Ukhrul reinforces Reconciliation clarion
Morung Express News
Dimapur | January 25
In a major boost to the Naga Reconciliation process, thousands of people, young and old, men and women marched into Ukhrul town from the surrounding region and gathered for a massive public rally to show their solidarity and oneness to the Naga Reconciliation process. Frontal organizations of the Tangkhul tribe and public of Ukhrul have pledged to tread the path of “Naga Reconciliation: A journey of common hope” initiated by Forum for Naga Reconciliation.
“The Naga Reconciliation…is a path that demonstrates maturity and respect of human dignity,” the frontal Tangkhul organizations said in a declaration at a public meeting of Forum for Naga Reconciliation and joint working group (JWG) of the Naga “political” groups held at Tangkhul Long ground, Ukhrul town, on January 23. The Tangkhul organizations pledged to “continue to sincerely support and participate in our journey towards finding of our cherished goal and rightful place.”
The main speakers at the meeting were the visiting Forum for Naga Reconciliation and JWG members including the forum’s convener Rev. Dr. Wati Aier, NNC/FGN vice president Zhopra Vero and NSCN/GPRN kilonser Kraibo Chawang. Rev. Dr. Wati Aier in his address said that in the social, cultural and political milieu of the Nagas, reconciliation means a new Naga destiny with one another.
“To demonstrate and to practice and to preserve Naga freedom through reconciliation at this time of our history means to preserve the long-breath of hope in solidarity, between hate and anger, and between reaction and revolution,” he said. Calling upon the public to accept with all sincerity the “pain and dismay of our situation,” the reconciliation forum convener said that the only hope for the fragmented Nagas – a people tormented by the ‘idols’ of apprehension, misgivings and uneasiness – lay in reconciliation.
Recapitulating on the activities of the Forum in the past 22 months including 22 meetings with political groups, both within and outside of Naga areas, he also reminded that FRN was relentlessly pursuing the resolution of JWG that a meeting of the political groups be held at the highest level. “It is an urgent and a humble task. Quite simply, we must call our highest level of leaders and say, ‘we want our leaders to come together as people in pursuit of common interest and goal. This is our common anguish,” Rev. Wati said.
NNC/FGN vice president Zhopra Vero said that all Nagas, regardless of where they live must once again reaffirm themselves to what their fathers through the ages have stood for – the historical and political rights and dignity of the Nagas. “It is high time to bury the differences that divided us for decades and pursue our common aspiration and hope as one people, one nation. Reconciliation is far from complete, but we have come a long way and the road before us is clear,” he said and appealed to all to honour and pursue the non-violent principle of the NNC.
The NNC vice president also said that though Naga national workers are presently divided into various political groups, Nagas should be encouraged by the fact that this cannot divide the Nagas as a people and the Naga cause. “Nagas must journey together as one people and one nation for that is how our leaders started the journey,” he added. NNC/FGN finance kilonser Peshou Lam also attended the meeting.
NSCN/GPRN kilonser Kraibo Chawang who was accompanied by secretary, MIP, Imcha Longkumer, said that as the team traveled all the way to Ukhrul, they could feel the pulse of the people for peace, unity and reconciliation, and reiterated the assurance of the NSCN/GPRN collective leadership that they would never “disappoint” or “betray” the Naga people.
“Now it is time to come together,” he told the gathering and added “without your (public) cooperation we may never come together.” He further cautioned the people to be wary of “vested interests” and anti-Naga forces taking undue advantage of the reconciliation process. Both the NNC/FGN and NSCN/GPRN also acknowledged the efforts of FNR in the reconciliation process.
Tangkhul Naga Long president Stephen Ankang in his greetings lauded FNR for the latter’s concern and commitment to the “historical truth of the Nagas.” He also said the people expect the Forum to impress upon the political leaders to “materialize the decisions that have been agreed upon at the highest level.”
Children also released balloons bearing banners of reconciliation on the occasion. An interactive session was also held in the evening. The FNR and JWG members attended the morning service on January 24, where hundreds of people congregated at the Union Baptist Church, Ukhrul. The FNR and JWG were given public receptions in villages along the way between Jessami and Ukhrul town.