‘Time to come together, not hate’
Dimapur, February 14 (MExN): Emissary to the Collective Leadership and newly appointed Convenor of the Steering Committee, Lt Gen (Retd) VS Atem today reaffirmed the commitment to reconciliation of the Naga groups and said it is now time to urge goodwill and not hate. One of the organization’s top leaders, Atem, in his message to the Konyaks said “however difficult task and daunting it may be, through reconciliation only we can make a new beginning and seek peace through forgiveness and love to one another.” This statement was made on the occasion of the February 13 ‘Reconciliation Rally’ held in Mon. Atem however could not make it to the rally due to health reasons.
The NSCN (IM) leader stated that it was easier to hate than to ‘love’ and easier to destroy than to build. “It is easier to seek revenge than to forgive. It is easier to make war than to bring peace. Nevertheless, however difficult task and daunting it may be, through reconciliation only we can make a new beginning and seek peace through forgiveness and love to one another,” the emissary to the NSCN (IM) collective leadership said. “We cannot afford to go on staying apart from each other when the national cause is at stake,” the NSCN (IM) leader said.
According to him the Forum for Naga Reconciliation organizing a ‘reconciliation meeting’ in Mon “brings back my attachment with the Konyak people, and today my emotional link with Konyaks people comes to live.”
Atem reminded that it was in the Konyak Region where he spent the “prime of my national service” and “it was here that I shed my blood and my bones broken when I was arrested in the 1980s.” He stated: “The love and the support I received during that period can never be erased from my memory. “It was also in the Konyak area where my last son was born, and his name Hamly was christened by Rev. Chingyang and Gen. Khole.”
Referring to the Covenant of Reconciliation, Atem said it is the commitment of the Nagas at the highest level, “and God is the witness.” He urged for realistic approach and the courage to “talk and learn to call spade a spade.” “Otherwise, the process can go on and on…this is the time to melt our hearts and this is time to speak the truth with love and mercy. This is the only way to bring peace and righteousness in our land. And it is high time for us to come together, understand one another and work together,” he said
He also referred to what was termed in the speech as ‘treacherous neighboring brothers.’ It is crucially important for the Nagas to realize how “we have often fallen into the trap of our adversaries who came to us under the garb of revolutionaries, pretending to be our sympathizers and well wishers.” But instead of living as ‘good neighbors,’ he said, “our neighboring brothers have turned out to be treacherous of highest degree.” Atem said that “the treacherous face of our neighbors” is being exposed ‘more and more.’ We have had enough of their evil game plans, he said without naming anyone.
He encouraged to not being “down-hearted.” “Our works remain unfinished and there is greater challenge before us. Let us invite God’s wisdom to guide us once again,” the NSCN (IM) leader encouraged.
“I shall look forward for the day when God will give me the chance to come to your place. I express my regret as I cannot avail myself of the privilege given to me today by FNR due to my health. But my love and concern for the Konyak people is always there. It is my sincere wish and prayer that God grant me the love of the Konyak people once again and let all Nagas be blessed through reconciliation,” he added.
‘Time to come together, not hate’