastructure, the campus is functioning under improper condition,” NUCK and SASRD stated.
Another demand the students raised was that that of filling up vacancies in the academic departments of the university. Since its inception, NU has been facing shortage of teachers.
“The entire 6 departments of Meriema campus in Kohima have vacant teacher posts. The Tenyidie department has only one regular teacher i.e. the HOD and one (1) contract teacher. The 12 departments of SASRD have also been facing similar problems,” the students’ organizations stated.
“In view of the shortage of teaching faculty in the campuses the unions demands the proper arrangement be made by appointing qualified candidates.”

Naga Hoho demand political prisoners release
 
Ridicules India’s bid for UN Security Council

DIMAPUR, MARCH 9 (MExN): The Naga Hoho today questioned India’s bid for a seat in the United Nations Security Council when its security forces wage internal wars backed by “unrestricted and unaccounted power to carry out their operations.”
“India, to be a permanent member of the UN Security Council, needs first to do away with such outdated, draconian, imperialistic, aggressive, uncivilized acts like the AFSPA,” stated Keviletuo Kiewhuo president and P. Chuba Ozukum general secretary of the apex body of Naga traditional political institutions.
The Hoho pointed out another major setback is the detention and arrest of Naga National workers by different Indian Government’s agencies under various acts and laws.  “This is a matter of great concern that deeply hurt the sentiments of the Naga people as it is against the spirit of cease-fire agreement,” the Hoho said. The Hoho lamented India “does not want to acknowledge the rights of the Naga people and instead plays delaying tactics and applies more divide and rule policy over the Nagas.”
Despite long drawn negotiations, India has nto shown willingness to peaceful settlement of the Indo-Naga conflict, the Hoho said. The Naga Hoho (Naga Parliament) which claims allegiance over the entire Naga communities living in India and Burma under different political circumstances, registered its case as “the voice of the marginalized and discriminated people” and urge upon the visiting President of India Pratibha Patil to reciprocate positively.
The Hoho noted that India had entered into ceasefire agreements with two Naga political groups and “recognised the uniqueness of Naga political history and situation since 11 July, 2002”. It believed India considered Indo-Naga problem political in nature needing a unique political decision and not treat it as a law and order problem.
It regretted that India’s security forces are given unrestricted and unaccounted power to carry out their operations, once an area is declared disturbed. “Even a non-commissioned officer is granted the right to shoot to kill based on mere suspicion,” it alleged while noting that “Naga Armies are now kept in Indian designated camps.”
“What kind of country is India that she gives her Army the right to destroy, loot, rape and kill civilians?” it added.
Further, the Naga Hoho urged India to maintain equilibrium towards infrastructural development at par with mainland India.
It demanded that infrastructural development drawn on rural infrastructure, development assistance, and inclusive development must continue in the Naga areas. The Indo-Naga political problem should not hinder developmental works, it demanded.
The basic facilities, services, and installations needed for the functioning of a Community or society, such as transportation and communications systems, water and power lines, railroads and airways, public institutions including medical and engineering colleges which are basic needs in this globalized world, it argued.
While demanding a repeal of the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act of 1958 (AFSPA), it urged that the Peace process is expedited with all sincerity keeping in mind that peace is possible and that the gun is not the ultimate solution but a temporary one.