PM woos; hopeful for an ‘honorable solution’ Bonnie Konyak Morung Express
PM woos; hopeful for an ‘honorable solution’ Bonnie Konyak Morung Express
Kohima | February 27 :Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s maiden address to the Nagas at the state capital Kohima today was a full 25 minutes of ‘DAN bashing’ that dissected and put out for display, the ‘failures’ of the “hotchpotch coalition”. The speech of the Prime Minister gained fiery momentum and packed punch after punch at Rio’s Government as he sought support of the people of Nagaland to “change the ineffective and inefficient DAN government” which has completely failed the people of Nagaland.
Speaking on the peace process, the Prime Minister elaborated on the need for peace in the State and expressed optimism that the Congress will succeed in its efforts for an honourable solution in its “purposeful dialogue” with “disaffected groups”. “We have been open and liberal in our approach and are hopeful that we will succeed in our efforts for an honourable solution” and added that the Congress is “willing to go the extra mile for this purpose”.
Nagaland needs an era of peace and stability so that the Naga people can devote all their energies to their cultural, educational, social and economic development”, Manmohan said and finished off on an optimistic note with “I believe the future for Nagaland is bright. I believe the future for Nagaland is secure. I believe the future for Nagaland is with the Congress party”
Denounces DAN as ‘hotchpotch coalition’ Addressing the impressible gathering of Congress supporters, Manmohan minced no words as he said that for the last five years, Nagaland has been under a hotchpotch coalition of different political parties under the name DAN. “They do not have a common ideology. They do not have a common agenda. Each one of them pulls in a different direction” asserted the Prime Minister adding that the only thing common among the coalition partners was the desire to be in power (by hook or crook)”.
Manmohan Singh also rapped the erstwhile DAN Government on the law and order front saying that the people have suffered from the lawlessness here. “A government which could not provide security to its people has no right to get the support of the people” said the Prime Minister. He also accused Rio’s government of trying to divide the people on tribal, communal or racial lines with the result that in the last five years, Nagaland had missed out immense opportunities and fallen behind on the road to progress and prosperity, unable to enjoy peace and stability.
In typical campaign style, the prime Minister advertised the Congress party saying if the Nagas have to once again enjoy rapid development, peaceful life, if Nagaland is to fulfill its potential, “you must once again bring the Congress party to power in the state”. He said that the Congress alone can provide a stable, united and efficient government, deliver its promises and live up to the trust that the people of Nagaland repose on it.
Harping on the “special concern” shown by the Nehru-Gandhi family to the Nagas and the state of Nagaland, Manmohan said that it was because of their commitment and unquestioned love for the Naga people that the Nagas have always supported the Congress. Making an obvious dig at the BJP party which is a coalition partner of the DAN, Manmohan said that Congress is the only national party that cares for the diversity that exist in India and the only party that has tried to bring the peoples of Nagaland and North East into the mainstream while at the same time protecting their unique history, culture and identity. “No other party believed and practices the principles of secularism as we do” he stated.
Imkong charges DAN of ‘misrule’ CLP Leader I. Imkong was also in his element as he welcomed and thanked the Prime Minister for his concern for the state. He mentioned the concern of the UPA Government in constituting a ministerial team directly under the Prime Minister himself to negotiate with the NSCN (IM) and declaring peace with the NSCN (K) and magnanimously allotting huge amount of money to Nagaland for developmental works irrespective of party affiliation. Imkong however added that it was “unfortunate” that all these funds were misused and pocketed by the erstwhile DAN Government led by Rio and his colleagues.
Imkong also elaborated on the “last five of misrule by the NPF led DAN Government” trademarked by the frequent factional clashes in populated civilian areas, extortion, corruption while the state government shut their eyes and made the people suffer. “The Regional Parties were out of power for so long and when they got the power, they had forgotten everybody and virtually looted the State, he mocked. Imkong flayed the road condition, selling of essential commodities in the market by Rio and the power situation while assuring that if voted to power the Congress would make power available to every nook and corner of Nagaland.
Imkong also question the promise of 25000 employment generation for Naga Youth promised by former Prime Minister AB Vajpayee and continued that the development preached by the DAN could be seen only in the resorts, commercial buildings, hotels and residential complexes of the DAN Chief Minister and ministers at Dimapur and Kohima. He accused Rio of taking away Rs. 340 crores from the State exchequer and using this looted money to buy votes of the people. Imkong also ridiculed the declaration 2006-2007 as Year of the Farmers, where money had been wasted in cheap popularity with organizing the Agri-Expo.
“Today the need of the people is peace and prosperity and employment for our unemployed youth”, Imkong said that it was Congress government who initiated the peace process and it will only be a Congress Government who can bring lasting solution to the decades old Indo-Naga political problem which will be honourable and acceptable to all. Meanwhile NPCC President also castigated the DAN’s ‘misrule’ and offered Congress as the remedy. AICC Secretary Incharge of Nagaland said termed the small regional parties a circus company that is usually not be found after a week.
Sumi Hoho reflects on “unification” morungexpress
Dimapur, February 28 (MExN): The Sumi Hoho iterates again support to Naga unification to bring all warring factions under one “political organization” so the bloodshed and fratricidal killings are stopped. A note form the Sumi Hoho president Hokishi Yepthomi made reflections over the entire issue. According to him “gen” Zuheto Swu stated in his “patriot day” speech on August 4, 2001 that from 1954-1964 485 Naga cadres were killed by the Indian security forces. These can be called patriots “because they ere killed by the enemy for the cause” the hoho president asserted. While asserting that the period between 1964 and 1990 was a “silent feature” where peace prevailed, the hoho president stated that in 1990 “another new political dimension” took place. This led to factionalism and Naga underground were engaged in fighting each other. “We professed ‘Nagaland for Christ’ but taking the name of Christ fratricidal killing started unabated. He Nagas claimed that thousands and thousands were sacrificed their lives for our motherland and called them as patriot? I would say we are murderers. No patriot will kill his own brothers” he stated.
Further, reflecting over “revolutionary history” that “there has been always two groups struggle for sovereignty” the Sumi Hoho president referred to the Bolsheviks and the Mensheviks in feudal Russia. He also referred to Mahatma Gandhi. “But we Nagas through our ultimate goal is same ‘sovereignty’ then why we fought among ourselves in the name of sovereignty” he lamented. But there is “political salvation,” Yepthomi asserted, and this is through unification of all the Naga underground factions. Through this “peace and prosperity will prevail” in Nagaland, he maintained. “We have to choose between bloodshed and peace. If we want to live in peace and harmony, we have no other option than unification of all factions” he reminded.
‘PM’s speech hollow’ morungexpress
DIMAPUR, FEBRUARY 28 (MExN): All India joint secretary (Org) of the BJP Party, V. Satish today threw barbs at the speech of the Prime Minister who made his maiden visit to the state, saying that in entire speech there was no specific message for the Naga people. “It (the speech) was hollow, it was without any direction, only rhetoric”, stated Satish as he made reference to “honourable solution”, “disaffected people” and other such words used the Prime Minister in his speech.
During a press conference at the Dimapur Press Club, V. Satish said that instead of touching core issues of the Naga people, the PM simply involved himself in criticizing the DAN coalition when the Congress party themselves were in a coalition in most all states it ruled and even in the Centre. Referring to the United Progress Alliance (UPA) coalition at the Centre, Satish mocked that the alliance was “neither united nor progressive”.
“It is an Ulta-Pulta alliance, unprincipled alliance” he hit out and mentioned the party’s sore issued that not letting the DAN complete its five years term by imposition President’s Rule.
Satish also accused the UPA Government of discriminatory attitude towards all the states that were ruled by a non-Congress coalition. He questioned the UPA on how much money had been release since 2004, from the Prime Minister’s Package promised by AB Vajpayee the former Prime Minister of India when he had visited Nagaland.
The All India Joint Secretary also castigated the UPA on its reaction on National Security while referring to Jammu & Kashmir, Arunachal and Bangladesh, saying that the Central Government was very laid back on the matter. He flay that the Prime Minister had visited China but “did not open his mouth” on the claims the country made on Arunachal. “The softness towards terrorist act will cost the country much” he said.
With reference to the coming polls in Nagaland, Satish expressed fear of large scale bogus voters from neighbouring Assam. He said that it was the practice of the Congress to bring truckloads of voter from neighbouring Assam which had Congress in power and therefore appealed to the Election Commission and Chief Election Officer to take enough care that such bogus voting does not happen. The Joint Secretary also called the Congress in Nagaland as faceless party with no issue and frustrated party. He expressed confidence on the success of the BJP candidates declaring that the party’s tally in the state would be increased in Nagaland as well as Meghalaya.
Meanwhile, Dr. HT Sangliana, who was also present in the Press conference at Dimapur Press Club Office along with Balla Subramania, and Avinash Koli, BJP General Secretary (Org) of Nagaland, also gave an account of their visit to five constituencies today and said that he was impressed by the response of the people to the party. Sangliana talked of the lack of roads and housing facilities in the districts and termed their visit to the villages as a fact finding venture.
Sangliana also rapt the lack of concrete visit in the Prime Minister’s address to the people of Nagaland and added that Manmohan Singh did not address the peace negotiation “pinpotedly”. The BJP chief minister candidate of Mizoram also drew flake at the Railway budget, saying that it was merely a promise while demanding a white paper on how many promises made by Railway Minister Lalu Prasad Yadav had been fulfilled in the last four years.
Sangliana also appeared defensive as he tried to allay charges of BJP’s secularism citing his own doubts in the beginning. He said that the followers of Christ should not feel shy to join hands with the BJP. Sangliana also conveyed optimism that out of the 23 candidates filed by the BJP, atleast 10 or 12 would come out successful in this coming election.
Atal & Advani pursue voters
Dimapur, February 28 (MExN): Doing their bit for the Nagaland polls, former Prime Minister of India Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Opposition leader LK Advani today encouraged the people to elect BJP candidates “in large numbers.” A message claiming to be from the two BJP stalwarts issued through the state’s general secretary Avinash Koli, maintained that “our party’s commitment to ensuring a better future for Nagaland has been proven.”
The BJP leaders took to fore their plank for peace and development. “Peace is a precondition for development; without development, there can be no employment. The BJP’s goal, both in Nagaland and in the rest of India, is to remove poverty” they stated. Over the peace process, the message acknowledged that the “overwhelming desire among Naga people is for a permanent peace with honor, dignity and respect for Naga history and culture.” And it is this understanding which guided all the sincere and sustained efforts of the NDA government to ensure “speedy and meaningful progress of the peace process.”
The two leaders also observed that “much” depends on the strengthening of the democratic process in the state, “since it is inextricably linked to our commonly cherished goals of peace and development.” The two BJP leaders assured that if its candidates are elected, they would do their utmost to further the objectives of peace and development.
“We appeal to you to elect BJP candidates in large numbers,” the two leaders urged and wished the people the best.
Manmohan dividing the Nagas: NPF morungexpress
DIMAPUR, FEBRUARY 28 (MExN): Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s charge against the DAN Government as being responsible for ‘dividing the Naga people’ on tribal, communal and racial lines, is considered a violation of the model code of conduct by the NPF. The NPF today demanded appropriate action from the Election Commission of India. In a release, the NPF party said the accusation deserves special attention from the EC. It has sought immediate and appropriate action for inciting tribalism and communalism. The NPF party expressed shock at what it terms “the contradictory statement” of Dr. Manmohan Singh on Wednesday at Kohima. The NPF stated that the accusation made by the prime minister in terming the DAN coalition as a “hotch potch” government, only showed his lack of understanding and knowledge of the state of affairs in Nagaland. Compared to the UPA Government supported by the Left at the Centre, the DAN coalition was more stable and progressive. “Such loose statement from a man of his stature is very unbecoming” NPF stated.
The release issued jointly by vice president Zaka Tsukru, general secretary Dr. Kath, associate press secretary Shilumar and president of youth Wing Kakuto Shohe reminded that UPA was formed after the 2004 general election “just to seize power after the Congress party lost miserably.” UPA is a post-poll coalition with 14 parties having no common agenda, it stated.
However, DAN, it said, is a pres-poll alliance in 2002 with clear Common Minimum Program which was release on January 30, 2003 by the then Defense Minister George Fernandes.
The NPF also thanked the Prime Minister for admitting that Nagaland has missed opportunities in terms of progress and prosperity and said that due to the insincerity and hypocritical approach of the UPA Government , DAN could not avail and implement the promise and commitments made by the then Prime Minister Vajpayee and various other proposals. It challenged the UPA Government that if it was serious and concerned for the Nagas, they should spell out in detail, the missed opportunities.
The regional party also questions the speech of the prime minister on the commitment of Indira, Rajiv and Sonia Gandhi to the well being and empowerment of the Nagas when the fact remains that during the tenures i.e. 1975, 1988, 1992 and 2008, Nagaland had experienced four Presidents’ Rule. The NPF also dismissed the various programmes and schemes by the PM as mere lip service to purchase the votes. The PM should know that Nagas are not mere commodities to be sold and used. The NPF appealed to the Nagas to give a befitting reply to the Congress for insulting Naga pride and dignity by imposing PR ‘illegally and unconstitutionally’. The party went on to say that if the Congress led UPA Government had so much concern for the Naga people, what had the Prime Minister doing during the last four years and why had he come to campaign only during the elections.
In addition the NPF turned its guns on K. Therie’s accusation that Rio, Thenucho, Lohe and Timikha had gone to Hebron Camp on February 22. This is pure fabrication meant to mislead the public, the party said. The NPF provided proof that on the said day, Rio had attended meetings at Chare village, Tuensang town and spent the night at Tuensang town and then again addressed NPF rallies at Tuensang, Noksen and Ungma the next day. The NPF advises Therie to stop ‘hallucinating.’ Therie should substantiate his allegations with proper evidence. Countering back, the party stated that Therie had on February 29 at 3 AM, with a group of ‘army,’ led by supporters terrorized civilians of Pfutsero village by grouping them at the village Church. “Was this operation carried out at the behest and directive of the Prime Minister following his visit to Nagaland?” the NPF questioned.
Regarding Imkong’s charge of withdrawal of 340 crore from the state exchequer and 92 crore on 22 December, the release said that DAN leader, Rio had already issued a detailed press statement of January 10 to that effect. It stated that till the imposition of PR on January 3, 2008, the state Government had no overdraft with the RBI, instead the state government had a surplus balance of a little ore than 90 crore in its RBI account from 13 to 31 December, 2007. An amount of 175.15 crore was withdrawn from the Government Treasury by various departments in the course of normal transaction, which includes payments on accounts of Centrally sponsored schemes, state plans, payments of arrears, salaries of work charge employees and 22 crore for LADP fund, it stated. The NPF pointed out that given the fact that the annual budget of the state is 3983 crore, the average monthly expenditure is around 332 crore, therefore the withdrawal of 175.15 crore by various departments during 13 to 30 December 2007 is absolutely nothing unusual. “These baseless allegations are the usual attitude of the Congress party” it stated and advised the public not to be misled and confused by such false statement.
PM wants Naga economy to grow Chizokho Vero Morungexpress
Kohima | February 27 : Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh today asserted that the UPA government and the Congress party are committed to the development of Nagaland. “We have taken many steps for improving its economic condition. We have made the development of infrastructure the cornerstone of our development policy for Nagaland,” said Prime Minister while addressing public meeting here at the Kohima Local Ground.
Prime Minister expressed his happiness that in the last 3 years, it had been able to connect 16 new habitations with new roads and upgrade many of the existing roads. “A 4-lane National Highway is to be built from Dimapur to Kohima. Improvement of other national highways in the state connecting it to the rest of the North East has also been approved. More than 700 kms of roads will be upgraded. All the 11 districts headquarters are to be connected with national highways with 2-lane roads. All this is part of the UPA government’s development plan for Nagaland,” he said.
Apart from road connectivity, he said that it had also placed emphasis on telecom and air connectivity, adding that over one lakh telephone connections have been provided in the last four years. A new airport will be coming up at Chiethu, he said adding that improved air connectivity will also contribute to tourism and industrial development in Nagaland.
Also stating that the UPA government has formulated a new North East Industrial and Investment Promotion Policy, Dr Singh said “ This policy will promote investment in the state- in hotels, in nursing homes and old age homes, in adventure and leisure sports, in training institutes and also in new power projects. All this will provide employment to the youth of Nagaland.” Admitting that the people of Nagaland “are highly talented and educated,” he said “I want them to have access to the best available employment opportunities in our country. I want Nagaland to be an active member of India’s growing economy.” The initiatives of the UPA government will generate new employment opportunities for young people in Nagaland, he said adding that to ensure that young friends in the state are properly trained, “we have improved educational facilities in Nagaland.” Also highlighting about the setting up of ITIs in various districts, he informed that a new Institute of Hotel Management is also being set up.
“I find it extremely satisfying when I see Naga boys and girls engaged in jobs in other parts of the country , earning decent incomes. We need to bring these jobs to Nagaland,” he said. This the Congress party will certainly do, he said adding that in the coming years, it will spend far more on education. He also assured that Nagaland will get its due share “ so that you can have top class education facilities here.”
With the funds provided by the UPA government, he said that more than one and half lakh children were getting mid-day meal, adding that under the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan, new schools are being opened, new school buildings are being built and new teachers are being appointed in schools. Touching on National Rural Health Mission, Prime Minister said that it had appointed over 1200 ASHAs to work in villages and improve health services.
“We will work to see that the women of Nagaland, who are so active socially and economically, get their rightful share in the development process, and can have a bright future,” he said. He also stated that he wanted every resident of Nagaland to enjoy good health and a life free of poverty and disease. “I want every child to have access to the best educational facilities. This can be done only by the Congress party,” he said.
Apart from infrastructure development, he said “we have placed great emphasis on rural development. It is our solemn assurance that if the Congress party comes to office here, we will provide electricity in every village, will provide telephone connectivity to every village and ensure good drinking water supply to all.”
“This we are already doing under Bharat Nirman,” he said. He, however, expressed his regret that the government “here has so far been slow in implementing this programme effectively. The Congress party will see that a new Nagaland is created through liberal funding by the Central Government under Bharat Nirman.” Referring to National Rural Employment Guarantee act, which provides assured employment of 100 days to all rural families, he said that 22,000 households have been provided employment in Nagaland.
“From 1 April, the entire state will be covered under this Act. I foresee this act eliminating chronic poverty from all parts of Nagaland. This was a promise of the Congress party in 2004 and you must remember this fact,” Prime Minister said.
Also expressing his happiness that Kohima will benefit from the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission launched by the UPA government, he said “We have provided funds for housing poor people in Kohima and Dimapur. Funds will also be provided for improving urban facilities including drinking water and sanitation in Kohima and Dimapur.”
Also stating that he was aware that Nagaland has a tradition of strong local self-government through Village Development Councils, the Prime Minister said the Congress party will work to strengthen the Village Development Councils so that development at the grass roots “is responsive to the needs of the people.”
Army Chief visits Nagaland Special Correspondent The Hindu
NEW DELHI: Chief of the Army Staff General Deepak Kapoor reviewed the security situation in Nagaland as the State is going to the polls in March.
Gen. Kapoor was briefed in Kohima about the security situation by General Officer Commanding 3 Corps Lt. Gen. M. S. Dadwal and Inspector General of Assam Rifles (North) Major Gen. K. S. Sethi with special reference to the coming elections and also the security situation in south Assam.
The Army Chief lauded the efforts of Assam Rifles and directed Maj. Gen. Sethi to continue the operations in the State to prevent any untoward incident before the polls.
PM has no business with Nagaland poll: BJP The Hindu
Kohima (PTI): Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's visit to Nagaland to canvass for Congress candidates has come under severe criticism from the BJP which took a broadside against him saying he has no moral right to seek votes as he failed to realise any of his commitments made for northeast.
"For what business has he (Prime Minister) come to Nagaland ahead of the assembly election? He was elected to the Rajya Sabha from Assam but what has he done for the people of the region?" BJP national vice president and former minister Juel Oram asked. Singh came here only on the eve of assembly election and not earlier, Oram told reporters at Dimapur.
Alleging that Congress never gave any attention to the northeast, the BJP leader blamed the party for problems faced by the states.Oram also dared Congress to prove allegations of misappropriation of Central fund by the DAN government during the past five years.
"The Congress is launching misinformation campaign to tar the secular image of BJP, as it is worried over spurt in BJP's popularity in every part of the country, including Nagaland," Oram said.
‘HR development is one of NPF’s strength’ morungexpress
Dimapur, February 28 (MExN): The NPF party is marching to poll-battle armed with achievements secured in the human resources development sector, over the last four and a half years of DAN rule. NPF chief Dr. Shurhozelie envisages these achievements to be cornerstones to building the state, recognizing that human resource development – with particular reference to intellectual elevation – is one area that would be instrumental in taking Nagaland ahead.
The NPF party president highlighted these resource dimensions in ‘Radio Talk’ a segment of All India Radio broadcast recently. “Today, we are living in a world where intellectual competence is needed more than any other time in the history of mankind” the NPF chief said. It is for this that the party aims at universally-adopted models of education. He explained: “Since this political party represents the personality of the Naga people we made effort to introduce a system so as to prepare the whole personality of the Naga youth to perfection to discern what is good for us.”
When the then Prime Minister of India, Atal Bihari Vajpayee visited Nagaland in October 2003, Dr. Shurhozelie said, the PM was “happy to see our sincere effort to develop the State, and accordingly he had committed a sum of 1050 crores of rupees covering various packages of development.” Of which, a sum of Rs. 35.00 crores was given for development of Nagaland University and also Rs. 10.00 crores for development of its Kohima campus “With the completion of these two campuses, our youth will get all facilities to pursue their studies in higher education” he said.
Further, during the NPF-led DAN’s rule, the School of Engineering & Technology and also School of Management Studies was incepted. Alongside, a Sainik school was planned and the foundation for it was laid in February 2005. It took two years to complete the infrastructure and the school is now two years old and “our boys have been doing very good” Dr. Shurhozelie expressed happiness.
For education of the rural masses, three colleges – Peren College in Peren, Wangli College in Longleng and Presidency College in Kiphire – were established. The government had also taken over Kohima Arts College in order to facilitate more seats to the Naga youth from other districts for those who want to study in the capital, he said. In the sphere of science and technology the government gave more importance to Science studies. Accordingly, Science wings in different districts were attached to Government Arts colleges. Besides Science education in Nagaland, the former education minister said, with the advent of new technologies and the ever-increasing importance of the ICT sector, an urgent need was felt for introducing courses dealing with ICT subjects. Accordingly, the Institute of Communication and Information Technology (ICIT) was established in Mokokchung under Third Technical Education Project. The State has now three technical institutes offering various diploma engineering programmes in civil, electrical and electronics, mechanical, computer electronics and communication, computer application, modern office practice, automobile and fashion technology.
“We have also introduced computer education which will cover all our schools and colleges in due course of time. So far, we have covered 125 Government and 75 Private Schools and another 284 schools are being covered during the current year” he informed. Furthermore, he said two private universities were established through legislation in the Nagaland Legislative Assembly. The two are Global Open University in Wokha as HQ and campuses at Kohima, Dimapur and elsewhere in the State. The other is ICFAI, with its headquartered at Dimapur. “It is expected that these universities will produce proficient professionals by offering high quality education and creating well endowed academic infrastructure. Under this sector, we have also signed an agreement with Korean firms to start Polytechnic Institute in Nagaland and for those who pass out from this proposed Institute, the Koreans have agreed to take yearly 200 Naga youth to Korea for placement for three consecutive years. These and many more programmes are in the offing” he said.
Dr. Shurhozelie also referred to the setting up of the Referral Hospital under the management of Christian Institute of Health Sciences and Research. He added that the DAN has a programme to start a nursing college in the first year which is to be followed by a medical college in another two to three years.
Lalu - train chugs into NagalandZakir Hussain
Dimapur | February 28 :After winning the hearts of the common man through his fifth railways budget, Railway Minister and RJD supremo Lalu Prasad Yadav Thursday announced that the 85 Km Dimapur to Zubza Railway network at the cost of Rs. 10 crore would be a national project and would also consider a rail network between Tuli and Mokokchung. Yadav was addressing a RJD public rally at the DDSC Stadium, Dimapur.
Emphasizing on RJD’s priority, Yadav said the party was determined to develop the railway and road communications of the State through which the region could be developed. He also emphasized the importance of farmers’ welfare and facilities for poor people. Stating about lack of development in the northeast region, he said “Food cannot come from heaven; it will come though the construction of railway, electricity and airports.”
Accusing the BJP party for spreading communal hatred in the country, Yadav said the country was burning as ‘Ram’ and ‘Rahim’ were killing each other. He added that during RJD regime in Bihar, he was the only one who stopped the ‘Rath Yatra’ of former deputy prime minister, LK Advani and put him behind bars at Jharkhand jail.
Highlighting the plight of north Indian people, especially from Bihar in Maharashtra and Assam, he cautioned Raj Thackeray of Maharashtra Nav Nirman Sena and United Liberation Front of Asom not to target the Hindi-speaking people, especially Biharis. Talking about Bal Thackeray, he said that Thackeray was too old to fight in the name of religion, caste, community etc. and further challenged Thackeray that he was going to celebrate ‘Chath Puja’ in Mumbai along with his people.
Stating about the turnaround of Indian Railway in the last four years, Yadav said “I stopped corruption and mal-practices in the Railways.” Stating about the Fifth Railways Budget, Yadav said girls till the completion of BA would get free traveling pass, boys till 12th standard and 50 percent concession for senior citizens (60 years), fully air-conditioned ‘Garib Rath’ etc. Yadav also assured the porters of India (Coolie) with Grade IV jobs in the Railways. Yadav further appealed the people to elect the 25 RJD candidates with majority in the forth-coming State assembly elections.
TN Mannen, chairman, RJD State parliamentary board, who is also the RJD candidate for 23 Impur A/C, said RJD party was neither enemy to Congress nor NPF. He asserted “Like railways, Lalu will turn around Nagaland into miraculous and prosperous State” and added that the State expect economic and social development from the RJD party. He also appealed the Railway Minister to see into the railway and road communication problems as ‘Nagaland is a land-lock state.”
Lalu Prashad Yadav was accompanied by Prem Chand Gupta, Union Minister for Corporate Affairs, Jay Prakash Narayan, Minister of State for Water Resources and Mungilal Mandal, MP, Rajya Sabha and In-charge Northeast. Khetovi Kinny, State president RJD delivered the welcome address.
NPF appeals to NSCN (IM) to restrain from poll involvement morungexpress
Dimapur, February 28 (MExN): The NPF 29 Jangpetkong AC has alleged of the involvement of NSCN (IM) leaders in the coming election. In this regard, the local party unit President Nochet has written separately to the Chief election Commission of India as well as to the Collective Leadership alleging the involvement of under ground leaders in support of Congress candidate and CLP Leader I. Imkong.
In its petition to the CEC, the NPF stated that the issue of the UG hand had become a matter of grave concern to the peace loving public in the State and the public of 29 Jangpetkong AC in particular. The NPF alleged that altogether eight NSCN (IM) leaders were moving freely with their armed cadres threatening the innocent public to vote for a particular party. The eight named by the NPF include “Meren, Deputy Kilonser of Nokphu village; Maongtoshi, Tatar of Waromung village; Lipok, Tatar of Molungyimsen village; Mrs Alemla Phomting, wife of Brig Phomting of Ceasefire Monitoring Cell; Remajemba, Tatar Dibui village; Lt Col Lanuangshi of Chungtia village; Captain Bendangyanger of Chungtia village and Captain Nungsang of Yaongyimsen village.”
The NPF urged that their involvement was a very serious matter likely to influence the outcome of the election and therefore requested the EC to take up the matter with the Home Ministry as these NSCN groups instead of remaining in their designated camps are moving freely with arms threatening the public to vote in favour of a particular candidate and party. The NPF stated that in the interest of free and fair polls in the State, the EC was expected to uphold their promise to the people of the State to conduct fair poll and pointed out that otherwise the Naga people will no longer have faith in the Indian democracy.
In a separate appeal, the NPF 29 Jangpetkong AC pointed out to the Collective Leadership that the public of 29 Jangpetkong AC should not be forced to elect a person with dubious character and undemocratic behavior. “Your armed cadres and civil officials are openly colluding with I. Imkong, Congress candidate threatening and harassing the public to vote for him”, stated the appeal addressed to Isak Chishi Swu and Th Muivah.
“We believe you are committed to political process and dialogue with the government of India and to bring the present talk to a successful conclusion on behalf of the Naga people”, the appeal stated cautioning that the Collective Leadership and the organization they were heading would lose public support, goodwill and sympathy by their involvement in the State election.
The appeal also alleged that the public were openly talking that Brigadier Phomting of CMFG and his wife are the two main persons masterminding the NSCN (IM)’s cadre involvement in the present election. The appeal reminded that during the last Manipur election as well, people had openly spoken about how the NSCN (IM)’s involvement had resulted in creating division among the Naga brethrens in the hill areas of Manipur. “It is our appeal to you to withdraw all your cadres involved in the present election and allow to hold the election in Nagaland State peacefully”, the appeal stated.
AR Ops heat up with more arrest morungexpress
Dimapur, February 28 (MExN): In the ongoing operations by Assam Rifles in poll bound Nagaland, the AR based on specific information on wee hours of February 28, a joint operation by 17 AR, 14 Mahar and IRB at Pfutseromi in form of cordon and search was launched which led to apprehension of individual Khrope Nagachu and recovery of huge amount of explosives, besides variety of ammunition and warlike stores while the apprehended individual was subsequently handed over to police. The place was being used a hideout by NSCN (IM) cadres.
Meanwhile, the 31 AR raided a house in Burma Camp, Dimapur on February 27 night and apprehended Sachemi Cd, judicial secretary and, Aching Kami, deputy secretary, chaplee department of NSCN (IM) alongwith 2 beretta pistol and several live rounds and incriminating documents. Two vehicles one Bolero Regn No NL07 – 5984 and Alto Regn No MN 06L – 2176 was also seized, further handed over to East police Station.
a MVCP laid by 37 AR at Hothoty (near Tiru) on February 27 night intercepted a unregistered tipper vehicle and arrested four NSCN (IM) cadres SS Pvt Ango Lotha, SS Pvt Dingom Konyak, SS Pvt Pelong Konyak and Driver Pranjal Gogoi besides recovering 1 riffle 303, 1 Riffle 7.62 bolt action, bayonet several live rounds and blank cash receipts. Besides, a large amount of fake currency was also seized. In a separate operation, 33 AR apprehended five FGN cadres Chripongse, Sethrichoum, Setsaba, Sgt Yanthungthong and Tsopigue on outskirts of Kiphire town coming from Amanthor on February 28 at 9:00 am when MVCP intercepted a Gypsy NL07 – 6624. 01 Pistol 9mm, 01 Chinese Hand Grenade, several live rounds and incriminating documents were recovered.
On night of February 27, 26 AR at Kohima intercepted a vehicle Regd No NL01D-7236 and recovered 3 lakh in cash from individual named Kolic Zeliang. Meanwhile an officer led patrol of 31 AR on February 27 night seized a gypsy Regn No NL01 8905 at Nihokhu village and confiscated 115 cases of IMFL subsequently handed over to police. In a separate incident MVCP laid by 42 AR at Zotsoma by pass on February 28 early morning intercepted an Alto, Tata safari and a minibus and recovered Cash 18 Lakhs, 7 Kgs Contraband (Ganja) and 91 cases of IMFL.
AR sources revealed that all possible measures will be implemented to ensure peace and instill confidence in the local populace prior to elections and all erring factional cadres and anti-social elements will be dealt with stringent actions to ensure non interference to disturb the environment of poll bound Nagaland. All cadres should go into their designated camps as was brought out in CFMG / CFSB meetings. This was stated in a press note received here from Pallab Choudhury, Major, PRO, IGAR (N).
PM’s Poll Tonic morungexpress
The visit of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to Kohima on February 27 as part of the campaign ahead of the March 5 election was obviously well orchestrated by the Congress party managers sending out some crucial political signals to the electorate. Besides the assurance of an ‘honorable settlement’, the other issue of great public expectation—the construction of the 4-lane of National Highway 39—was virtually laid out for the taking. As Prime Minister of India, it was only appropriate that he was slotted to campaign in the State Capital of Kohima while the Congress Party President Sonia Gandhi will do her chorus in cosmopolitan Dimapur and Congress bastion Mokokchung. Whether by projecting the face of a Congress Prime Minister in Kohima would have served the purpose of the State Congress in reaching out to the electorates across the Tenyimi region, especially the major districts of Kohima and Phek—seen as strongholds of the NPF, one will have to wait for the end result after March 5. But what the Nagaland Congress did courtesy Mr Prime Minister from the rampart of the State’s political capital is definitely the high point of the Congress campaign so far.
It is also a strategic point for the Congress that if it wants to make a bigger impact in the tally count (crucial to get a simple majority), it needs to get at least some seats across the Kohima-Tseminyu-Phek-Meluri belt. The Congress was almost wiped out in this region winning only 2 seats out of 13 assembly constituency during the last elections. Even in its stronghold of Mokokchung district with 10 seats at stake, it is highly unlikely that the Congress can repeat its past performance because of various factors including realignment of political forces and ticket distribution. Our political guess is that for both the major party i.e. Congress and NPF, the key to coming to power will lie on not just sweeping their respective strongholds but to win seats across the State consistently.
Coming back to the visit, while the Prime Minister made other promises for ‘peace, prosperity and development’, his remarks on the Naga political issue would have been closely watched. The careful and selective use of terms such as “extra-mile” and “honorable settlement” on the Indo-Naga peace process is also an indication that Delhi has come to accept the issue as an emotive one—centered on the political aspiration and rights of the Naga people. Likewise, the statement of the Prime Minister that the UPA government has been “open and liberal” in their approach to the Naga talks will no doubt inject the much needed dose of confidence back into the peace process suffering from its lowest ebb in the aftermath of the remarks made by none other than the National Security Advisor to the Prime Minister.
However the problem with the Prime Minister’s assurance of “honorable settlement” and his assertion of “open and liberal approach” to the Naga talks is quite clearly, the timing. An election rally is never the best time or laboratory to test the political commitments of the establishment, especially when it comes to something as big as the Indo-Naga political issue. During the heat of election, any Prime Minister can woo the electorate with the choicest of words. So the real intent of the Prime Minister’s assurance to the Naga public will be tested at the talks table and whether as the political head of the Indian government, the Prime Minister will indeed go the “extra-mile” and push for an honorable settlement. Even if it was for only 45 minutes, yet having made that political journey to Nagaland as the Prime Minister of a Congress led UPA government, the fortunes of the Congress in the years to come will now depend on how far the party will adhere to the promise spelled out in its election declaration. This is more so of the Prime Minister’s assurance on the Naga political issue.
Nagaland: A time for peace or a time for war?Kaka D.Iralu
Because of the Indo-Naga-Myanmar war, my generation has not experienced peace on earth for the entire duration of their lives. Hence if there is one common cry in the hearts of my generation as well as every Naga heart, it is the cry for peace. However peace having eluded us for all this time, I am inclined to rethink whether, I have been crying for peace when actually it is a time for war. In this context, I was surprised to discover that the Bible which is the word of God and which had foretold everything that would happen in human history never promised us a utopia on earth where there would be universal world peace. (The Bible does mention that there would be a period of world peace during the millennium period when Jesus comes back to reign with his saints on earth- Rev20:4-6) However as for the period in which we are presently living, the Bible in Matt 24:4-8 and others, foretold that in the flow of human history, there would “be wars and rumors of war”. It also states that “nations would rise against nations.” These Biblical prophecies have been fulfilled over and over again in human history since the times of Jesus. These Biblical prophecies also overtook our nation when in the early 1950’s India and Burma invaded our lands.
Now many of us Christians like to think that the Bible talks only about good things regarding our salvation and personal happiness. Yes the Bible talks about these things, but it also talks about many other uncomfortable facts of life. For example, I for one would wish that the Bible would talk only about “a time to be born” and never about a time to “die.” I also wish there would only be times of laughter and never times of weeping and mourning. But the book of reality solemnly states that under God’s sovereignty, such contrasting times would happen in human lives and human history. (See Eccl 3:1-8)
Under the same order of God’s sovereign will, Eccl 3:8 states that there would be times of “love” and times of “hate.” It also declares that there would be times of “war” and times of “peace”. Here let us also recollect Jesus’ own words where he said that there would be wars and rumors of war.
As for the causes of war, James 4:2 states thus: “You desire and do not have; so you kill. And you covet and cannot obtain; so you go to war.” Now in the case of India and Burma’s invasion of our lands, it is a clear case of coveting our mineral resources and strategic geo-political location for which they have forcefully annexed or lands to their own. Under such circumstances and times, are we supposed to go to war in self defense or are we supposed to beg for peace from them. Can there be peace in our lands when we are under invasion and two foreign flags are flying in our country? Can there be peace in our lands when foreign laws that can even shoot us to death on mere suspicion prevail in our lands? Can there indeed be peace in our lands when our very history, geography and even our liberty to live as free citizens in our own lands have been wrestled away by foreign powers?
Under the present circumstances, when it is indeed a time of war for us, are we evading the issue and obligation that we owe to God and our God given country to defend her? If instead of defending our God given country and our God given rights, we are instead collaborating with the enemy and pleading for peace with them, then we are guilty of treason both to God as well as to our country. Under the present circumstances, I would emphatically state that there cannot be peace in Nagaland as long as foreign flags and foreign soldiers are still in our lands.
Therefore, in the light of these present glaring facts, the present times cannot be a time for peace in Nagaland but a time for war. It is a time for war because we have been invaded by our neighbors. And at such times as this, if the price for peace is war than we must go to war. And I say this, because lasting peace will never come through the evasion or compromise of justice and truth. Here, only the fainthearted and the cowardly would seek peace with those who seek to destroy our freedom and our liberty.
Finally, to our own national leaders and workers allow me to say this:
In a time of war, only leaders without vision will be dividing and subdividing its people into factions and fractions. Such leaders cannot be saviors of the nation but destroyers of the nation. They are unworthy of national leadership and should therefore be removed from the helms of national affairs. Also in a time of war only insane leaders would try to start an internal revolution in order to forcefully impose a foreign political ideology upon an already broken and shattered people. Finally, it is a shameful and cowardly act on the part of any national leader to be hiding and cowering under a white flag of peace in a time of war.
Rather than all these madness, in a time of war, comrades and patriots should be tending to the wounds of injured comrades. Soldiers in uniform and arms should be standing behind trenches defending the motherland from foreign invasion. And most of all, let us get this clearly into our heads, that in times of war, only the insane and the lunatic would turn his gun upon his own fellow citizens. When will Nagas and Nagaland face these facts and truths of our present times and collectively fight back for our liberty and freedom? The need of the hour is collective reconciliation, unity and action - not collective anything else.
Prime Minister who fulfills the Naga dreams Oken Jeet Sandham
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s keenness to resolve the Naga issue cannot be questioned. It was he who invited the “collective leadership” of the NSCN (IM) to come to New Delhi and also allowed them to stay in Nagaland to be in contact with leaders of various civil societies. Nagaland chief minister Neiphiu Rio, his cabinet colleagues, leaders of other political parties and even Naga politicians from neighboring states held discussions with Chairman Isak Chishi Swu and general secretary Th Muivah at their Camp Hebron near Dimapur. This was a significant achievement on the part of the organization as it needed to study the ground realities and the credit for this goes to the Prime Minister. Manmohan Singh went further by fulfilling the NSCN-IM’s demand that the bureaucratic-level talks, which were a mere get-together to keep the ceasefire alive, be upgraded to the level of a “political one” by constituting a ministerial team headed by Union minister Oscar Fernandez. In fact, interlocutor K Padmanabhaiah to the Center-NSCN (IM) peace talks played a crucial role in striking a balance even in the face of severe criticism for speaking out about the talks.
He was rapped and called a mere government servant who knew nothing about the Naga political issue and, at times, he had to retract his statements. Many doubted his continuity as New Delhi’s interlocutor when the BJP-led NDA lost power at the Center. But he survived the change of guard, as the new Congress-led UPA government required his experience in pushing the peace process forward.
This proved that the UPA genuinely wanted to solve the Naga problem and was not interested in political vengeance. One of the significant steps the UPA government took was to extend the ongoing ceasefire with the NSCN (IM) indefinitely. This, according to the government, was needed to concentrate more on the substantive issues as both parties had been wasting precious time on working out mostly for truce extensions.
That the UPA is keen to resolve the Indo-Naga political issue was clear from the fact that Oscar Fernandez flew to Dimapur by a special Indian Air Force plane to sign that historic ceasefire extension on 31 July last year. This clearly showed Dr Singh’s integrity and his government’s seriousness in resolving the Naga issue. This is rather a breakthrough as far as the peace process is concerned. It is also reported that out of the 30-point charter of demands put forward by the NSCN (IM), the government of India has reportedly agreed to 70 per cent in principle and that only 30 per cent remains to be settled which, perhaps, includes the critical areas of foreign policies, separate flag, currency, defence, etc, and, of course, the contentious issue of Naga integration. Political analysts and pundits have candidly suggested that since a large portion of the demands put up by the organization has already been agreed upon the collective leadership should not keep the process under wraps and instead move ahead to enter into a final agreement.
After all, negotiation means “give and take,” and they have to be prepared to “lose something”. In reality, nobody can deny that from the very beginning it was former Prime Minister PV Narasimha Rao who had publicly declared that the “Naga issue is political and it should be solved politically”. This gave political status to the complex Naga issue and this has been translated into reality by Manmohan Singh with his formally constituting a ministerial team. This is also what the collective leadership of the NSCN (IM) had been demanding all along. It is very fortunate that the same Prime Minister who fulfilled the dreams of the Naga underground leaders visits the State and this shows what he really thinks for the Naga people.
Unfortunately, some non-Congress political leaders, instead of appreciating the UPA Prime Minister’s fulfilling demands of the Naga people, reacted to his visit saying that he would not be able to announce any economic package. The underlying question is whether to choose the solution to the long drawn out Naga political issue or economic package. If the people of Nagaland are asked to choose one from the two, they will choose the former.
NDFB out of truce talks - Outfit asks for ‘clarifications’ OUR CORRESPONDENT The Telegraph
File picture of an NDFB activist keeping vigil at the outfit’s headquarters at Kumguri in Assam’s Kokrajhar district
Kokrajhar, Feb. 28: Piqued at being kept waiting for peace talks with Delhi, the National Democratic Front of Boroland is now playing hard to get.
The Bodo militant group has backed out of a meeting tomorrow of the joint ceasefire monitoring group, citing a list of grievances ranging from truce violations by police to the government’s reluctance to formally invite its leaders to a round of peace talks.
The NDFB's information and publicity secretary, S. Sanjarang, said today that the outfit would not even consider sitting for talks until the government clarified its position on some issues. He cited three instances of “unarmed” NDFB members being targeted, twice allegedly by police officers.
The outfit would like to know whether penal action has been initiated against Jayanta Basumatary and Jayanta Kalita, the former officers-in-charge of Sapatgram police station in Dhubri and Dokmoka police outpost in Karbi Anglong, for allegedly killing “unarmed” members, Sanjarang said.
Another police officer was accused of conspiracy. “What action will the government take against P.K. Dutta, the superintendent of police in Baksa, who is hand-in-glove with Hitesh Basumatary, the BTC executive member, in inciting fratricidal killings?” the militant leader asked.
The third question pertained to the murder of an NDFB member at Medhaghat in Baksa district in March last year.
Sanjarang said the NDFB also wanted information about its vice-president, Dhiren Boro.
“What is the government doing about B. Sungthagra alias Dhiren Boro, who has been languishing in Gangtok jail for the last five years? Is it not the responsibility of the government to arrange for his release on the ground that the party which he leads is in ceasefire with it?” the publicity secretary asked. He said the government should not expect the NDFB leadership to agree to talks without a written invitation. “We cannot accept wireless messages sent to the police as an official invitation to any meeting. A letter has to be issued.”
The NDFB’s complaints about being targeted and taken for granted coincided with another member, N. Muluksa, being injured in firing by unidentified assailants at Aila Chowk in Baksa district around 4.30pm. The outfit declared a 12-hour statewide bandh tomorrow to protest the incident.
Sanjarang insisted that all NDFB members had been abiding by the ground rules of the ceasefire since it took effect. “But it has been observed that government forces are repeatedly violating the ground rules and committing unprovoked killings. The matter has been raised in meetings of the joint monitoring group earlier and the government has done nothing so far.”
The NDFB called a truce in October 8, 2004.
Trouble on Assam boundary A STAFF REPORTER The Telegraph
Guwahati, Feb. 28: Assam will lodge a protest with Nagaland for the neighbouring state’s move to set up polling stations in the disturbed Assam border (DAB) areas. Nagaland has already set up election offices in the A, B and C sectors of the disturbed areas and has now initiated the process of setting up polling stations as well. Flags of political parties are seen fluttering at Old Leukha, New Leukha, New Runi Basti, Old Runi Basti, Haiyan and in the foothills of D sector. Assam home commissioner Rajib Bora visited the state’s border areas with Nagaland on Tuesday after the Golaghat district administration apprised Dispur of the development.
Golaghat additional superintendent of police B.B. Gogoi said an inquiry was on to ascertain how many polling stations Nagaland was planning to set up and exactly where. “We have seen them setting up election campaign booths in the disputed areas,” he confirmed. He said if Dispur gives the go ahead, police would dismantle the polling stations inside Assam’s territory. A Sarupathar police official said there were reports that Naga politicians were bribing Assamese villagers residing in the disturbed areas to vote for them. “Their names have already been included in the voter’s list of that state.” Dhansiri sub-divisional police officer Bolin Deuri said the DAB area was also becoming a base for militant outfits.
Shopkeepers decry extortion bids By Our Staff Reporter Sangai Express
IMPHAL, Feb 28: With an earnest appeal not to make monetary demands from shopkeepers doing business at Lamlong Bazar for their livelihood, shopkeepers of Lamlong Bazar staged a protest sitting today.
During the protest sitting participated by shopkeepers and women vendors of Khurai Lamlong Bazar, all the markets and shops remained closed.
Talking to the media, some of the protesters conveyed that they are not well to do or big business establishments. They are doing their petty business with money borrowed on loan just for sustenance.
The women vendors maintained that it is beyond the capacity of the shopkeepers and vendors of Lamlong Bazar to pay monthly tax to UG groups as their daily earning is too meagre. The protesters appealed to all concerned to understand the plight of the common people.
Shops in Lamlong Bazar have been shut down since yesterday in protest against the monetary demand of UG group.
One shot dead : A youth was shot dead by some unidentified persons on a river bank at Kangvai Makha Leikai, about 10 kms North of Churachandpur police station at about 10.30 am today.
The deceased youth is identified as Songminlun Kuki (23) s/o Ngamjahao of Saiton Khunou.
He was hit by a bullet on the head.
The corpse has been handed over to family members after post mortem at Churachandpur district hospital, said police sources.
Burmese delegation likely to attend Indian Trade Fair SolomonMizzima News
Organisers of Industries and Trade Fair Association of Assam (ITFAA) in India's northeast said they are hopeful that Burmese delegates and companies will participate in the 15th International Guwahati Trade Fair to be held from February 29 to March 11.
Rajeev Das secretary of ITFAA told Mizzima that invitations have been sent out to Burma, which had participated in earlier fairs, to take part in the trade fair to be held at the Assam Engineering Institute Ground, Chandmari, Guwahati. "Multi national companies are going to participate and it is the biggest and oldest trade affair of India or north east India," said Das, expressing his hope that a Burmese delegation will also take part, as they had done in 2007.
"We have sent invitations to the Burmese government to send a delegation but they have not confirmed yet," Das added. Das said, for four consecutive years Burmese delegates have taken part in the trade fair, and recounted last year's participation as saying, "Last year a big delegation from Myanmar [Burma] visited the 14th trade affair."
Besides Burma, delegates from Thailand, UAE, Czech Republic, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, and Turkey will join Indian traders in the fair and show case their products, Das added.
In 2007, a 31-member Burmese delegation attended the trade fair and signed a memorandum of understanding with the Assam and Manipur states of India for better trade relationship.
Frans on 02.29.08 @ 06:39 AM CST [link]