May 2008 News

May 2008 News:

1 May 2008

Press Release

Khiamnungan CAO Sanga  Death

The rogue elements with deceptive mindset normally have no compunction to indulge in smear campaign just for the heck of satisfying their antagonistic mindset. A group with devilish program that includes abductions for ransom and political blackmail.

Given this nature of the unification group, nothing comes too surprising from such people devoid of only political virtue in their thinking. And for the same reason there is no use fishing in somebody’s grief and sorrow just to gain the undeserved media attention riding on some baseless allegations.

There is no doubt that the news of Late Colonel L.Y. Shanga’s unnatural death shocked us and shocked the Naga national workers, particularly to those who knew Shanga from close angle, and who knew him as a Army officer with high degree of integrity. To clear our conscience spot verification was done within an hour after the accident, but we find no evidence to raise any ground for suspicion or foul play.

Moreover, Shanga is an exceptional figure among the Khiamnungan Region and his 31 years of national service have no slightest remark that goes against his commitment to NSCN.

Being the founder CAO. of Khiamnungan Region, late Col. Shanga exemplified himself as true national worker worth emulating by every Khiamnungan people. Therefore, we have not the slightest reason to be moved by the baseless allegation by unification group, and we are committed to fulfill his dream of strengthening the Naga nation.

In losing such dynamic Khiamnungan leader we condole his death from the dept of our heart, and may the Naga nation grow stronger despite the loss for Khiamnungan Region. And may God console the bereaved family members.

Issue by:

CAO.,

Khiamnungan Region, GPRN

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3 May, 2008

Konyak CAO Killed

MIP/GPRN: The beginning was never right and it was never set right. And so the Unification group’s process after 23 Nov. 2007 committed one blunder after another and in a much criminalized manner- despicable by any measurement of today’s civilized society. This is a proved beyond doubt that the rogue organization will go on to bulldozed people’s interests.

The senseless killing of Konyak Region CAO Man-i and his security guard Lance corporal Shangti, Naga Army at Dimapur on 2 May has shocked the Konyak people in particular and the Naga people in general again. The cruelty and jungle law applied by Unification group will only go towards alienating the Naga people from such unruly organization, and no such organization should exercise any moral authority to attempt bringing people’s based unification.

Under the circumstances, the Naga Civil Societies, including the Church bodies need to rein on this rogue organization by getting more vocal. Unification process should not be criminalized, and Unification group’s wildest dream of bringing unification by force is against human rights, bereft of any moral right and virtue.

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May 5, 2008

Ethnic Cleansing:

MIP/GPRN:In what could be termed as the beginning of an ethnic cleansing by the Unification Gang, four Tangkhuls are targeted today at Dimapur-two are civilians and two are NSCN members. The Unification Gang took the decision to go against the Tangkhuls on May 4 under the command of V.Tuccu, Akato Chophy and Keyakhu.

Accordingly, today K.Chinaoyo who is a civilian was hunted from Burma camp area and shot dead at Korabati; Mr. Mayoyang Muinao and CPL Somayo Muinao were abducted from Khelmahal where Corpl. Somayo stay with his Sema wife. They were shot some distant from City Tower. Mr. Mayoyang died on the spot and Somayo was fatally injured. Mayoyang was a class XI student from Patkai Christain College: and killed in uniform.

Earlier on 4 May at 11:30 pm Lt. Poukan Zeliangrong and Lt. Solomon were also attacked at Burma Camp. Poukan was abducted but hacked to death. Solomon escaped with serious injuries.

Again, today Capt. Vitoshe, Chaplain of Hevito battalion Naga Army was shot dead by Unification in Burma Camp, Dimapur.

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Dimapur, May 6 (NPN):

WANGYU, others condemn killings

Lok Sabha MP, W. Wangyuh Konyak; Naga Council, Tangkhul Hoho Nagaland, Tangkhul Longphang (Union) Dimapur and 22 students’ unions under Naga Students’ Federation (NSF) strongly condemned factional killings in the State.

In a statement, Wangyuh said “Others are watching us very carefully and laughing at us for killing our own brothers every day”. The MP pointed out that it was high time the Nagas knew that fratricidal killings would not bring any solution to the Naga society.

He asked the Naga national workers to understand that sovereignty or solution was not within the Nagas “but between the Indian and the Nagas”. He called upon the factions to stop killings immediately and unite to “put forward our genuine case to the Government of India for solution”.

Condemning the killings, the Naga Council in a separate release issued by its vice president reiterated the appeal to the factions to refrain from killings in larger interest of the “Naga future”. The Council pointed out that killing under any pretext was condemnable.

Further, it appealed to all “peace-loving and public-loving organizations”, both secular and ecclesiastical, to rise up to the situation and call for peace. Finally, the Council highlighted the need for dialogue across the table to sort out differences as proposed by the District Co-ordination Group on May 5.

Another release issued jointly by Tangkhul Hoho Nagaland president Joseph Shingnaisui and Tangkhul Longphang president V.S. Angam vehemently condemned the killing of Mayoyang Muinao (19), a student of Patkai Christian College, who was shot dead after abduction by the armed activists on Monday.

The signatories lamented that the activists were targeting innocent people in violation of several resolutions adopted by various Naga NGOs, particularly the one adopted by the Joint Forum of GBs and DBs. They appealed to the Naga civil societies to come forward boldly to protest such “heinous act of criminalization against innocent civilians” in order to curb recurrence of such incidents in future.

Finally, the signatories appealed to the factions to ensure that the conflict of interest among factions did not victimize students in particular and innocent civilians in general as “any socio-politico process without regards to human rights will bear no fruits”.

Expressing serious concern over the deterioration of law and order situation in the State following unabated factional violence, 22 Naga students’ unions of Nagaland and Manipur jointly appealed to all the Naga underground factions to shun fratricidal killings and to hold a “straight forward heart to heart open dialogue” among them.

In a hard-hitting joint statement, the 22 unions under NSF pointed out that the situation in “our society today is not at all the path to freedom. Perhaps, it is the total contrasts of the vision of our ancestors who laid the foundation of this great homeland”.  The signatories said the unceasing acts of violence and the resurgence of factional violence displayed insincerity on the part of national workers, who harassed the public both physically and psychologically.

The signatories said total disregard of human lives and victimization of the innocent public including students and innocent public were “harshly frustrating people”.  “The people cannot afford to give allegiance or pay excessive taxes to a number of Naga National Governments. National worker who kills, murders, intimidates and extorts his own people are not qualified to be called as nationalists. Only mere pseudo nationalist would commit such acts”.

The signatories pointed out that a Free Naga Republic could never be built on the foundation laid on bloodshed, tears, hate and animosity of “our own people”.  “Any sane man would know whether killers, murderers and people who extort money like leeches from its very own people would really be able to run a Republic. We say this on behalf of the Naga people who have seen only killings, extortions, kidnapping, allegations and counter allegations among the national workers. We have witnessed only shallow patriotism”.  Stating that the Naga generation deserved a future, the signatories insisted that the future should be based on unity and integrity of the Nagas as a people and not on the basis of tribalism, factionalism and division. Therefore, they said violence in the Naga family must cease.

Pointing out that no faction is clean enough to accuse the other of faults as all have committed mistakes, the signatories called upon people to be prepared to sacrifice their allegiance and prove “what they shout about our division”.  The signatories cautioned that the NSF would not remain a silent spectator anymore to violent acts and that it would not accept the justification of any faction in the matter of violence against own people.

Further, they cautioned that Nagas would not allow their genuine movement to be exploited for personal and tribal self-image above the larger Naga national principles and interest. “Much damage is committed in reducing our noble cause into a cheap struggle. Perhaps, the nobility of our struggle is reduced to an embarrassing state”.  The signatories hit out at the State government for terribly failing on the law and order front and urged it to formulate effective measures in order to curb incidents of harassment and intimidation by the “so-called guardian of law protection force of the state”. The statement was issued jointly by NSF, Chakhesang Students’ Union, Angami Students’ Union, All Sumi Students’ Union, Pochury Students’ Union, Rengma Students’ Union, Lotha Students’ Union, Ao Students’ Conference, Maralui Karalimei Swijwikang  (MKS), Poumai Tsudomai Me (PTM), All Zeliangrong Students ’ Union, Tangkhul Katamnao Saklong (TKS), Mao Students’ Union, Anal Students’ Union, Monsang Students’ Union, Maring Students’ Union, Moyon Students’ Union, Lamkang Students’ Union, ANCSU, SDSA, Dimapur Naga Students’ Union and All Naga Students’ Association Manipur.

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Press Release

6 May, 2008

Am I my brother’s keeper

In the world torn with ideological and other unfounded conflicts, killing has taken a common place, and may be killing among enemies are allowed to take place in the scheme of things as willed by God. But when the killing has to do among own brothers it carries a meaning of crime of highest degree and the stamp of negative connotation naturally follows. According to our Bible interpretation, the killing of Abel by his brother Cain is born out of sheer jealousy. Today, jealousy has turned out to be most dangerous disease in the socio-political affairs among the Nagas. And to give vent  to this jealousy many Naga national workers exposed themselves as the most vulnerable lot and allowed themselves to be used as somebody’s tools to wreck the Naga nationhood. This is the reality today. But in the process there is the greater conviction that ultimately the truth shall prevail, for God shall always side with the forces that stands for truth. But the greater interest of the Nagas forbade things to go on like this for long. Time has come to leave aside whosoever may have started the killing among the Naga brothers, and the urgency has come before us to reconcile ourselves before our God Jehovah on whom we believe. In the true spirit of brotherhood with one objective we need to place ourselves before God and reconcile among ourselves for unity before the solution. Because, in the practical sense of the term we need to search for the signification of unity that can only come from reconciliation.

Let us not put ourselves in the position to be left behind with baseless and visionless revolution, and create more problems for ourselves. We need to have strong moral integrity and allegiance to our commitment to do the will of God to fulfill the will of our political commitment. This is the true meaning of our allegiance to the Naga nation. We need to work among ourselves and share opinion with that democratic spirit and accommodation. Only then we can generate that atmosphere to bring about genuine unity, leaving no room for superficial campaign that has created more scope for bloodshed. But changing our position every now and then, overcome with the possessive spirit that is far from the Naga political aspiration, we simply add more fuel to the burning fire.

This kind of activities and mindset should be stopped forthwith lest it create more bloodshed among the Naga brothers. Because of which our God Jehovah will ask of us where our brothers are. And we should not be found wanting by answering to God “am I my brother’s keeper?”

Issued by:

Tongmeth Wungnao

Kilonser,

Ministry of Information and Publicity, GPRN

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Dimapur, May 6 (NPN):

NSCN flays DLMCG

Expressing dismay over the vacation notice served by the District Level Ceasefire Monitoring Cell Group (DLCMCG), Kohima, the Angami Region GPRN, NSCN (I-M), has asked the DLCMCG to reconsider the order before the situation further worsened.

An emergency meeting, convened by the Angami Region, NSCN (I-M), on Tuesday to discuss the prevailing situation with particular reference to the fear expressed by general public and district administration, expressed astonishment over the comparison of NSCN (I-M) with other “illegal and unrecognized groups or armed miscreants” by the DLCMCG.

A release issued by CAO, Angami Region, K.K. Angami, said the NSCN (I-M), struggling for the cause of the Nagas, was the only group sincerely involved in political negotiations with Government of India to find a permanent solution to the decades-old Naga political problem.

Angami said Kohima had been witnessing a peaceful and cordial atmosphere in the last few years owing to the defensive policy adopted by the Angami Region, GPRN, in spite of losing several precious lives. Therefore, he said the decision of the DLCMCG to chase all armed activists including even the “dedicated national workers” was “questionable”.

Angami questioned the setting up of DLCMCG without the involvement of NSCN (I-M). He expressed doubt about the sincerity of DLCMCG and further suspected the “personal interest of some individual or even politicians”.

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Press Release

7 May, 2008

MIP/GPRN:Today’s socio-political scenario, particularly in Dimapur is very unfortunate, and the bizarre incidents led loose by the unification Gang has caused irreparable damage to the socio-political cohesion. It is however to be noted that the despicable acts perpetrated by the hoodlums of the Unification Gang is all done in the name of sectarian fanaticism and nothing to do with their seeming show of seriousness on unification. The violence and barbaric killing by Unification gang is a proved of their devious agenda and not unification. And as the killing field shows they have no compunction to go against international law- where in any conflict the Chaplain is untouchable under the covenant of international military ethics. This sort of group possessing such vicious character is not calculated to appeal to the Nagas.

Surprisingly, the Unification gang had the effrontery to speak on peace, reconciliation and unity among the Naga brethrens. The hands smeared with the blood of innocent Nagas and devoted national workers and shamelessly claiming its objective program to bring unification is insulting enough for any Naga on the streets of Nagalim. But illegal organization will never change its course of action, and all crime related acts will be the focus to create a semblance of noise on their glorified unification process.

History of the Naga has shown that traitors have never been the champions of the people’s revolution. And traitors that have come to conglomerate under the slogan of unification can never arrogate to themselves the responsibility to place the Nagas on Unification road. Any process of the dimension of Naga unity has to be backed by political morality. But a group with sectarian barbarism as part of its program implementation, have no place in any scheme of things linked with building unity foundation.

Significantly, the unification gang is using the proclamation of Isak Chishi Swu Chairman, NSCN on Naga unification through reconciliation, but to go on the opposite direction in total contravention of the proclamation. But having gone rogue, the Unification gang, though found guilty of contravening unity norms never turn back from going headstrong abducting rich businessmen of Dimapur for ransom and killed when not paid. As many as 100 such businessmen were abducted and crores collected as ransom. The abduction spree is still going on. But for failure of the State and Central govt. to react with the responsible sense of propriety by treating them as nothing more than rogue element, the unification gang is showing its existence with over-bearing characteristic.

The common thinking of any group with brutish manner of pushing its way through will continue the crime it committed. Numerous are the statistic records of killing by the unification gang. But for the sake of feeding something for public digestion, there is the obligation lest the unification gang is under-rated in the crime chart to be passed on to posterity.

The killing of Chaplain is not a new thing to the Unification. Before Azheto group merged with Khaplang group it was the Khaplang group who killed Major P.K. Stone, Chaplain, GHQ, Naga Army on 8 Sept 2007. it is abhorrent to be true. But the Chaplain was killed along with his wife after raping her. The killing Chaplain Vitoshe of Hevito Bn. Naga Army by the Unification gang is just a repetition of their inhuman mindset.

And ever since the unification gang was formed in 23 Nov. 2007 at Vihokhu, Niuland, the wanton killing started, targeting the NSCN members who have so far restrained themselves in keeping with the need to uphold the desire spirit of the Naga Civil societies, and not to dampen the unification based on moral integrity and correct political principle. But the most demeaning and bizarre incidents became the order of the day at the hands of the Unification gang. They indulged in abduction of NSCN members for political blackmail, forcing the signing of documents to support illegal unification process and to get themselves discharged from NSCN, and they called this their unification process. A criminal way of justification is out of the context in the Naga’s scheme of unification.

A human voice appealing for sanity but if it is not given the consideration it deserved it is never for Naga unification interest. So the mood question to be answered is – Where is the Unification gang taking the Nagas to through killing and abduction?

Issued by:

MIP, GPRN

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Press Release

May 9, 2008

On the abduction of Atong Pongener, Secretary I/C, Steering Committee NSCN, wild allegation and incomprehensible charges were placed on him by the Unification group. And he was subsequently shot dead on 9 May at vihokhu.

There is no iota of truth on the allegation and the truth of the abduction and killing of Atong is to camouflage all the abduction crimes of the Unification group. Following his abduction Atong was made to confess under duress his involvement in the kidnapping of a school student. His obstinate stand to counter charge the unification group while in their captivity cost him his life.

Atong was in no way connected with the tax collection in any manner nor he is found to be doing it on his personal level. Every single word on Atong’s involvement in such abduction case was fabricated and was forcing him to implicate NSCN’s name in the numerous abduction cases and thereby to make the unification group clean of all the crimes. But Atong refusal to accept the unification group worth into his mouth cost him his life. Respecting the dictates of his conscience Atong never surrender himself to be used to defile the NSCN’s name under whom he has served for the Nagas’ cause for so long. And for his integrity till the last breathe of his life. NSCN is proud of Atong.

Issued by:

MIP, GPRN

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9 May, 2008

Condolence Message

NSCN condoles the death of three members

MIP/GPRN:NSCN and the Naga Nation condoles the death of Atong Pongener, Jt. Secy, Athikho Mao SO. and Pte. Ayin Kashung at the hands of the Unification group. Atong was abducted and killed by the Unification group at Vihokhu on May 9, lest Atong exposed the kidnapping crime of the Unification Group. Pte. Ayin died fighting like a true Naga soldier, and Athikho Mao was killed in cold blood by the Unification group, after abducting him near the Training Centre, Naga Army. They died with their spirit focused to stand by their commitment to serve the nation till the last.

The Nation is proud of them and they died ‘martyrs’, to be given a place of honour in the pages of the Naga history.

May the God under whom the Nagas survived in their struggle comfort the bereaved family members, and give them strength and courage to sustain the shock of losing the dear ones for the nation’s cause.

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9 May, 2008

Passing out ceremony

MIP/GPRN:The 7th Batch Military Basic Training Course Passing out Ceremony was held at Mt. Gilead Training Centre, Naga Army with Hon’ble Kilo Kilonser Keditsu as the Chief Guest and Tokim, Steering Committee member as the Guest of Honour. The colourful program was participated by top Army and Civil officers including Brig. M. Joshua, GSO (Admn), Lt. Col. Ch. Shimrang, GFTO, Arshing, Gen. Secretary CNC and others.

Chief Guest Keditsu while expressing appreciation to General Field Training Department, GFTO and Training Masters for undergoing all the hardships and pains in moulding the trainees as committed and harden Naga Army, recall a line from the poem “Light of the Brigade” that said ” Theirs no question why? Their’s but do and die”.

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Press Release

10 May 2008

The changed situation effecting the Azheto and his group is only a reflection of the moribund group who are in extreme hurry not to push forward the Naga National interest but to have their personal and sectarian interests fulfilled. The merger of this group with NSCN-K is in line with their habitual change of allegiance, an insult to the Nagas when this group played with the sentiment of the Naga nation by harping on the serious issue of Naga unification. But with their action in contravention of their high sounding unification agenda they proved themselves on the wrong footing. Revealing their true colour, these people went back to their original fold NSCN-K which they condemned as ‘without principle’, ‘without discipline’, ‘without vision’, ‘statehood protectors’.

Deception by touching on the obsessive unification is a cruel treatment to the issue that concerns all Nagas. It is now, for those NGOs who took Azheto to be the hero of Naga unification, whether to still praise him or condemn him for betraying the NSCN for his rejoining his old fold.

Issued by:

MIP, GPRN

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DIMAPUR, MAY 16 (NPN):

State ask SF to enforce CF ground rules

Following Friday’s factional clash at Seithekema under Dimapur district, one of the worst factional clashes in recent times, the State Cabinet has directed the Assam Rifles, CRPF and State Police to come out of their camps and enforce the ceasefire ground rules “strictly and efficiently as per provisions of the Standard Operating Procedures (SOP).

While condemning the frequent factional clashes including Friday’s clash at Seithekema, attack on ceasefire monitoring cell office of NSCN (I-M) at Diphupar and killing of civilians in the incident, the Cabinet also endorsed the earlier resolution of the Political Affairs Committee (PAC), to strictly enforce the ceasefire ground rules signed separately between the Government of India and the two NSCN factions. State chief secretary and cabinet secretary Lalhuma in a press release informed the Cabinet also decided that acts of violations of ceasefire ground rules should be brought to the notice of all the factions, the public and police and security who are responsible for enforcement of the CF ground rules.

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Dimapur, May 16 (MExN):

Patkai College under Scanner

The “NSCN/GPRN” today strongly alleged of Patkai Christian College (PCC) authority sheltering NSCN (IM) cadres inside its campus and cautioned the college authorities to take note of it seriously and not to harbor any cadres inside its campus.

The “NSCN/GPRN Publicity Cell”, during a press conference with the local media persons at its HQ at Vihokhu village, alleged of NSCN (IM) cadres in the guise of students taking the college campus as their camp. It alleged that even the CRPF Company posted ‘inside’ the campus is in collaboration with the NSCN (IM). About the stationing of the NSCN (IM) cadres, the Publicity Cell said that they can always ‘substantiate’ it with evidence.

In this regard, the Deputy Kilonser of the “NSCN/GPRN Publicity Cell”, Alezo Venuh, said that though they have all regards for the educational institutions of the state, nonetheless cautioned the Patkai Christian College authorities not to harbour the rival cadres in the college campus. He said that the clash which claimed the lives of fourteen of its cadres started inside the college campus, when its cadres on getting specific information about the presence of NSCN (IM) cadres went off to investigate thereby resulting in the factional clash.

The Publicity Cell also alleged that the State government is not being neutral while dealing with the underground factions and questioned the role of the state police force in giving ‘protection’ to the rival cadres in Purana Bazar (Wungrum Colony). Alezo alleged that in Purana Bazar, the NSCN (IM) cadres are stationed and the security forces are giving security to them. “The state government has to give an answer to it,” he said.

In this regard, Alezo pointed out that in the past, two IRB jawans were killed by the NSCN (IM) yet the state government failed to take any concrete action against the faction.

Meanwhile, the publicity Cell also said that in the past four to five weeks the NSCN (IM) cadres had dared to attack its cadres coming as far as Showba and Seithikima villages. Alezo said that the “NSCN/GPRN” has been restraining its cadres and directed them not to go beyond 5th mile area, in response to the various appeals made by the general public.

He said that “NSCN/GPRN” can go even as far as Diphupar area, but it is determined not to on an offensive taking into consideration the appeals of the people. However, it asserted that when its camp is being attacked, they are compelled to defend it.

The Publicity Cell further reiterated on the Naga Unification process and expressed its hope and vision of a ‘united Nagaland’. It said that the ‘Naga national workers’ are determined for the unity of the Nagas and added that if the people fail to unify now, then the present generation will be the one who will suffer.

Meanwhile, the “NSCN/GPRN” expressed strong sorrow over the death of its thirteen cadres and said that their hearts go out for their fallen comrades. It also conveyed heartfelt condolences to the bereaved family members.

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Press Release

18 May 2008

WOULD WESTERN SUMI HOHO (WSH) EXERCISE RESTRAINT

Being a Naga, I have a great respect to WSH and Church leaders. But my close observation of their activities leaves me very little room but to treat this Hoho as another extremist body in disguise. The Sumis are being fooled or misguided by the present WSH leadership. And I am afraid if the hawkish leadership does not mend their way, they will be left with no option but to face the judgment of their own Sumi people. They cannot go on exploiting the weak point of the Sumi sentiment in order to create turmoil, and invite insult to the whole Sumi community. They should not go to the extend of inciting the Sumis to commit crime after crime. Organizing a mob and instigating them to go violence on communal line is itself a crime of highest order. Unless the WSH leaders reorient their thinking in line with the general Naga sentiment, I am afraid we may only endanger our position in the socio-political milieu of the Nagas. How far they were behind only God knows. Is this not alarming enough for the WSH?

The status of the present WSH leaders supporting the NSCN in the very beginning is questionable. Interestingly, such people are issuing statement which is a direct insult to the Sumi Community. How dare they went that far to state ‘ the Sumi people almost single handedly sheltered and led the NSCN (IM) to let it stand on its feet for all these years? This statement is an insult to the Nagas in general and to the Sumis in particular. This is also a blasphemy against God who led and sustained the Nagas for all these years. Definitely, it is an invitation of curse upon them from all Nagas tribes and God who has been the source of sustenance through the turbulent years. Don’t they know that Eastern Nagalim was the based area for years? And all the Nagas have been actively supporting the NSCN by contributing everything they can. These leaders should never think that they are everything in Nagaland, particularly in Dimapur where they can make rough-shod of everything. The Naga public is no longer that naïve to be fooled at the hands of the few hawkish leaders. The time has come that the Sumi community teach a lesson to such reckless and arrogant leaders. Let us remember the Biblical teaching and prophesies, “God resisteth the proud” James 4:6, “for everyone who exact himself shall be humbled, and who humbled himself shall be exalted” Luke 14:11.

Importantly, why there is so much bitterness and grudge in the hearts of the WSH leaders? Why should they always speak against God’s anointed leaders? These leaders stated that- ‘Muivah had somehow brainwashed Isak…’ Is this the  way of Sumi leaders statesmanship? You thought you have hit Muivah, but in fact you are heaping insults upon Isak Swu. Do you think the president of Naga nation is a play boy before Muivah? Why belittle your own leader before the nation? Further, these leaders dared to say that Qhevihe and his colleagues like Qhehezu Tuccu, Vikiye and others may be brainwashed by Muivah. Do you really mean that these leaders are puppet and therefore, you are advising them not to sign on the dotted lines in the future scheme of things?

The WSH pinpointing Muivah does not come in good taste. Such manner of handling our national leaders simply reflect narrow mindedness that does not make any sense in building the structural image of Naga Nationhood. Let us not undermine ourselves by becoming victim of our own emotion lest you hit the wall and found yourself as an ostracized leader.

It is not yet faded from our memory when some eleven Sumi Church leaders declared Azheto a hero by quoting scripture verses from the Old Testament and New Testament, while condemning Isak Swu a bad guy for declaring Azheto a deserter. He defected from the NSCN to Khaplang and from there to NSCN and then to Unification and now to K-gang again. He had defected four times within a time span of 10 years. Is this Azheto a habitual defector, a real hero in the eyes of the WSH leaders? Nobody knows where will he defect again. There is no certainty in such unprincipled man. This is your hero who you quote Galatians 6:4. Have you gone mad! This is a serious crime against the Sumis, against the Nagas and God who has been with us for all these years. Sumi people must rise up and should not gore the nation like a wild ox. Let Sumi community first show a challenge to this people to safeguard the prestige of the Sumis.

Issued by:

Mrs. A. Longchar Ao

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Dimapur, May 18 (MExN):
Swu worried of explosive situation if CF breaks down

Chairman of the National Socialist Council of Nagalim Isak Chishi Swu has cautioned of an “explosive situation” and that people are worried about large-scale Human Rights violations if the ceasefire breaks down. Swu said this in his address to the IX general assembly of the UNPO at Brussels, Belgium.

“Our people are apprehensive of a large-scale Human rights violations in Nagalim (sic) in the event of breakdown of ceasefire. We are heading towards explosive situation” he stated urging that the UNPO should not remain a silent spectator. He said that the case of the Nagas has become a matter of great concern, requiring utmost attention. “even if we are deeply committed to negotiated settlement we cannot see any tangible result from eleven years’ negotiation with the government of India mainly on account of lack of political will on the part of the latter” he asserted. Isak maintained his rationale that while officially “talking with NSCN” the Government of India is covertly or overtly lending support to “the illegal and un-mandated armed groups who are standing in the way to peace process and solution.” He expressed “trust” that the UNPO is closely watching the situation in “Nagalim.”

He also suggested that branch offices be set up, one in Asia and another in Africa, to enable the UNPO to serve more effectively and meaningfully. “Naga people have big trust in it (UNPO) and hope that it will give more effort to strive and plead for the cause of the justice-denied peoples and nations in the days to come too” he added.

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Dimapur, May 18 (NPN):
NSCN ask to vacate civilians area

Following the serious law and order situation owing to stepped up factional violence in Dimapur, the District Level Co-ordination Group, Dimapur (DLCGD), has appealed to the rival factions of NSCN to immediately vacate civilian-populated areas and move to the designated camps.

An “appeal” issued by the chairman of the Co-ordination Group, Maong Aier, who is also the deputy commissioner of Dimapur, warned that the Co-ordination Group would be compelled to undertake a joint operation to flush out the underground activists if they failed to vacate the civilian-populated areas.

Meanwhile, several organizations have expressed serious concern over the spate in factional violence in and around Dimapur.

Condemning the clashes at Seithekiema area and Dimapur, particularly the killing of a civilian at Diphupar on May 16, the Joint Forum of GBs & DBs Nagaland asked all underground groups, who had signed the December 7, 2007, six-month ceasefire agreement at Red Cross Building, Kohima, to strictly adhere to the terms and conditions of the agreement.

A press release issued jointly by the convenor of Joint Forum A. Taku Longkumer and its secretary Lungrahei Herie appealed to all peace-loving Nagas to participate in the May 20 “Peace Rally”.

Meanwhile, a meeting of the leaders of Diphupar village held on May 17 resolved to condemn the May 16 violence in the village.

A release issued by the secretary of Diphupar Village Council, Lanutoshi, said the House resolved to condemn the arson at Ceasefire Monitoring Cell and the “indiscriminate” firing that killed a civilian and injured “many innocent public”.

The release said the House resolved to appeal to the authorities responsible to pay adequate compensation to the next of kin of the youth killed in the firing and those whose property was destroyed.

The House appealed to all sections of the society and groups to abjure such violence within the village. Further, it appealed to all factions to stop killing and unite in the spirit of forgive and forget for the cause of the Nagas. The House pointed out that killings among Nagas would only multiply hatred.

Expressing dismay over the violence, the Chakhroma Public Organization in a press release maintained that Nagas could not get rid of the maladies infesting the Naga national movement through violence.

The release issued jointly by CPO president Zasilhouto Makritsu, vice president Beituo Hama and general secretary K. Nakhro said while unification was urgently required, it should be achieved through peaceful means encompassing the principles of inclusiveness and peaceful co-existence with mutual respect to one another’s traditional territories and boundaries.

The CPO appealed to the factions to stop fighting and seek peace and reconciliation as first step towards unification. Further, it urged the factions to vacate civilian populated areas within its jurisdiction.

A separate release issued jointly by United Naga Council, All Naga Students’ Association Manipur, Naga Women’s Union Manipur and Naga People’s Movement for Human Rights (south sector) urged the Nagas to stand firm and remain committed to the cause and also the ongoing process of healing and reconciliation within Naga family.

At the same time, the release rejected all elements targeting the lives and property of a particular community. “We believe such acts or actions negate our proactive role which we all have agreed to in the hard won Peace Process and the ongoing political negotiation”.

The release appealed to Naga Hoho, ENPO, NMA, NSF, ENSF, NPMHR, church leaders and other mass based organizations to play a proactive role in shaping the society. Further, it urged the State government to ensure safety and security to the lives and property of the citizens.

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Press Release

19 May 2008

Ever since NSCN entered into political peace process with the Government of India in August 1997 NSCN was programmed to follow progressive policy in order to make a signification of Indo-Naga political process. Because regressive policy is abhorrent to the Naga people who have tasted enough hardship during the last 60 years. And that is the reason why the NSCN could forbear the 11 years of Ceasefire despite the result coming short of people’s expectation. So, when the Nagas passing through such period necessitating the involvement of all people at the level of civil society to strengthen the peace process, the scheming Azheto episode took place on 23 November when he ran away from Hebron carrying with him a moribund followers with arms to announce his own brand of unification but desperately justifying his mission by taking the name of NSCN Chairman Isak Chishi Swu in a very deceptive manner.

As the issue projected by Azheto was unification, he was given enough time to reconcile himself in the true spirit of unity by taking the GPRN into confidence. But he turned himself repulsive to anything that reflects integrated Naga unification and resorting to rhetoric of press statement as part of his charm offensive. The sobriety and restraints exercised by NSCN was unduly exploited by the recalcitrant Azheto group who started indulging in bitter recrimination to justify their thief like disappearances. Coming, under the influence of pugnacious leadership, the overbearing attitude of this group come into play and to sustain its survival by hook and by crook. Thus nearly 100 rich businessmen were abducted and crores of rupees collected even killing when the ransom amount was not met on time.

With the passing of time this group, started showing great propensity for violence in the name of unification, and started targeting NSCN members and blackmail them to forcibly join their so-called unification group. Arms of NSCN were also snatched in gang like organized manner. A real nuisance, for the NSCN in particular and the public in general as the show goes on. Knowing too well the hearts of the people who viewed any violence with revulsion, NSCN took the prudent decision, painful it may be, to stay on defensive. But the offensive operation of Azheto goes on unabated as though testing the nerve of NSCN signaling dangerous ramification in due course of time. Besides other nuisance created by them targeting NSCN members and businessmen killing in their hands became a regular affair and without compunction for such crime of highest order. Other than killing businessmen for failing to meet their ransom demand, NSCN members who have so far stuck to its policy of not going offensive were targeted one after another by killing them in the most undignified manner. Mr. Kivi Kips was hunted down like animals in the bazaar area on March 28. Daile, SO was abducted on 29 march and subsequently killed, and his dead body thrown like carcass in a isolated place. Again on 4 April Shomi Sharon and T. Shangreingam ASO were abducted from new market. They were killed but their bodies were never disclosed to allow family members to pay their last respect and give a decent burial. As part of their offensive operation the unification group also attacked NSCN Town command post at Chumukedima on 22 April killing Sgt. Maj. Yangyo and Pte. Achan. On 27 April Sgt. Zaimi Hongray decomposed body was found between Chumukedima and Sakhuvi village. The Konyak region CAO Mr. Man-I and his security guard were abducted on May 2 and killed in cold blood. On May 4 Lt. Poukan ZLR was shot dead at Burma camp.

Inhuman in all their activities on May 5 Cpl Somayo was abducted from the hands of his Sumi wife along with his college going brother Mr. Mayoyang and one public K. Soreiyo from Khelmahal and shot them dead. As lawless as they are without showing any respect to the governing international law they abducted Capt. Vitoshe Chaplain from his wife and killed in the garbage dump in Burma camp. The list is not exhaustive, it goes on.

In what can be termed as their covert operation to camouflage their numerous abductions, Jt. Secy Atong Pongener Ao was abducted from his house. But within few days he was killed after heavy tortured when he refused to be apart of the unification group and not admitting to the force implication using his name and NSCN in the abduction case. Six Tangkhuls of Vihokhu , who have settled in the village for more than 30 years as bon afide Sumi community members were abducted on 14 may and was believed to have been killed by Azheto group.

Going headstrong under their offensive operation against NSCN, on May 16 the Azheto group attacked the residence of one NSCN Town commander Lt. Col. Yarteo at Seithikima ‘c” near Patkai Christain College. On being challenge by NSCN there was a direct confrontation in the open field where Naga army slaughtered 17 of them. Fighting among rival groups in the battle field is one thing, but why avenges their defeat in the battle front when the Azheto boys along with the public mob went unruly to attacked Ceasefire Monitoring Cell partly burning the building using combustible bottles and other filthy objects. Besides they also burnt down the houses of 5 Naga army officers at Diphupar and Wungram Colony. The rampaging Azhjeto boys again attacked the house of Major Yarngam at 11 pm 18 may at Burma camp, spraying bullets at one public mr. Honpam Tangkhul and burning down three other civilian houses.

It is left for the public to judge the real culprit that brought about this dangerous social nuisance, shattering the peaceful co-existence of the people at Dimapur. When will the final reckoning day come to establish the truth of everything. But the public must act with a sense of honesty and boldness. Because lasting peace while the Indo-Naga political negotiation is going on is at stake, and innocent public being victimized. In the fitness of creating peaceful socio- political environment the Naga public must come forward to save Nagalim from the hands of social fanatism.

Issued by:

MIP, GPRN

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PRESS RELEASE

19 May. 2008.

NSCN condemns the Killing of non-locals in Manipur

In any revolutionary movement killings of innocent people leave indelible remarks that never fit into the revolutionary scheme of things. Because revolutionary organization without attaching high value to human lives, lost its credibility in the eye of the people, friends and foes notwithstanding what is happening in Manipur has come as a shock and NSCN expresses strong displeasure to the spate of killings of non-locals by certain valley-based underground organizations. It is beyond comprehension why the situation was taken to such extend that necessitate such mass killings. And NSCN therefore, condemns the killing keeping in view the interest of peaceful co-existence, locals and non-locals.

In the face of such wanton killings Nagas take pride to the historical reality that no innocence Indians were victimized in such an inhuman manner during our search for freedom in the last more than 60 years in spite of the merciless activities of Indian authorities and their armed forces.

But the irony is that as much as the Nagas respect the human rights of every Indians we have not received the due political seriousness that confront between the Indian and the Nagas. More than 60 years of struggle and ten years of political negotiation is a long period. And this is a sheer suppression of Naga Human Rights to Self Determination.

Issue by:

MIP/GPRN

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Press Release

20 May 2008

With the declaration of Ceasefire in 1997 between the NSCN and the Government of India, and the Indo-Naga political negotiation taking off in correct perspective, the office of the Ceasefire Monitoring Cell occupied a place of sanctity by virtue of its designated role in maintaining a harmonious environment in the implementation of the Ceasefire ground rules. The enforcement of law and order being in the hands of the state government, the state security agencies cannot look with disdain to anything that happens affecting the statutory security of the Ceasefire Monitoring Cell.

What happen on 16 May at the hands of the unruly mobs targeting the Ceasefire Monitoring Cell is deplorable to say the least. It is a despicable crime in any sense of the term. The mobs were armed with combustible bottles, stones and other lethal fire arms. And in the process of targeting the building, heavy damage was affected to the properties and injuring the staff members.

The life of the personnel who manned the office and its properties were placed in great danger. Had we not exercised restraint things could have turned horrible? To make the matter worst, the fire brigade was nowhere to be seen. Astonishingly, this happened after the alarm bell has been sounded to the State Police Forces.

Keeping in view the critical importance of the NSCN office in the matter of pushing forward the Peace process in cordial atmosphere, the State Government was found guilty of serious dereliction of duty. How could a state that shows so much concern for making a meaning of the ongoing Indo-Naga political be so insensitive to the situation?

What is required to be done for the State Government is to look into the issue conscientiously and submit a damning report to the Centre government for restoring the sanctity of the Ceasefire Monitoring Cell.

Another issue of serious nature is the abduction and subsequent killing of 7 innocent Tangkhuls at Vihokhu on 13 May by Azheto gang. What steps has the State Govt. taken to rescue the bereaved family members and others from the hands of the barbaric group? Besides, should the Church leaders and Civil societies afford to keep silent in the face of such inhuman victimization?

Issue by:

MIP, GPRN

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Kohima, May 21:

NSCN-IM puts up brave front

– Outfit denies second split, blames rivals for confusion

OUR CORRESPONDENT

The NSCN (I-M) today put up a brave front in the face of recent bickering in its ranks, saying the outfit was strong enough to thwart any threat posed to the “Naga cause”.

It said the clamour for unification raised by the outfit’s former leader Azheto Chopy, who broke away from the parent body in November, was only to confuse the Naga people and sabotage the ongoing peace process with the Centre.

In its first reactions to the formation of another splinter group, the United Naga People’s Council (UNPC), the convenor of the NSCN (I-M)’s ceasefire monitoring cell, Phungthing Shimrang, said the members of the “so called new outfit” were actually from the group formed by Chophy. “There has been no defection from the NSCN. Some members of Chophy’s group are again claiming to have formed a new group just to confuse the people and sabotage the ongoing peace process with the Centre,” Shimrang said.

Chophy, along with other breakaway members of the NSCN (I-M), had recently formed the NSCN (Unification). The group had since cosied up to NSCN (Khaplang).

The NSCN (Isak-Muivah), the NSCN (Khaplang) and the NSCN (Unification) have been a waging a bloody battle of attrition — the recent one costing 14 of their own men and two civilians.

Amid the bitter factional war, some members of the NSCN (I-M) claimed to have formed another group by splitting from the parent organisation.

The leaders of the nascent outfit claimed that they defected from the NSCN (I-M) as they were disenchanted with its policies.

The NSCN (I-M) was creating a division between the hill and the valley people in Manipur, the members of the UNPC alleged at a news conference in Senapati district.

The UNPC said it would root out the NSCN (I-M) from Manipur, protect and preserve the state’s territorial integrity and forge unity with the people of valley and hills to restore Manipur’s sovereignty.

Shimrang said the UNPC had been formed by a “major” who had earlier defected from the NSCN (I-M) along with Chophy. The members of this new outfit are from the Poumai Naga tribe, who Shimrang said had been misled by some vested interests to undermine the Naga political issue by confusing the innocent Nagas.

The NSCN (I-M) leader said the so-called UNPC was a “bogus outfit” which would not survive without the support of the Naga people. He, however, did not say whether the NSCN (I-M) would launch any operation against the new outfit.

The Telegraph.

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Press Release

21 May 2008

The Khaplang group after admitting the humiliating defeat in the battle field near Patkai Christian College choose to call the tragedy a “Plebiscite day massacre”, as the open confrontation took place on 16 May the Plebiscite day. A befitting manner of honouring the victory of Naga Army of NSCN. Because Naga Army is trained and motivated to show its valor on the battlefield to crush the enemies and not to show cowardness to go after the helpless innocent public. Act of cowardice target public without weapons. Brig. Niki Sumi should hang his head in shame for having sacrifice 17 precious souls just for a cause the Naga people abhorred. He went headstrong against the Naga Army deliberately choosing the ‘Plebiscite day’ with the blind hope of achieving victory to call it Plebiscite day victory. But he received the shock of his life when 17 coffins were displayed before him, and he gave no answer strong enough to wipe away the tears of the love ones left behind, and as a consolation, he coined the slaughter of his boys as ‘Plebiscite day massacre’, but still arrogant to say “war is not lost”.

Ironically, the Khaplang group has the compunction to say that the doctrine of valor in killing one’s own brother is alien to the Naga Culture. Oh, such wisdom of Brig. Niki will certainly amuse the Naga people to no limit and should invite him to deliver discourse on the subject of ‘non-violence’ or ‘non-killing’ among Naga brother. If Brig. Niki’s memory had not betrayed him, it should be our duty to point out that on May 2, Friday 2008 when his obsessive issue of ‘genocide’ was discussed and approved. Genocide operation is already enforced accordingly, and the targets include the top Sumi leaders in NSCN like Qhevihe, Tuccu, Vikiye and others. We have ears and the walls within your room have betrayed you again. Better be yourself than show false colour with false preaching after facing defeat. Don’t place yourelf in the place which is not yours. Remain as yourself, the murderer of innocent public.

Remember, the blood and tears of the 6 bonafide villagers of Vihokhu of Tangkhul origin is yet to dry, and you Brig. Niki the ring leader of the murderers have the face to utter on “doctrine is alien to the Naga culture”. A devilish way of undermining the people’s respects for non violence, and turning himself a laughing stock.

You are no revolutionaries Brig. Niki as you shamelessly tried to project yourself. Revolutionary forces never organize genocide and killed innocent public as you are doing. You are nothing but reactionary recklessly on the move like a wounded tiger. Any revolutionary army officers of your rank have high education on revolutionary theory and practice. But you exposed your demented state of mind with knowledge not befitting your glorified rank.

History will not forget the 1978 Military Coup when hundreds of brave Naga Army personnel were killed. It was a matter of unprincipled forces (national betrayals) desperate to do away with Naga Patriots who refused to surrender against the dictate of anti-national forces. In 1988, Khaplang and his Indian stooges staged another coup in Eastern Nagaland to massacre over 200 brave Naga soldiers. More than 20 life attempt were made on General Secretary Th. Muivah. When it comes to the forces that are determined to create nuisance in the name of the Naga struggle, history always repeat itself. In the same fashion, in 1996 under the so-called ‘peace offensive’ more than 60 innocent lives were done away with. Again, under the name of unification as initiated by Azheto, the runaway Kilo Kilonser in GPRN Ministry under the Collective Leadership of Isak Chishi Swu, Khodao Yanthan and Th. Muivah, many innocent public including student and Chaplain were killed, insensitive to the feeling of their wives and children.

NSCN have never turned away its face from pursuing the national interests of the people but always on correct perspective and never at the whims of somebody. NSCN is not that naïve not to know the individual and forces behind the rumblings in the name of unification. But who is Khaplang gang in the eyes of the world? Unmandated organization will go on doing all conceivable crimes to create tensions among the people, and shout before the people that they are killing for unification. We know who is your boss and what is their mission. But in the name of the Naga people’s struggle it is a battle of good and evil. Forces of evil never win battle in any revolutionary’ struggle

Brig. Niki, you invite our clarification on the event s that ended in slaughter of your boys. Your MIP Dy. Kilonser Alezo Venuh have very clearly flashed in the paper that his boys were sent to the Patkai Christian College to check the movement of NSCN boys. Who are they to come searching for NSCN boys. Why raise hue and cry over the massacre. Why instigate public mob to attack Ceasefire Monitoring Cell. There is no use crying over your miscalculated adventure. You ask for it.

Issued by:

MIP, GPRN

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Press release

May 22, 2008

Used and controlled by a force to create obstructionist force against the Indo-Naga political process, Azheto hijacked NSCN Chairman’s declaration on Unity through Reconciliation in order to bring peace in the land of the Nagas, to form his own Satanic forces with ‘abduction’ and ‘killing’ as their working principle. Befitting the demonic acumen they executed their plan with pinpoint accuracy. Because Satan never led down anyone who choose to follow his step. But Chairman sincere mission was really for unity, and peace through reconciliation, not for further split, disintegration, fighting, killing and so forth.

To the interest of all, Azheto and his company have the temerity to quote Isak Swu’s declaration claiming that they “can boldly stand and raise their Bibles before the Naga people and affirm that Naga Unification…..”. Well, the Azheto group’s sorry state of affairs evoked many questions. Well, does Chairman’s Isak Swu’s declaration for Unification meant license to desert NSCN and form another group? Secondly, does the declaration meant license to abduct businessmen for ransom? Thirdly, does it meant to kill those who did not obey Azheto? Fourthly, does it meant to start fighting among brothers in uniform? Fifthly, does it meant to attack the hard earned Indo-Naga Peace Process and declare to start another talks? Sixthly, does it meant to attack houses of civilians and Monitoring Cell Office, a revered place for pushing forward the Indo-Naga Political negotiation in accordance with Ceasefire ground rules, Seventhly, why take the risk of the venturing into the vicinity of NSCN station in Seithikima ‘C’ provocating open confrontation? Does it also mean to renounce NSCN and merge in K-group? Amusing enough, you organize ‘genocide’ as part of your follow up action to the declaration. Is your conscience OK?. The questions are endless. But Azhjeto and his colleagues being a confused lot of people will look at the questions with a sense of revulsion.

Regarding their boldness to raise their Bibles it may be reminded that Satan also used Bible to deceive the children of God. How dare Azheto raised his Bible when he was not officially assigned by Chairman Isak Chishi Swu for unity move? Don’t put yourself in the place where you don’t belong.

With blank or below standard socio-political philosophy in Azheto’s credentials he lamented that ten years negotiation with the Govt. of India has collapsed under the sheer weight of Muivah’s irrational stand on ” no integration, no solution”. Well at other time Azheto said that Muivah is against Unity. Azheto may never know the difference between Unification and Integration due to his poor English language. But he indulged in silly argument. For the Nagas, ten years of negotiation with the GOI at the highest level, unconditional and anywhere in the world as venue for talks is never a defeat. It is rather a demonstration of our unshakable stand for our political right. Azheto’s fickle minded and impatient character in the last ten years shows that he is a demented and defeated man. Therefore, he defected four times in ten years. But NSCN, under the inspiring leadership of Collective leaders will not waver in their avowed stand.

Regarding abduction, extortion etc, the more Azheto group talks on this, the more devilish they are making themselves. To survive they have to abduct businessmen ransom, because illegal organization cannot go for illegal tax.

Satan has no manifesto or scripture or any documentary law to prove his legal existence. Azheto group’s position is no different from Satan’s way of running his government. Manifesto and Yazhebo is non existent in the K-group where Azheto has now merged.

The jealousy and inferiority complex that guided to K-group is also finding reflection in Azheto’s restlessness. But the way of the evil is always bitter and the end will always go against Naga interests.

Issued by:

MIP, GPRN

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May 22,2008

Max and Lansha not an NSCN member

MIP/GPRN: In acceptance to the challenge offered to the Naga people by the so called United Naga People’s Council (UNPC) headed by Mr. Max and Lansha, this statement is being issued for wide circulation all over the land. That, no such persons had ever enrolled nor deserted NSCN, hence, the question of breaking away does not arise.

The declaration itself is also foreign to the Nagas. Not even a Naga deserter, would dare to behave like a mad dog against his own people. No Naga would also come forward to sell his own home to the Meiteis or others and commit himself to fight for the so-called Manipur territorial integrity. This is an absurd thing. However, the statement will be thoroughly investigated and if a Naga is found to be in that group, GPRN will deal with him by the root.

Therefore, Every Naga must immediately distance himself/herself from this so called UNPC before the law grab him/her for judgment. Families are cautioned to take care lest anyone of their boy or girl is misled to join this group.

Solemnly, we declare that, we do not covet for even an inch of others’ land nor will we give an inch of ours to them. We appeal the Naga people to be vigilant to safeguard our sweet Homeland and Freedom.

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Dimapur | May 22 :

Democracy a casualty of AFSPA

The 50 years of the draconian Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act 1958 owes its reviled existence to an abysmal concoction of authoritarian political fallacies, misapprehension of the justice system and circumstantial socio-political exigencies, apart from the Act’s declared objective to stemming resistance movements.

These political dynamics have continued to be reinforced by parallel motivations of the Government of India to control or remain in control, and on the other hand, by the apathy demonstrated by a justice system that identifies inhumanity against peoples, with confronting the so-called “lawlessness.” This misconception of the Indian system, particularly the justice system, has been buttressed even more by geo-political “security” interests rather than by humanitarian standards and considerations.

‘India does not respond (to recommendations and peoples’ mandate for AFSPA repeal) because it fears threat to national security’ said Indira Jai Singh, a constitutional expert. She held vehement opinion that the AFSPA is a ‘totally unnecessary’ law, and does not merge with the ground realities of the people of Northeast India and states like Kashmir. “It is a totally unnecessary, draconian and absurd Act. The Act is absurd to the situation and it must be repealed” said Singh who is an authority on the constitution and well-associated with the matter of ‘degenerate’ laws imposed by political states on resistance-states.

To the query that the Indian military is a tremendous weight responsible for keeping the AFSPA stuck strongly, she said it is not necessarily the military but the government of India. “It is the government and the cabinet that puts the final stamp of approval, not the army.

It is pertinent to mention here that the Justice Jeevan Reddy Committee was instated by the PMO to explore the possibility of substituting the AFSPA with a so-called “more humane” Act. The committee submitted its report June 6 in 2005 and recommended that the Act be repealed. Similarly, the Administrative Reforms Committee headed by Veerappan Moily also recommended on June 26 last year that the Act should be scrapped. Even the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination had in February 2007 also recommended that the Indian Government immediately repeal the AFSPA. Till date, there has yet to be a word from the GoI.

While it was implied that recommendations are had from the military, however, Singh said, it is the government that wants to maintain strict centralization, as a means to preserving  territorial integrity of the country. Over the inaction demonstrated by the centre on the recommendations made by several high-committees for AFSPA’s repeal, Singh said that India does not respond, citing ‘security’ reasons and maintains a “hands-off” attitude.

However, the justice system of India is no less culpable for reinforcing the ‘stay’ of the black law. Queried why the judiciary should also virtually endorse the Act even very well knowing that AFSPA has in itself extreme perils against  Human Rights, Singh said the judiciary does not want to be placed in a position of political accountability.

The Supreme Court is “afraid” that if ceasefires break down (the county’s security would be compromised). ‘It is maintaining a ‘hands-off attitude because it fears that a war or revolt would break out and does not want to be held responsible’ she explained. She was responding to a query up to what extend the Indian justice institution has reciprocated to the black law, or the inhumanity that has been waged under its sanction for the last 50 years.

It was observed that if the AFSPA was to be revoked if at all demanded by the Indian judiciary, then the military and state police forces would be compromised or would “lose teeth” in its fight against resistance movements. And the court would not want to be placed in a position where it is blamed for threat that may arise out of the absence of the AFSPA. So naturally the Indian judiciary, although aware of the profound dangers to Human Rights, does not endorse repeal of the Act, it was implied. ‘It is afraid so it keeps citing “security”’ Singh said. Expression was also made that there is no action expected whatsoever, from the Indian government or the Indian justice institution, no matter how sever Human Rights are violated under the Act.

The constitutional expert’s viewpoint was reiterated by Ahu Sakhrie, who is a former convener of the Naga Peoples’ Movement for Human Rights (NPMHR). According to Sakhrie, courts and judges are “sly” when it comes to the AFSPA.

“The judges are always sly. They (judiciary) are always citing ‘national security.’ They think that the Armed forces would be demoralized and the ‘hostiles, and militants’ would take over” Sakhrie explained. Ahu Sakhrie is founding-member of the NPMHR. “If the Act is repealed, they feel the Army cannot act (against resistance movements)” he said in explanation on why the judiciary remains practically apathetic to the black law.

Queried to comment on the possible reasons why the GoI cannot repeal or even offer an alternative over the AFSPA, Sakhrie made clear that the Indian government has “political interests.”

Referring to the assurance given by Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh to instate a more so-called “humane Act,” the former NPMHR leader said the government does not want to be held accountable as well, as much as the judiciary does not want to be. If the Congress-led government at the center, which is also a coalition, repeals the act, it (government) will not do well in the eyes of the military and the coalition partners, he said. It was implied that repealing the AFSPA would compromise the regional geo-political integrity of the Indian setup. It is these political interests that are responsible for the GoI not responding to the widespread mandate of the people, especially of the NE, to repeal the black law.

One of these political interests overriding humanitarian polity, is testified by the fact that present Minister of State for Science & Technology for Kapil Sibal, was the lawyer who took up the NPMHR’s case in 1997. Today he is a minister, and his hands are tied, Sakhrie remarked. “He knows all the problems of the NE and Nagaland; he helped so much and pressurized for the AFSPA’s repeal “but today his hands are tied” Sakhrie commented.

Justice Jeeven Reddy Committee

The apathy that has been demonstrated by the Union Government and the Indian justice system is testified by several high-committees, whose recommendations remain gathering dust. On June 6, the expert panel which the Congress Manmohan Singh government set up in November to review the workings of the AFSPA, submitted its report. The panel was chaired by Justice B.P. Jeevan Reddy, a retired judge of the Supreme Court and consisted of former Director-General of Military Operations (DGMO) and military analyst Lt. Gen VR Raghavan, academician and former Vice-Chancellor of Marathwada University Prof. SB Nakade, senior journalist and authority on the NE Sanjoy Hazarika and finally PP Srivastava, former Special Secretary for Home.

The recommendations or report dispatched to the Union government by this committee has yet to be even responded to, leave alone make it public. Member of the committee Sanjoy Hazrika said earlier that the Act be repealed without any further ado.

The original ordinance story

Viceroy Lord Linlithgow declared emergency in British India and promulgated the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Ordinance in 1942 on August 15, 1942. This act conferred vaguely-defined special powers to the armed forces to arrest and use force (even kill) civilians on mere suspicion.

On 15 August 1947, India became independent and then a republic on 26 January, 1950. In 1958 a mutated Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, 1958 from the original Armed Forces (Special Powers) Ordinance of 1942, came into being. The AFSPA 1958 is with modifications of the 1942 ordinance.

•    The provision for declaration of ‘emergency’ was replaced by the term “disturbed area”.

•    More vaguely-defined powers were added (including the power to use force to even kill any person on suspicion of disturbing public order or carrying weapons, “to search any place without warrant or destroy any place on suspicion of being used by armed groups” to the old ordinance.

•    The power to take action, given to an officer of the rank of Captain and above in the old ordinance, was delegated to lower ranks including Junior Commissioned officers and Non-Commissioned Officers (basically, a jawan).

•    Areas of operation were confined to ethnically distinct North-East region unlike the 1942 ordinance, which was applied to entire India.

As a result of these modifications, the 1958 ordinance became more political criminal and harsher than the colonial statute of 1942.

Al Ngullie

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Dimapur, May 24 (MExN):

Please heed our cries

Strong condemnation against recent spate of violence and blood in the state, was expressed at the consultative meeting of Naga tribal hohos, organizations, activists, intellectuals and students’ organizations, convened by the United Naga Council (UNC) on May 23 at Tahamzam in Senapati. The meeting also denounced the targeting of the lives and property “of a particular tribe.”

“The meeting strongly condemned the killing of innocent civilians, students, targeting lives and properties of a particular community as senseless in the violent situation that has erupted in Dimapur” stated a joint note appended by the UNC, NWUM, NPMHR, ANSAM, Zeliangrong Baudi and Tangkhul Naga Long among more than dozen other Naga organizations

The organizations made a fervent appeal to the parties involved in the conflict to heed to the rational call of the Naga people to immediately put a stop to the killings, which has spilled over to civilians, and has put a blot on the Naga consciousness. The organizations also earnestly requested the public to apply rational minds in dealing with the situation and not be swayed by emotions. It appealed against indulging in anti-social activities. “It honestly urges all to be responsive and support to the peace and reconciliation process initiated by the Naga Reconciliation Forum” the joint statement said and reiterated its support to the ongoing Indo-Naga peace process and political talks.

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Press Release

Amsterdam, May 24 2008

A Naga International Support Center, NISC,

A human rights organization

Let’s not forget the Eastern Nagas!

After a visit to Leshi Burma/Myanmar Eastern Nagaland the Naga International Support Center , NISC, has increasingly become concerned about the fate of the Nagas living there. The stand of the Burmese junta where its own citizens are concerned is visible for all to see and appraise. Consequently it is now apparent that all indigenous peoples as wells as the Burmans themselves are captives in their own land.

The Khaplang Group has strongholds in Eastern Nagaland known to the Nagas as Nagalim Burma

Though saved from the terrible effects of cyclone Nargis the Nagas are in the same oppressive predicament as all others in Burma. And here is where the Khaplang group comes in:

Being an Eastern Nagalander himself one would think that the heart of the K group would be concerned with the suffering of the oppressed Nagas in Burma. Instead the K-group, now primarily it’s leadership consisting of Semas focuses more on intertribal fighting. And so, as a consequence the Burmese Nagas are left dry with neglect. Their own brothers and sisters turn a blind eye to their being oppressed by the brutal and callous junta. To integrate them fully into the Burmese society, as the schools only teach Burmese language and not much else, they are persuaded to become Buddhists .

On the basis of its last visit to Leshi, January 2008, NISC calls on NSCN(K) to

–          use its camps for the struggle against the Burmese oppressors

–          concentrate its efforts in alleviating the burden of its fellow Nagas

–          to defend them against discrimination and conversion by coercion,

Because they are isolated, their fate at stake as they are economically persecuted when they persist living their own culture and religion, NISC considers it of utmost importance to stand up for the eastern Nagas in Burma.

But surely this does not concern the Khaplang Group only. Hence:

–          NISC urges all Naga forces to support the Nagas of Burma/Myanmar. Lay down animosities,  resolve differences, forgive each other redeem to defend the rights of all Nagas.  Considering the suffering of the Nagas People in India and Burma factional differences should not overrule the common stand of wanting to be free of oppression from India as well as Burma.

Khaplang Group? Your fellow Nagas in Burma are in dire straits. Don’t abandon them! All Naga forces come together to help them out!

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Press Release

May 25, 2008

Kitovi-Mulatonu group came to Burma Camp last night at around 11 pm in two Gypsy and Scooter. They get hold of two Ao from the area and asked them to identify the Tangkhul houses. But they expressed helplessness. They then located the house of one Capt. Shangreiso of Naga Army and set it on fire. There was no casualty.

Issued by:

MIP, GPRN

===================================================================== Imphal, May 26:

NSCN-IM allegation peeves tribe

The Poumai Naga tribe of Manipur has asked the NSCN (I-M) ceasefire monitoring cell convenor, Phunthing Shimrang, to furnish evidence to prove that the members of the newly floated militant group, United Naga Peoples Council (UNPC), belongs to the tribe.

Shimrang had recently said the UNPC had been formed by a “major” who had earlier defected from the NSCN (I-M). The members of this new outfit are from the Poumai Naga tribe, who, he had added, had been misled by some vested interests to undermine the Naga political issue by confusing the innocent Nagas.

The UNPC, that was formed on April 30, claimed to have defected from the NSCN (I-M) to safeguard the territorial integrity of Manipur and foster unity among the hill and valley people of the state. The outfit also said it would fight for Manipur’s sovereignty.

Reacting to Shimrang’s statement carried in the May 22 edition of The Telegraph, R.S. Danii, the publicity and information secretary of the Poumai Masou Me (Poumai Union) today said the charges were “baseless” and unfounded.

“The Poumai Masou Me strongly refutes the allegations and asks Shimrang to clarify in daily papers on what ground and evidence did he say the members of the new outfit (UNPC) are from the Poumai tribe when the Poumai community does not know or have heard of the existence of such outfit in the district,” a statement issued by the tribe said.

The organisation also asked Shimrang to furnish the list of real names, fathers’ names and villages if the members are really from the Poumai tribe and give all possible reasons behind the alleged statement at the earliest.

Stating that the Poumai community was committed to Naga integrity, the statement asked Shimrang why the NSCN (I-M) remained silent when some individuals formed the Naga National Liberation Army recently.

The Telegraph.

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Kohima, May 27:

Swu calls Khaplang on unification

It’s been exactly 20 years since they spoke to each other.

After his talks invitation to his rival group’s chairman, S.S. Khaplang’s deputy went unanswered and even the church’s efforts at unification fell flat, NSCN (I-M) chairman Isak Swu went that extra mile and called up his former comrade in the undivided NSCN to talk peace.

Sources told The Telegraph that Swu spoke to Khaplang to accelerate the reconciliation and unification process between the Naga militant outfits.

This is for the first time since the split in the NSCN in 1988 that the two top militant leaders from the rival groups had a conversation. The talks come in wake of rising factional clashes in Nagaland.

Before the conversation with Khaplang, Swu had invited the NSCN (K) army chief Khole Konyak to Bangkok. The apex Naga tribal body, the Naga Hoho, too, confirmed the telephone conversation between the two leaders.

Kevilietuo Angami, vice-president of Naga Hoho, said there were at least two telephone conversations between Swu and Khaplang. He said the NSCN (I-M) chairman had called up Khaplang from Chingmai in Thailand, recently.

Sources said Khaplang was eager to push forward the ongoing reconciliation and unification process between the two NSCN factions. “There were at least two telephone conversations,” a source said, adding that Khaplang had even agreed to attend the recently concluded Chingmai Naga conclave sponsored by the Naga Reconciliation Forum but was prevented from doing so because of “differences” in his own group.

However, sources said contact between the top leaders of the two factions would continue. The Chingmai Naga reconciliation conclave was also attended by several foreign organisations from the US and the Philippines to broker peace and unity among the warring Naga groups.

Representatives of various Naga organisations also attended the meeting.

Recently, a senior kilonser (minister) of the NSCN (K), Kughalu Mulatonu, said there was no point going to Thailand to attend the reconciliation meeting as the Nagas were already united.

He also criticised the “reconciliation forum” of trying to help Muivah escape from India.

The NSCN (I-M), however, skipped today’s meeting of Naga organisations and factions held in Kohima under the aegis of the Joint Forum of gaonburas (village chiefs) and dubashis (chiefs of Naga customary courts).

The joint forum has called for a yearlong ceasefire between the Naga factions with immediate effect. At a similar meeting on December 7, the factions, in the presence of gaonburas and dubashis, agreed to a six-month truce but failed to keep their commitment.

Today’s meeting was attended by gaonburas and dubashis of all the 11 districts and representatives of Naga Hoho, Naga Mothers’ Association and Eastern Nagaland People’s Organisation.

Quoting NSCN (I-M) members, a senior official from the joint forum said the outfit skipped the meet because of a prior commitment but agreed to abide by whatever decision was taken today.

The Telegraph.

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Support pledged to collective leadership of NSCN

Ukhrul rallies for peace, reconciliation

A Chiphang

UKHRUL/ IMP, May 28:

Reiterating support to the ongoing Indo-Naga peace parleys, endorsing the stand of the Naga Hoho on the issue and upholding resolutions adopted at the 6th Consultative Meet held at Dimapur in 2007 a rally under the theme ‘Peace and Reconciliation’ was organised at Ukhrul district headquarters today.

The rally also symbolised unwavering support of the people to the vision and commitment of the NSCN for the Nagas’ cause being pursued under the collective leadership of Isaac Chisi Swu, Khadao Yanthan and Th Muivah with the participants chanting messages of peace through the Christian ideology of forgiveness and reconciliation.

The rally was jointly organised by social and student bodies like the Tangkhul Frontal Organisation, Tangkhul Naga Long, Tangkhul Katamnao Saklong (Tangkhul Students’ Union), Tangkhul Shanao Long (Tangkhul Women’s League), Tangkhul Mayar Ngala Long (Tangkhul Youth Council) and Tangkhul Naga Wungnao Long with the endorsement and coordination of the United naga Council.

A statement issued by the rally co-hosts highlighted that such an initiative had been taken to once again express unreserved support to the ongoing Indo-Naga peace initiative in New Delhi and for ushering in peace through political dialogue under the time tested collective leadership of the NSCN.

Maintaining that rally is to convey the people’s keen desire for expediting the peace process, the joint statement also urged parties involved in the parleys to vigorously take the peace talk forward for an honourable solution acceptable to either side.

The rally that also aimed at highlighting violent incidents at Dimapur recently, which threatened to confla-grate relationship amongst various Naga tribes into a communal frenzy began simultaneously at around 10.30 am from Dungrei Jun-ction of the town with the other beginning from the Kharasom point and converging at TNL ground where a public meeting was also held.

At the meeting resolutions were adopted for han- ding over to the Prime Minister of India. The represen- tation recounting the ceas-efire agreement in 1997 and subsequent negotiations of over 60 rounds in the 10 year span conveyed doubt of the people upon the Government’s sincerity and commi- tment in solving the problem besides expressing that lack of tangible progress through the political negotiations had been the root cause for many anti-solution forces to emerge and sabotage the hard earned Indo-Naga peace process.

Moreover, it resolved to demand to the Government of India to have the political will in solving the six decades long Indo-Naga confli- ct and expedite the political negotiations; urged for sto-pping divide and rule poli- cy; and reaffirming mandate of the 6th Consultative Meeting of July, 2007.

A copy each of the resolution would also be sub- mitted to the Chief Ministers of Manipur and Nagaland.

The public show of support to the indo-naga peace process was filled with calls for sanity and reconciliation in the true Christian principle of forgive and forget.

Holding banners reading ‘we shall overcome’ among other messages of peace the rallyists appealed to civil society organisations to play a pro-active role in promoting peace and tranquillity in the Naga society and to persistently work to achieve the cherished goal of Naga unification.

Out of nearly 10,000 people that took part in it majori- ty belonged to the student community who held banners and placards calling for an honourable solution to the Naga issue, denouncing bloodshed among the Nagas and prevailing upon the Central Government to cease ‘divide and rule policy’. Shops and business establishments, edu- cational institutions and Government offices remained shut throughout the day with vehicular traffic visibly absent.

Meanwhile, interacting with media persons after the rally cum meeting, TNL president Stephen Ang-kang iterated that it was organised to sustain cordial relationships among the Nagas, stop senseless killing and to work with unison to solve the Naga issue.

Conceding that when clashes between armed groups ensue the people are rendered helpless, Stephen nevertheless expressed that when innocent people get killed fervent appeal to refrain from such action is the only option left to the general public.

He also informed that as the fratricidal killing could not be left alone to the law enforcing agencies to deal with leaders of Naga organisations is being consulted/approached to find a way out.

When asked whether people from the Tangkhul community had been leaving Dimapur (Nagaland) in the wake of violent incidents there, Stephen said Tangkhuls are still staying put at Dimapur even though he informed that there are reports of ‘our students unwilling to stay at or head for Dimapur’.S

Sangai Exprerss

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May 28, 2008.MIP/GPRN:

NSCN not a party to May 27 Resolution

With reference to the Joint Forum initiated one year ceasefire extension among the various underground groups as a result of the meeting on 27th May 2008 at Kohima, it is to be clarified that NSCN is not a party to the meeting, and therefore, is not the signatory to the resolution.

Above everything, NSCN still stand by the Yaruiwo’s Proclamation of 13th January 2007 wherein he stated “LET RECONCILATION, FORGIVENESS AND COMPASSION RING ALL OVER NAGALIM”.

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A Naga International Support Center , NISC,

A human rights organization

Amsterdam, May 28  2008

Press Release

NISC lauds SS Khaplang for denouncing the fake Unification Group which recently announced it merged with his NSCN-Khaplang (K)

Though laudable for exposing this renegade faction which in the name of Unification did the opposite it is strange Mr. Khaplang speaks in the interview like he does not know the Unification group merged with the outfit he leads since 1988. Could it be Newmai Network is  wrong? Or better said. Could it be Bijoy Kakchingtabam of the Imphal based Manipuri vernacular daily newspaper Poknapham is wrong? That is hard to believe of course but it is equally hard to believe that SS Khaplang has been in the dark, has been oblivious, of what transpired. Although?

This is the first time since the Unification group was founded and the so called K leaders back it up in November 2008 that Mr Khaplang said anything about this group of killers, thieves, extortionists and renegades. So, either he did not know about Azheto Chopy and K cohorts or the interview is fabricated.

Interestingly Mr. Khaplang accuses the intelligence agency of the Government of India, Research and Analysis Wing, where his outfit has been charged as collaborating with state and national governments.

Thank you for this statement too Mr. Khaplang:

“In protecting the identity of the Nagas, there is no need of “NSCN” submitting to either India or Burma. There has never been a single compromise between the authority of India and Burma with the Nagas on any matter. The authorities of India and Burma are trying to divide the unity of the Nagas.”

So far nothing but praise for Mr. Khaplan and one wonders why there is rivalry between Mr. Khaplang’s NSCN and the original one he attacked and split off from; the one which is now often called NSCN-IM and the one having peace talks with the Government of India. The answer to that is simple because Mr. Khaplang goes on saying that the NSCN-IM will settle for a state whereas the Nagas from the onset of this long term conflict will not settle for less but sovereignty. The question for Mr. Khaplang thus is: How can he be so sure NSCN-IM has abandoned its  principles on behalf of all Naga Peoples?

As far as NISC knows in the talks nothing conclusive has been arrived at. And as far as NISC knows no change of policy has been contemplated or announced either. So, where does this knowledge about NSCN-IM abandoning sovereignty come from? From the RAW? From the Assam Rifles his cadres are often seen with?

Mr. Khaplang, considering how ill informed you are about what your own officers do behind your back, NISC wonders by what kind of authority you picture the NSCN, you broke away from, as an organization which does not uphold sovereignty?

NISC calls on Mr. Kaphlang to talk to his former friends and allies who like you profess to be but hardly show in deeds that you are for sovereignty of the Naga Nation.

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A Naga International Support Center , NISC,

A human rights organization

Press Release

Amsterdam, May 31  2008

A sinister game revealed

Officially talking peace the devious propaganda machinery of India works overtime

Though the Government of India, GOI, was a signatory to the UN declaration of the right to Self Determination it behaves like it is above it. In fact to force the Nagas into submission it deploys all its might and not only militarily. With that military solution out of question the Government of India uses the over a decade long running ceasefire to create confusion and disunity through its divide and rule tactics. How do they do it?

The sinister game

The propaganda machinery primarily uses the mass media, particularly print media like newspapers. As in any counter insurgency operation, when  increased in frequency and plausibility, rumours become reality. India and her impersonators have Naga names which operate from their sheltered habitats but come out into the open with fake Identities in the media whenever they can successfully aggravate emerging divisions in the Naga ranks.

By steering opinion ultimately India wants to shift the public orientation of the Nagas

So, using the media the GOI fields Naga stooges to plant these rumours. Indian security services monitor the information flow and once collected, the Intelligence services fabricate stories, develop write-ups which the media publish and spread. These rumours, based on underlying fears, incorrect causes and motivations, fuel misperceptions and escalate conflict. Rumour subjects include electoral politics and government, quality of life (bad roads, electricity, communication etc), education (posing as teachers or students), insurgency, factional issues, ‘peace and unity’. As they are fed well with information and ‘trends’ these identities have a huge storehouse of subjects they choose and write from: In order to taste the waters some plunge in a few stones, play for a few weeks or months before their hidden agendas sink in, then disappear. And they are well versed and use expert knowledge: they quote from the Bible, Nelson Mandela, A.Z. Phizo; they compare Nagalim with Kashmir, the Meiteis, Boros, and, to show how bad the situation is they compare the Indo-Naga conflict to complex conflict examples from Palestine to Northern Ireland.

Intelligence agents not only sit in far away cities like Delhi or Kolkata, but Kohima and Dimapur too and emerge as Nagas. They are ghost writers, stooges, impersonators. Planting  their points in the media is a full time job. They feed on media specialists among military and intelligence personnel who studied history, current affairs, they monitor the current interest of the public. Armed with ample information weeded out from the internet and telephone lines they closely monitor suspects and use their methods, especially on specific words and specific people, before writing their commentary articles meant to fire up or distort. They employ unscrupulous Nagas to translate the information  they monitored. Reliable sources say the highest paid are those who can translate Sumi, Tangkhul, Angami and Ao dialects.

Orchestrating their meddling meant to create confusion, the Naga imposters create email identities, some dating a long time back already. These known identities, not the impersonators behind them, write and comment. Some of these identities frequent popular Naga websites to post comments to promote hate.

Based on their findings, conviction and  differences between the Nagas they question the Naga freedom fighters (NSCN-IM and Khaplang) to conclude: “Are they not terrorists then?”

These, well protected, Naga impersonators don’t mind being exposed. They know their DAMAGE has been DONE. It is known that similar things go on in Manipur and Assam too.

How do the Nagas react?

There are many well meaning Nagas who are getting confused and conditioned by this kind of deep interfering and meddling. After 50 years of war and ten years of ceasefire tired. They are so tired that they say we want Unification.

Can we blame them for being confused? NISC does not! Consequently:

–          The Naga International Support Center in exposing the devious means of the intelligence organizations used on the Naga Peoples urges the Government of India to stop infiltrating in the public domain through the media.

–          NISC questions the Government of India on its aim to prolong the peace process by weakening the Naga Society.

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UNPO’s NEW PREAMBLE

Brussels, Belgium – May, 2008

By Michael Gibb

Since its foundation in 1991, UNPO has not only established a proud history of its own, it has also witnessed a number of fundamental changes to the international system within which it operates. It was in recognition of this fact that the IX UNPO General Assembly dedicated itself to revising and reviewing the preamble to the UNPO Covenant.

The new text recognises that fundamentally, one thing has not changed. UNPO remains an organization of nations and peoples denied appropriate recognition at both a national and international level. In a world increasingly characterised by interdependence and the growing influence of non-state actors, the array of solutions to this problem is however far richer than it once was.

The concept of self-determination retains therefore a prominent position within the new text, but with an added emphasis on the importance of a broad and inclusive interpretation of this right. Needlessly narrow interpretations have previously seen the right to self-determination continuously drawn into conflict with other principles of international importance.

As many recent UNPO events have made clear, such interpretations therefore not only fail to capture the aspirations of the full range of UNPO Members, but have in many cases also proved counter-productive. The new preamble therefore clearly reflects

UNPO’s commitment to engaging with the full range of democratic distributions of power, including regional autonomy and the many forms of federalism. This added emphasis leaves UNPO better equipped than ever to engage constructively with an increasingly complex and inter-dependent international community.

The threat of violence and human rights violations also remains as serious a concern to most UNPO Members today as it did in 1991. More recent concerns for escalating terrorism have presented still further challenges. In this context, the new preamble

recognises that democratic reforms are hard won. The freedoms enjoyed today are the direct result of past struggles and sacrifices, though remaining limitations make it clear there is still much to be achieved. Amongst the most important elements of the new text is therefore a clear statement of the fact that UNPO and its Members remain convinced that active non-violence remains the most effective way of promoting freedom and democracy.

This is without doubt one of the strongest themes that brings UNPO’s diverse membership together, and the prominence it is afforded within the new text is an important step towards presenting the organisation not only as a collection of Members, but also as a cohesive and unified front.

These reforms to the preamble therefore mark a significant moment for a now established organisation. The new text captures UNPO as an adaptable and forward-looking organisation committed to engaging with an increasingly complex international community in pursuit of democratic reform and human rights through active non-violence. Most importantly, the process of revising the preamble has demonstrated a continued willingness amongst UNPO Members to think creatively in pursuit of solutions

to the problems they share.

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