NSCN/GPRN Chairman Isak Chishi Swu renewed his clarion call for reconciliation and unity saying that it was the only way for the Nagas. He called for tearing down the walls which have divided Naga people leading to discord and killings. He said it was time for negotiation and not confrontation.
“Our homeland should not be made the battlefield of our children,” Swu said. He affirmed that the Naga people must also reconcile with India, Myanmar and other neighbouring countries since they were all inter-related. Most important of all, Swu said, reconciliation with God was necessary.
GPRN/NSCN chairman, “Gen (Retd)” Khole Konyak propagated handling the Naga issue in a practical manner rather than “frolicking in the garden of the idealists.” He acknowledged that the pioneers of Naga nationalism wanted nothing short of independence yet the future must be interpreted in a practical manner.
Pointing out the desire of the Southern Nagas for an Alternative Political Arrangement, Khole said there was no reason why Nagas living in other areas should oppose such concept. “What is good for the Naga people living in particular area or region must be accepted by fellow Naga brethren living in other areas,” Khole said.
He appealed the Government of India to expedite the process of alternative arrangement. He said that the emotional, social and cultural integration and inter-dependence among Nagas could be the “greatest asset” which could be passed on to future generation in the event of any future political arrangement.
Khole appealed to all apex Naga organisations to rethink their strategy as the political arrangements for Nagas living in different areas have clearly been earmarked. He said Nagas must take practical steps towards building a better future. In envisaging a clear roadmap towards a desired political goal, Khole said the GPRN/NSCN was ready to listen to all sections of Naga people whose views shall be duly acknowledged.
Khole was present but couldn’t speak owing to health condition and his speech was read out by an aide.
NNC/FGN president “Brig (retd)” S. Singnya said that it remained steadfast to the “one Naga, one nation” envisioned by the pioneers and urged all Naga people to remain united. He said that the common Naga goal could be achieved if they remained united.
Supplementing Khole, GPRN/NSCN General Secretary, N. Kitovi Zhimomi said that a realistic and practically possible step must be initiated and supported.
He said Government of India has rejected sovereignty and integration of Naga people. Under such circumstances, Kitovi said that the demand for alternative political arrangement by the United Naga Council was right and that the negotiators could not be termed as “traitors.” Kitovi, however, added that the Naga people should preserve their identity irrespective of their physical location and maintain emotional and psychological attachments. He said although reconciliation meeting was going on, two of its cadres were shot dead by NSCN (K) at Longwa, Mon on Wednesday morning. To this, Kitovi said the GPRN/NSCN was not discouraged and appealed the Nagas to respect each other.
NSCN/GPRN general secretary, Th. Muivah said Nagas have every reason to come together and deliberate with one another since their future must be decided by themselves. “Let us be very careful about what can best be decided for us,” Muivah said.
Stating that the collective leadership had committed to reconciliation in the name of Jesus Christ, he said, “We will not betray you, we are for reconciliation but that has to be in the name of Christ.” He said it was time for Nagas to call a spade, a spade and not keep on pleasing everyone which would amount to betrayal of the Naga cause.
Muivah said Nagas are at a good position with the recognition of their unique history by the Government of India and assured that the NSCN/GPRN will take the Naga populace along with it towards arriving at a settlement. “We will never go ahead without you (people), we are not above the people but subjected to people,” he added.
NNC/FGN vice president, Zhopra Vero said his group was open to the idea of working with any group which genuinely strives to work for the Nagas giving the Naga people their rightful place. He noted that the common Naga desire could not be defeated even in the darkest of times. Vero said that the NNC/FGN was prepared to face any negative element that challenges to threaten the Naga identity. He welcomed the idea of the formation of one government and appealed Nagas to wake up to the reality of their dreams and usher in peace. He also sought the forgiveness of the Naga people for any wrongs on the part of the NNC/FGN.