UNTABA appeals govt to ‘uphold history of Naga people’

Dimapur, September 27 (MExN):  The United Naga Tribes Association on Border Areas (UNTABA) has termed the recent Chief Secretary level discussion on Nagaland-Assam Border Issue on September 25 as “lip service on the core issue,” stating that “It is very unfortunate for Nagas when its own Government completely shifts its responsibility and makes a mockery of its avowed duties during this critical juncture.”

In a press release dated September 26, the Association said that it had reminded the government to review the Interim Agreement of 1979 between the Governments of Nagaland and Assam, which, it said, was long overdue.

“Among others, this agreement had divided the traditional and ancestral Naga lands and demarcated almost the entire stretch of the Assam Nagaland border areas as ‘Disputed Area Belt’, and had virtually placed the entire population of the border areas and the rightful Naga lands under the mercies of the day-to-day administration of the Assam Government for all these years,” the release stated.

It claimed that “in the history of the Naga people, there have never been any disputed sectors or areas in the entire traditional and ancestral lands, either with Assam, Manipur, Arunachal or with Myanmar,” while pointing out that “successive Governments of Nagaland have completely ignored the very foundation of the Nagaland Statehood for all these years,” in spite of the existence of point number 12 and 13 of the 16 Point Agreement of 1960.

“It is therefore incumbent upon the Government of Nagaland to uphold the history of the Naga people at this critical juncture, more so, owing to the fact that the Naga people have reached a new threshold of geo-political equation,” it stated.