Naga Political Issue: All MLAs to work as one
Kohima, November 27: The 5th session of the 11th Nagaland Legislative Assembly (NLA) today stood and committed in one voice to work as one, as the Naga political negotiations have reached a ‘crucial stage’ and the time has come for the House to rise to the occasion and play its contributory role. Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio called for the “overgrounds” to unite first before extending the same call to the undergrounds, while Opposition leader Chingwang Konyak has stated ‘we have to join hands together without any political color and work together’ to see a lasting peace for the Nagas.
The NLA also adopted four points of resolution on the Naga political issue, unanimously passed after Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio moved for consideration the resolutions this morning. As part of his statement in moving the resolutions, Neiphiu Rio also reiterated commitment to the integration of all Naga areas.
Before moving the resolutions for consideration, Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio in his speech said that as political leaders “we need to address the political issue as our topmost priority.” He said one has to raise above all divisions and differences for the greater interest of the people being represented. “Already this House has shown every indication that it is ready to rise to the occasion and contribute towards bringing lasting peace,” Rio said. He placed on record his appreciation to the opposition bench, led by leader of opposition Chingwang Konyak for extending all possible cooperation and participating in the joint sittings with utmost sincerity and concern.
Stating the importance of the House uniting and speaking in one voice, Neiphiu Rio said “Our unity and understanding will create the right environment for all sections including civil societies and underground groups to unite and work together. It is all the more imperative that first the overgrounds unite before we can call upon the undergrounds to come together.”
The chief minister echoed the sentiments of the people by stated that the masses are crying out for peace and they are already fed up of the senseless killings and the hatred. When the leaders of the underground groups signed the Covenant of Reconciliation on June 13 this year followed by the Declaration of Commitment of Reconciliation on September 23 2009, entire Naga society welcomed their commitment “that there would be total cessation of hostilities against each other.” “We welcome these commitments and hope that it will pave the way for greater understanding, reconciliation and oneness of Naga society,” said Rio.
The chief minister also described the decision from the second joint sitting yesterday to institute a joint parliamentary committee on the Naga political issue, as “a landmark pronouncement.” “This forum has to carry the voice of the people to all agencies and groups so that we make the political process all inclusive and increase its scope of acceptability to the people,” he said.
Also recalling the adoption of four resolutions by NLA in favor of integration of contiguous Naga areas, Rio said “Our desire to come together as a people will always remain and until this common goal is achieved, we must continue to make every possible effort to realize the desire of our people.”
He however cautioned that while the aspiration of integration of all contiguous Naga areas is pursued, one must be realistic and have a pragmatic approach with the understanding that integration may be possible only through a process. Also, Opposition leader Chingwang Konyak stated that ‘we have a role to play to bring unity among the Nagas in order to solve Naga political problem.’ As elected representative, he said, from now onward ‘we have to join hand together without any political color and work together to bring permanent peace and lasting solution to Naga political problem.’