Rio endorses resolutions on Naga reconciliation

Coming first as a man “proud” to be a Naga, Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio today expressed happiness at the resolutions adopted at the February 29 ‘Naga Reconciliation Meeting’ called by Forum for Naga Reconciliation (FNR). “If we (Nagas) don’t show such unity, we do not have a future. As long as you cling to your individualism, ‘villagism’ and tribalism, we’ll not survive,” the chief minister said at the inauguration programme of newly-created Chumukedima RD Block.
“Me and my government are very happy at the resolutions adopted by the people through the FNR platform,” Rio said and added that Nagas should be clear with their “political vision.” Among other resolutions, Naga public at the “Reconciliation meeting” resolved that the “historical and political rights” of the Naga should form the basis of any political solution and that any negotiation process must focus on how Nagas can determine, safeguard and exercise their historical and political rights in a contemporary and inter-related world.
Asserting that Nagas are a “proud” race as proved by six-decades of fighting to assert their own identity, Rio said that after much struggle and sufferings, the world including India have come to recognize Naga people and their “unique” history.
He however lamented that though the world and outsiders recognize Naga people, yet Naga people themselves do not recognize each other and though Nagas have ceasefire with others, they do not have ceasefire among themselves. “Whose loss and shame is it?” Rio asked. “Nagas are of one family. Like it or not, we have to co-exist together and correct each other,” he said.
He said that as a small step towards preserving Naga identity, the Nagaland government had replaced the ‘Ashok Chakra’ with the ‘Mithun’ – the sacred and revered animal of the Nagas.
Rio also said that one should not think 60 years of Naga struggle has been in vain as Nagas have also “achieved many things” during this period including awareness of Naga people, their identity and their struggle by the whole world.
Citing the example of FNR convenor, Rev. Dr. Wati Aier, Rio said Rev. Wati has become an international figure after the World Baptist Alliance conferred him with the Denton & Janice Lotz Human Rights Award for his contribution to the cause of the Naga people. Rio said the prestigious recognition was not only for Rev. Wati but one that all Nagas should feel proud of.
Similarly, Rio also said that the world and outside community had given recognition to Nagas by inviting him (Rio) to speak on Naga problem at Queens University, UK, at India Habitat Centre, New Delhi, and at Jamia Milia University, Delhi. Rio felt that since Nagas are divided and placed in two countries (India and Myanmar), Nagas in the two countries should try to hammer out settlement with India and Myanmar respectively.

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