A Naga International Support Center, NISC www.nagalim.nl
A human rights organization London May 6 2014, Amsterdam May 12 2014
In the Netherlands, where I am from, we celebrated Liberation Day yesterday for the 69th time. Why? Because we should never forget how precious freedom really is; it should not be taken for granted. This is especially true for the Indigenous Peoples of our world because most of them have not been able to enjoy the freedom we experience as normal. I am the secretary of the Naga International Support Center and as such support the Naga Peoples in their quest for Self Determination, the right to determine their own future which has been denied to them from the time the Union of India and Burma became independent. Nagas had nothing much in common with India or Burma, not historically, culturally, religiously, neither in communication or trade. The British rulers knew this because already in 1929 the Nagas told this to the Simon Commission which had come to prepare for decolonization of the Indian subcontinent. But Great Britain handed Nagaland over to India without as much as consulting them further. Even though Nagaland declared independence in 1947 the United Nations did acknowledge the reception of the sent wire but did not honour the sovereignty of Nagaland. The Nagas did not want to be dominated by India and held a plebiscite to prove that point, but In 1954 India invaded Nagaland. Because the new rulers thought they could crush the Nagas in one day like Jawaharlal Nehru predicted that is when the war began. It is interesting to note that Great Britain now the United Kingdom kept quiet all this time and so it may very well be important to investigate its role in relation to post- colonial accountability. After all, Great Britain only colonized a small portion of Nagaland; more than two-thirds of the Naga territories was never colonized were known to the British as the un-administered areas of the Free Nagas. So, how could Britain give something to India it did not even own? Disputable also is the less than one-thirds of Nagaland which is being controlled by India and so that in itself should have caused international debate on the postcolonial nations which to say the least, decolonized rather sloppily without as much as looking back to see the conflictuous aftermath they caused with the possibility of defusing the situation. No, neither Great Britain nor any other colonial nation did that and so many armed conflicts raging in this world are directly related to sloppy decolonization; sloppy because the rights of peoples were neglected, ignored or worse. Most Indigenous Peoples around the world were not strong enough to stand up for their right to Self Determination but the Nagas for sixty years now successfully defended their lands against what they felt as their invaders. Though are parts of the International Community they do so without any help from the outside world they were cut off from for a very long time. And, in spite of the successful efforts to divide and rule over the Nagas, they still hold their ground but are cornered. Even though a cease- fire, signed in 1997, brought relative peace they are cornered because their movements are monitored, their passports not renewed and all communications like phone, email, whatsapp etc. are being checked. Weakened because of divisions among them brought on by Indian Intelligence through money and weapons deteriorates their situation further. This is why the Naga International Support Centre calls each and everyone to do justice to the Nagas and all other Peoples who experience the same treatments. Nagas have the right to be free of domination and need our support to make this come true. Postcolonial accountability and Indian neo colonization should be exposed and serve as an example for all other Indigenous Peoples whose lands and livelihood are taken to en- rich those in power. Thank you very much.
Frans Welman, Secy. NISC