Government to hold talks with NSCN(I-M) in Amsterdam
Govt to hold talks with NSCN(I-M) in Amsterdam PTI D Dna India
Sunday, May 14, 2006 10:30 IST NEW DELHI: Ahead of talks to renew the ceasefire with the major Naga insurgent outfit, NSCN(I-M), that expires on July 31, the government will hold two days of parleys with the group in Amsterdam this week to discuss "substantive issues", including the outfit's demand for a Greater Nagaland.
The Central team, led by Minister for Statistics and Programme Implementation Oscar Fernandes and comprising the Centre's pointsman for the Naga peace process K Padmanabhaiah and some Union Home Ministry officials will leave for the Netherlands on May 17 and stay on in Amsterdam for two days for the dialogue.
"All issues, including that of renewal of ceasefire with The NSCN (I-M), will figure in the talks which are aimed at keeping the dialogue with the government going," sources said.
The NSCN (I-M) and the security forces in Nagaland have been holding fire since 1997 when the ceasefire accord was reached.
The accord has been extended every year since then, except last year, when it was renewed for six months on the insistence of the Naga outfit and further extended by six months in February.
The key and "most contentious" demand of the Naga group has been the issue of Greater Nagalim (Nagaland), to bring all Naga-dominated areas in the northeast under one administrative mechanism. However, it has seen strong opposition from Assam, Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh.
Naga delegation meets Patil, Oscar; requests on talks Zee News
New Delhi, May 14: Ahead of the crucial round of parleys between the Centre and NSCN (I-M) this week, an eight-member delegation from Nagaland, including State Home Minister Thenucho, today met Union Home Minister Shivraj Patil and urged him to expedite the peace process in the north eastern state.
The delegation, which also comprised two parliamentarians, also met Centre's pointsman for Naga talks and Union Minister Oscar Fernandes, Law Minister H R Bhardwaj and interlocutor K Padmanabhiah and urged the Central leadership to ensure "concrete" steps to solve the more than five decade-old insurgency problem in the state.
"We told them that unification of Naga-inhabitated areas is a must for solving the problem. Unification is the birth right of the Naga people and a genuine demand," Lok Sabha MP and a member of the delegation W W Konyak told mediapersons here.
"We reminded them that the Central government has the constitutional authority to integrate a particular area if it so desires. Since Naga people residing outside geographical boundary of Nagaland wanted to live together with their brethern, the Centre should take action positively," he said. Konyak said Patil and other Union Ministers have assured the delegation that the centre would consult with neighbouring states - Assam, Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh - and take a decision on the issue. Government will hold two days of parleys with NSCN (I-M) in Amsterdam on May 18 and 19 to discuss "substantive issues", including the outfit's demand for a Greater Nagaland. Bureau Report
Memorandum to PM for Naga unification forwarded Remove arbitary boundaries The Morung Express Chizokho Vero
Nagas shout slogans and march in a rally demanding integration of all Naga inhabited areas in Senapati, about 80 kilometers south of Kohima, Nagaland, Saturday, May 13. (AP Photo)
Tahamzam (Senapati), May 13 (MExN): A massive Naga Integration Rally held here demanding the unification of all the Naga inhabited areas and in support of the Indo-Naga peace process this morning along with the other districts Ukhrul, Tamenglong and Chandel, unanimously endorsed and reaffirmed its commitment for the integration of all Naga areas under one political roof.
In a memorandum submitted to the Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh by the Naga people of Tahamzam (Senapati) district led by Naga People Organization (NPO) after the rally, it demanded removal of “Arbitrary boundaries- imposed upon the Nagas,” to deliver justice by expediting the ongoing Indo-Naga peace process and honorable solution acceptable to both the parties.
The memorandum, which was submitted through Deputy Commissioner, Tahamzam (Senapati) District, Manipur stated that the desire of the Nagas to live as one people under one administrative roof had been continuously expressed from the very beginning by “our representatives since the year 1929.”
The memorandum signed by 12 different organizations while also expressing full support and sincere commitment to the ongoing Indo-Naga peace process, earnestly requested Prime Minister to respect and uphold the historical resolution and desire of the Naga people for integration of all Naga areas under one political roof.
At the rally, the participants shouted at the top of their voices slogan likes, “We demand Naga political solution,” “Expedite Peace Process,” “We demand Naga integration,” “Long live Collective leadership,” “We support peace process,” “We demand honorable solution”, “No Integration No Solution” etc.
Among the many placards read at the rally included, “We have seen our women raped and tortured in front of our eyes, no more please,” “Collective leadership , we are with you,” “Our land is our land,” “Naga integration is our birth right,” “We want peace, justice and freedom let us give peace a chance!!,” “Some of our parents are without their papa and mama for our rightful cause,” “It is time for honorable solution,” “We have suffered for more than 57 years. Now its time for solution,” “Stop insulting our wishes and desire,” etc.
Earlier, United Naga Council President Paul Leo said that time has come for GOI to allow the Nagas to determine their future. He also said that the time has come for Government of India to be very sincere.
“We cannot be silent spectators to the Naga peace process,” Naga Hoho president Keviletuo said adding that the rally would surely strengthen and enhance the negotiators. He also reiterated that Nagas are one; we are one people, one land and one nation.
NSF’s vice president, Imchatoba, former NSF president NSN Lotha, Ex- deputy speaker Raina, representative for Naga Women Union, Manipur and P. Ashuli also spoke on the occasion. The rally was held under the aegis of the United Naga Council.
UK MPs take aim at India By Seema Mustafa asianage.com
New Delhi, May 12: A group of British parliamentarians have come together to set up a "Parliamentarians for National Self-Determination" body that will seek to get international recognition of self-determination as a fundamental human right. India is a clear target, with the organisers listing "Punjab, Nagas, Manipur, Tamils and Kashmiris" in their list of movements seeking self-determination.
The chair of the new organisation, which was inaugurated at the Houses of Parliament at Westminster on Thursday, is Pakistani-origin Labour Party parliamentarian Lord Nazir Ahmed, with Mr Ranjit Singh, a lawyer who is openly supportive of a separate state of Punjab, as its administrative secretary.
The Indian high commission in London has taken the matter up with the British foreign office, which has disclaimed all responsibility, maintaining that it cannot interfere in the workings of the British Parliament. Mr Ranjit Singh, when contacted over the telephone by this correspondent, said that the effort of the parliamentarians was to propagate self-determination as a fundamental human right, and to give a platform through the organisation to all such separatist groups seeking self-determination. He said that a group of lawyers from Punjab had made a very forceful presentation for "the Sikhs' right to self-determination" at the inaugural function. He said he himself was from Punjab and supported the right to self-determination which had assumed the shape of the "Khalistan" movement in the 1980s.
Mr Singh claimed that the inaugural function was very well attended and that apart from Punjab, the "nationalist movements" of the "Nagas, Manipur, Northeast, Tamils, Kosovo, Kurdish self-determination" ... all had figured at the meeting. Interestingly, he had to be asked specifically about the Kashmiris, to which he said: "Yes, there were several speakers actually on this issue." Asked if representatives from Pakistan's Northern Areas, Gilgit, Baltistan as well as Baluchistan had been represented, Mr Singh said: "We are a new organisation, more groups will come." It is learnt that a group of Baluchis did arrive for the conference but, sources said, "they were not allowed to speak for more than 30 seconds."
Mr Ranjit Singh said that in his view, "if people are denied self-determination, the situation eventually leads to huge human rights abuses." He said that a cross-section of MPs was represented in the organisation and it would focus on "informing the world that self-determination was a fundamental right and not just a political slogan." The vice-chair of the parliamentarians group is Mr Elfyn Llwyd, MP, who represents the Welsh, Scottish and English nationalist groups. Others who spoke and are associated with the organisation include Mr Simon Hughes, president of the Liberal Democratic Party, Daniel Hannon, member of the European Parliament from the Conservative Party, Mr Peter Wishart, MP of the Scottish Nationalist Party, and Mr Kashmiri Singh, general secretary of the British Sikh Federation. The conference was organised in collaboration with the Hague-based Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organisation (UNPO).
Lord Nazir Ahmad could not be reached. Sources said that he is the treasurer of a newly-constituted group on Sikhs and helps raise and channel funds. He is particularly unpopular with the Indian community in London, with several members having written to him protesting against the visible anti-India bias of the new organisation. Lord Dholakia, who is chairman of the Liberal Democrats' Friends of India, spoke out against the parliamentarians' initiative in the House of Lords. He said that it was important to ensure that government subcommittees were representative of all communities, and "not restricted just to those perceived as being responsible for the atrocities on that day." He went on to point out: "When examining home-grown terrorism, we need to consider the pronouncements often made by responsible people in our community in this country. I refer, for example, to those who exploit the situation in the subcontinent by advocating self-determination of some states in that part of the world. Those are the breeding grounds of emotions and hatred and do nothing but damage the stability of some people in this country and the stability of communities."
Interestingly, several Baloch and Sindhi groups are active in the UK and submitted a memorandum to Prime Minister Tony Blair last year demanding that Pakistan should stop "committing ongoing atrocities against our peoples in Pakistan. Over the last six months, Pakistan's military and paramilitary forces have once again started a widespread operation using heavy air and ground artillery in various parts of Balochistan. This violent and illegal operation was started to suppress the legitimate demands of the Baloch people." The signatories to this memorandum, which is with this newspaper, included the World Sindhi Congress, Sindhi Baloch Forum and Balochistan Rights Movement, who incidentally were not invited to the parliamentarians and the UNPO's inaugural conference.
International Human Rights Organisation (IHRO), of the Indian subcontinent, is a NGO, with national focus and overseas lobby network. It agitates both in India and internationally.
Masked gunmen loot passengers on NH-39 The Imphal Free Press
IMPHAL, May 13: Around twenty masked heavily armed youths looted two private agencies passenger buses on NH-39 yesterday.
The bus bearing registration number MN-01/1397 of Kangla Rajdhani Travels was heading from Dimapur to Imphal. The plunderers in uniform stopped the bus at Jakhama, Nagaland near Assam Rifles gate at around 8.30 pm and looted mobile phones, jewelleries and some cash. The exact value of the loot was not known as yet. One more bus of Sony Travels, North AOC was also looted on the same spot, sources added.
ONGC receives extortion threat from NSCN NDTV
Sunday, May 14, 2006 (Guwahati):
Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) has received extortion demand from outlawed separatist guerrillas National Socialist Council of Nagaland (NSCN) before the state-run firm begins operations in the state. ONGC's Nazira office in Assam on May 8 received two letters signed by Lt Col Angpa, Secretary of NSCN's Konyak Region, demanding Rs three crore.
The extortion demand made by NSCN came within days of ONGC getting Petroleum Exploration License (PEL) from the state government for two blocks the company had won under New Exploration Licensing Policy (NELP).
Sources said the extortion demand on the letterhead of Office of the Chairman of NSCN's Konyk Region stated that the ONGC might begin work only after fulfillment of it's demand.
ONGC, India's largest oil producer, had received an extortion demand of Rs 500 crore from ULFA in January. The company has already informed the Petroleum Ministry about the latest threat.
State-owned Oil India Ltd had in 2001 shut operations in Arunachal Paradesh after extortion demands from NSCN. ONGC is, however, not unnerved by the extortion threat and plans to go ahead with exploring in blocks in Nagaland. (PTI)
Naga model sets ramp on fire in New Delhi New Kerala
By Sanjay Kumar, New Delhi: The uniqueness of the India's northeast came to be seen in recently held Wills Lifestyle Fashion Week 2006 in the national capital. Some of the fashion designers showcased the traditional Naga dress and both male and female models dazzle the ramp with ethnic dress and wear. Most of the models walking on the ramp were not from Nagaland or belong to any part of India's northeast but what they are wearing represent the region. The dress and other accessories showcase the traditional Naga way of dressing.
There were models from the northeast region as well, who set the ramp on fire with their oomph and style. The distinct looking Naga girl -- Esther Jamir -- was one such model, who represented the northeast India in the world of fashion, making her mark on the ramp.
Esther, who belonging to the Ao community of Nagaland, represents the aspirations of the emerging talent from the state. Esther Jamir, the model from Nagaland said: "Well I was always interested in modeling. I do design clothes also. Self styled designs. I wanted to do a fashion designing course as well as try modeling side by side. Then I decided to come to Delhi. Instead of getting into designing first, I started modeling...Now I am struck with modeling."
In the week long Wills Fashion Week one of the designers showcased Naga dresses and accessories. The show illustrated the country's fascination with the northeast region and how the region's ethnic identity becomes the hallmark of the country's identity. The fashion designer Neelam feels proud to present the North East dresses in the show. "If you read the newspapers, if you see the magazines, the people, the Hollywood actor and actresses, if they need some place, if they go there, they go gaga over it. I think their culture, their peace and their places, everybody is fond of it," said Neelam Saxena, a fashion designer. Exploring different avenues to showcase their talent, youth from India's northeast, enticed by the world of glamour, are making their mark on the catwalk. The designers also feel that the peace and normalcy brings out the latent aspirations and desires of people and Nagaland is one of the best examples.
Today youth of the state is exploring all the options that the modern world offers to them. Esther Jamir, the Naga model, also feels that modeling is one arena where the young girls from the state can make their mark on the ramp. "I have always been trying to encourage girls from that side to try, they do have different looks, and now a days people are willing to experiment on different looks. And I mean there are girls coming and you get to see more of them soon," said Esther.
Because of their oriental look models from India's northeast are in great demand in the fashion world in India. At least fifteen models from the northeast region walked the ramp in the just concluded Wills Lifestyle Fashion Show.
Self-determination inseparably linked to democracy: UNPO
Parliamentarians for National Self-Determination launched in London
DIMAPUR, MAY 13 (MExN): UNPO General Secretary, Marino Busdachin has said that the issue of self-determination has its roots in and continues to be inseparably linked to the core concept of democracy, understood to mean the right to choose one’s rulers and to participate in decision-making.
“In this sense, the right to self-determination is a right of choice and a right of participation”, Busdachin was quoted as saying during the launch of the Parliamentarians for National Self-Determination which was attended among others by Rh. Raising Secretary of Steering Committee of Nationalist Socialist Council of Nagalim (NSCN).
Organised in partnership with UNPO, Parliamentarians and national representatives from Westminster, Europe and Asia met in the Houses of Parliament, London with the right to self-determination being the central theme and common denominator.
Pointing out that many of the armed conflicts that have raged in the world during the last century, and the vast majority of those that have taken place since the end of the Cold War and continue today, centre around people’s drive to self-determination, whether explicitly stated as such or not, the UNPO General Secretary told the conference.
“For this reason, it is necessary to explore ways to transform the perception of self-determination – away from being a contributing factor or even cause of conflict, and into being the notion of self-determination as a foundation and instrument for effective prevention and resolution of conflict”, Busdachin said.
Saying that for peace, security and stability to exist, any associations between peoples and communities or between them and the state must be based on genuine and continuing consent, mutual respect and mutual benefit and that peace cannot exist in states that lack legitimacy or whose governments threaten the lives or wellbeing of a section of the population.
On self-determination as it should be today, Busdachin said that at a time of inter-dependency, it should embody a broad concept which enlists solutions going from regional partial autonomy, full autonomy, association, to federalism, to independence.
Strengthening democracy, human rights, the right to self-determination and the rule of law in the broad sense is the milestone to achieving peaceful coexistence and progress, and to meeting the challenges of the present time, Busdachin further added.
Later, a 10-point Draft resolution was passed by the conference which included nationalist leaders and representatives of the Nagas, Kashmiri, Kosovar, Palestinian, Sikh, Tamil, Chechen, Kurd, Manipuri and other nations. According to the resolution, they collectively recognized each other’s nationhood and declared mutual support for each other’s individual national independence movements in their quest for ultimately achieving freedom, independence and sovereignty in accordance with the wishes of their peoples.
DAN never invited Congress for all-party team to Delhi: I Imkong The Morung Express
Kohima, May 13 (NEPS): The Leader of the Opposition I Imkong has clarified that the DAN Government had never approached the Congress Party officially to discuss sending an all-party team from Nagaland to Delhi for taking up the “burning issue of the Indo-Naga political problem with the top Indian leaderships.”
Earlier, there had been reports in a section of the local press that an all-party team led by State Home Minister Thenucho would be heading for Delhi to pressurize the top Indian leaderships to expedite the peace process between the Government of India and the Naga underground leaders. It was earlier maintained that the “Congress will be represented by Opposition leader I Imkong and three other senior MLAs of the Opposition bench.” Reacting strongly to the statement, the leader of the Opposition, in a statement issued here today, categorically made it clear that the DAN Government had never approached the Congress Party officially to discuss about sending an all-party team from the State to Delhi. As such the question of participation by the Congress did not arise, he explained. He, however, pointed out that the Congress was not “against the DAN Government in working together if it is for the cause of the Naga people” he added that “We are prepared to work together if right initiative is taken up in proper manner”.
Imkong, who is also the Congress Legislature Party (CLP) Leader, termed as “unfortunate” the media report as it seemed to be the handiwork of some “vested interest to create misunderstanding and confusion among the political parties as well as people.”
He also said the reconciliation and unity process initiated during the Congress regime had collapsed due to the DAN’s policy of “equi-closeness.” The Congress Party from the very beginning warned the DAN Chief Minister against his partisan policy of going closer to a particular underground group at a time when all sections of Naga people should work for bringing different groups to a common platform, the Leader of the Opposition said. He further reminded that it was the Congress party that urged the then Indian Prime Minister PV Narasimha Rao to accept the Naga problem as both political and national. As such, for the first time, Narasimha Rao as Prime Minister announced at a public rally at Dimapur on 22nd February 1993 that the “Naga problem was political as well as national.”
During the NDA Government at the Center, the Peace Process started in bureaucratic level, however under the Congress leadership, the present UPA Government had upgraded the talks to a “political level,” Imkong reminded. Imkong also expressed surprise as to how Home Minister Thenucho was thinking to lead such a delegation when his own district, Phek, has become the “hotbed of factional killings,” and also what kind of “message he would be giving to the Government of India.” Appealing to the people not to be misled or confused by such misinformation, Imkong said the Indian National Congress had been consistent with its policy towards finding a durable and acceptable solution to the vexed Naga problem.
NSUD: “Nagas want a solution!” The Morung Express
DIMAPUR, MAY 13 (MExN): The Naga Students Union Delhi has affirmed that the mass Integration Rally organised by the United Naga Council (UNC) in the four Naga Hill districts of Manipur, viz., Chamdil (Chandel), Hunphun (Ukhrul), Lenglong (Tamenglong) and Tamhajam (Senapati) in support of the Indo-Naga political negotiations truly conforms to the Nagas’ aspiration to live together as one people under a single political unit. According to Chitho Nyusou, President NSUD, “It is regrettable that the Indian Government has neglected to respect the July 11, 2002 official recognition of the ‘Unique history and situation of the Nagas’ in Amsterdam in Holland.”
He further stated that the Indian Government has been employing dilly-dallying tactics for the past eight years with no concrete decision on substantive issues including the question of integration of all Naga contiguous areas which was the main reason for holding the Integration Rally.
“We, the Naga students in Delhi, would like to appeal to Indian civil societies, political parties, intelligentsia, media and citizens to show their sincere solidarity and give their invaluable support to the initiatives and efforts of the Indian Government and the Nagas to bring an honourable and lasting permanent political solution. At this crucial juncture we would like to appeal to the International Community to intervene into the peace process to safeguard the rights of the Naga indigenous people”, stated the release. The rally was supported by major Naga organisations like the Naga Hoho, Naga Students’ Federation, Naga Peoples’ Movement for Human Rights, Naga Mothers’ Association, All Naga Students’ Association, Manipur, Naga Mothers’ Union, Manipur and other Naga civil society organisations and bodies across 'Nagalim' stated the release.
Integration rally in Manipur Correspondent Nagaland Post Tahamzam (Senapati), May 13 (NPN): Braving blistering heat, about ten thousand Nagas living in the four hill districts of Manipur took out a procession Saturday reaffirming the demand for integration of contiguous Naga-inhabited areas. The Naga Integration Rally, organized under the aegis of the United Naga Council (UNC), was held in all the four hill district headquarters of Manipur - Senapati, Ukhrul, Tamenglong and Chandel.
The rally culminated in the submission of a representation to the DC Chandel, addressed to the Prime Minister of India seeking fulfillment of the demand for integration of Naga-inhabited areas and expediting the ongoing Indo-Naga peace process towards an early solution to the Naga political problem that was both honourable and acceptable to all sections of the Nagas.
The main rally at Tahamzam (Senapati) district headquarter witnessed the participation of Nagas from different parts of the district. From Thamzam local ground, the rallyists included school children walked for about four kilometers towards Karong before returning back. At the function in Thamzam , speakers representing different organizations including the Naga Hoho, NSF, NWUM and also politicians made a strong plea for integration. Naga Hoho acting president Keviletuo in his address reminded that Nagas had suffered, shed blood and cried in the past several decades in their struggle for freedom.
Urging the Nagas to take part in the ongoing peace process, he disclosed that while eighty per cent of the issues had been hammered out in the ongoing negotiations, only a few were pending. He therefore urged Nagas not to be discouraged by it.
Keviletuo expressed confidence that the leaders engaged in the ongoing peace talks would not betray the Nagas but take the people into confidence. The other speakers included NSF vice president Imchatoba, former NSF president and present NESO general secretary NSN Lotha, NWUM leader and former deputy speaker of Manipur Raina Maram.
The rally concluded with the submission of a memorandum to the Prime Minister of India through the Deputy Commissioner, Tahamzam (Senapati). The memorandum was signed by twelve different mass-based Naga organizations led by United Naga Council president K S Paul. Among the signatories included the Naga People Organization (NPO), All Naga Students' Association Manipur (ANSAM), Poumai Masou Me (Hoho), Naga Peoples' Movement for Human Rights (NPMHR), Memei (Mao) Hoho, Naga Women Union, Manipur, Maram Naga Union, Zeliangrong Union Tahamzam (Senapati) Zone, Thangal Naga Union, Tahamzam (Senapati) District Students' Association and Tahamzam (Senapati) District Women Association.
In the memorandum, the Nagas reiterated their long-standing desire to live under one administrative roof and cited the numerous decisions they had taken earlier. Further, they demanded removal of the "Arbitrary boundaries imposed upon the Nagas", "deliver justice by expediting the ongoing Indo-Naga peace process" and an "honourable solution acceptable to both the parties". While expressing full support and sincere commitment to the ongoing peace process, they requested the Prime Minister to respect and uphold the historical resolution and desires of the Naga people for integration of all Naga inhabited areas under one political roof. Meanwhile, the NSCN (I-M) has expressed gratitude to the Nagas of the four hills district of Manipur for showing solidarity in support of the demand for integration.
Naga Students’ Union, Delhi- Press Statement Posted on Sunday, May 14 Kuknalim.com
The mass Integration Rally organised by the United Naga Council (UNC) in four Naga hill districts of Manipur, viz., Chamdil (Chandel), Hunphun (Ukhrul), Lenglong (Tamenglong) and Tamhajam (Senapati) in support of the Indo-Naga political negotiations truly conforms the Nagas’ aspiration to live together as one people under a single political unit. The rally has been called to reaffirm the UNC’s stand for complete and full support for an honourable and lasting permanent political solution between the Indian Government and the Naga people. The UNC has been categorical in its stand that integration of all Naga contiguous areas in Indian States of Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur and Nagaland is the first and most appropriate political step towards resolving the 59 years of politico-military conflict in Asia. Through this rally, the UNC makes its position very clear to the Indian Government that the later should no longer take the aspiration of the Naga people for granted, lest the Indian State would be solely responsible for the failure of the peace talk.
It is, indeed, regrettable that the Indian Government has neglected to respect the July 11, 2002 official recognition of the “Unique history and situation of the Nagas” in Amsterdam in Holland. Moreover, to the surprise of the whole world the Indian Government has been playing dilly-dallying tactics in the past more than eight years. In a nutshell, the Indian Government has not taken any concrete decision on the substantive issues including even on the question of integration of all Naga contiguous areas. This is the main reason of taking out this Integration Rally by the UNC in the backdrop of the political talks slated to be held in Holland in the coming week. The rally has been supported by all the Naga civil societies, viz., Naga Hoho, Naga Students’ Federation, Naga Peoples’ Movement for Human Rights, Naga Mothers’ Association, All Naga Students’ Association, Manipur, Naga Mothers’ Union, Manipur and the rest of the Naga civil society organisations and bodies across Nagalim.
In full and unequivocal support to the initiatives and efforts of the Indian Government and the National Socialist Council of Nagalim to bring peace with justice in the Indian sub-continent through peaceful dialogues, the Naga Students’ Union, Delhi, gives our fullest support to the UNC in its effort to strengthen the peace process. We would like to urge the Indian Government to lift up to its assurance given to the Nagas of taking ‘new initiatives’ within six months ceasefire extension. It is of great concern to the student community in Delhi that the Indian Government is still following its past strategies of making peace talk as another way of the so called counter-insurgency against the aspiration of the Naga people. We strongly urge the Indian Government to come out with clean and concrete policy statement towards the inherent rights of the Naga people. We, the Naga students in Delhi, would like to appeal all the Indian civil societies, political parties, intelligentsia, media and the citizens to show their sincere solidarity and give their invaluable support to the initiatives and efforts of the Indian Government and the Nagas to bring an honourable and lasting permanent political solution. Last but not the least, we would like to urge and appeal the Naga people that the time has come for all of us to seriously involve in strengthening the peace process. This is a deciding and defining moment for the Nagas. We would like to encourage the Naga people to rise up for the genuine cause for which we have been struggling and fighting. It is not out of place to mention here that a time has come for the Nagas to realistically think of a consistent and sustain peoples’ activism through high quality level mass upsurge and demonstration in order that historical and democratic political rights does not hidden under the carpet. It is a matter of fact that the UNC has taken a right decision to hold a rally at this crucial moment of our history. The NSUD is of the opinion that more such rally be held everywhere in all Naga areas and in different Indian cities so that we would be able to draw the attention of the International Community. We would like to reiterate our firm conviction and commitment that we would stand by the aspiration of the Naga people and their inherent right to live as one family in a single political unit. It is of utmost importance that the Indian Government be more matured and sincere to the given political problem. It is high time the Indian Government takes necessary political measures so that not only peace with justice is brought in the region but also democratic values and human rights of the people are protected and respected. At this crucial juncture we would like to appeal the International Community to intervene into the peace process to safeguard the rights of the Naga indigenous people. We strongly believe that the proposed rally is the beginning of our triumphal march towards our vision. Kuknalim Chitho Nyusou President, NSUD
Nagas rally under unification banner NNN/Addie Chiphang & Staff Reporter Sangai Express
Imphal, May 13 : Cries of "we demand honourable solution", "expedite peace process", "long live the collective leadership", "one people one land" and "no integration no solution" reverberated in the hills of four Naga dominated districts of Senapati, Tamenglong, Ukhrul and Chandel today as thousands of Naga students, children, women and men marched braving the scorching May heat, showing solidarity to the ongoing peace process between the NSCN (IM) and Government of India. The slogan shouting ral-lyists marched to reaffirm Nagas' demand for integration of all Naga inhabited areas under one political roof, one of the main demands of the NSCN (IM) in the nine year long peace parleys with the Centre. Submission of identical memorandaa to the Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh rounded off the rallies, which was held peace- fully. memorandum copies were submitted to the Prime Minister Deputy Commissioners of Senapati, Chan- del, Tamenglong and Ukh-rul districts, where the rallies were organised.
The representation to the PM said 'Nagas once again unanimously endor-se and reaffirm commitment for integration of all Naga areas under one political roof'.
demands listed include removal of “arbitrary boun-daries imposed” upon the Nagas, delivering justice to the Nagas by expediting the ongoing NSCN (IM)-Centre peace process and ho- nourable solution acceptable to both the parties. Representatives from Naga Hoho, Naga Students Federation, Naga Mothers Association and Naga Peoples Movement for Human Rights attended the programmes. Hoho president Kevile-tuo Angami, NSF vice pre- sident Chatoba and the latter's former president NSN Lotha were among those who attended the Senapati rally.
In his address, the Hoho president said today’s rally would strengthen the Naga negotiators. He urged the Nagas in Manipur to continue the struggle with the firm resolute of living together as one people in one land. “We are one and we should suffer today so that we can be a nation tomorrow,” he exhorted the crowd. NSF vice president said no force can block integration. If the Government of India is sincere and truthful Nagas' aspiration of living together would be achie-ved by now. K Raina (ex-MLA), addressing the gathering said, 'Nagas should stand and fight united against anyone who opposes demand for Naga integration'.
UNC president KS Leo Paul warned that if India is unwilling to fulfil aspirations of the Nagas, then Naga boys and girls will not hesitate in taking up arms and fight for sovereignty and unification. He said that the rally was organised to demonstrate to the world including leaders of Indian Government and Nagas’ neighbours, Nagas' commitment to integrate and determine their future.
“Not an inch of Nagas’ land was presented by anyone. Nagas are standing today on their land handed down by our ancestors. The time has come for the Govt of India to be sincere and make up its mind to deliver justice to the Nagas,” Leo said. Hoho general secretary Neingulo Krome took part in the Chandel rally where people in thousands set off from Maha Union Govt High School, Chandel to-wards the office of DC, Chandel district where the memo was handed over.
Prior to the march, a public meeting was held at the starting venue where apart from Neingulo Krome, assembly secretary of Naga Hoho Kenyted, NSF finan-ce secretary Kapani, ANSAM president Paul-ring, NWUM general secre- tary Sounai, Dr Gina Sang-kham of NPMHR, human rights activist Aya Hier and other Naga leaders spoke. Whether they are within the political boundary of India or Myanmar, Nagas have the capability to integrate themselves, noted Krome.
While taking a strong exception to objections rais- ed by some groups and co-mmunities to the unification process, the Hoho chief contended that Manipur can exist within an independent Naga State just as the Vatican City State exists within the political boun-dary of Italy. Reiterating that Nagas wish to have cordial relationship with other com- munities, he called upon all ethnic groups and communities to lend moral support to the Naga movement. To avoid any impasse and bloodshed among the Nagas, Krome appealed to NSCN (K) to encourage the current peace process. The rally at Ukhrul district headquarters star-ted simulatously from east- ern side of Dungrei Junction, Hundung and western side of Kasomtang IOC, Ukhrul with TNL ground as the culmination point where a public meeting resolved to hand over the memo to the DC for forwarding to the Prime Minister. Speakers emphasized on oneness of Naga people and pointed out that Naga independence movement took shape before India attained freedom.
Finance secretary of Na-ga Hoho C Diego appealed to brethrens of Tangkhul to desist from that of 'Khairao' society, and bravely and honestly accept issue of the Nagas as it is a people based movement. representatives of NSF, NPMHR, UNC, ANSAM and Naga Mothers Union also spoke. NSF president Pushika Awomi while coming down heavily on Indian Government said India is playing a divide and rule policy among the Nagas. "If no solution is brought to the ongoing peace talk, Nagas will live separately," he cautioned. In Tamenglong rally Naga Hoho speaker HK Zhimomi said if the Government of India continues to play divide and rule policy then the situation would get worst. Zhimomi further stated that Naga Hoho is committed to the peace process because it believes the people are solidly behind the ongoing peace process. He said Hoho cannot do anything if there is no support of the people to the peace process. He further stated that Nagas are no more alone as the world community has now recognised the political rights of the Nagas. NSF general secretary Elu Ndang, NPMHR con-venor Phamhring and UNC leader Tolkham Maring were alsom among those who spoke on the occasion.
No more talks on ceasefire extension, says Dy kilonser Sangai Express
By Our Staff ReporteIMPHAL, May 13: Other than emphasis only on substantive issues the forthco- ming talks between representatives of the Centre and NSCN (IM) would no more deliberate on matters related to further extension of ceasefire, said the outfit’s information and publi- city deputy kilonser Kraibo Chawang.
In a telephonic conversation with the Sangai Express today, Chawang said NSCN (IM) will insist on deliberation on the proposals already submitted to the Government of India during the Amsterdam talks from May 18 till 20.
Observing that talks in the Netherlands capital is a crucial one, the deputy ki-lonser said as the NSCN (IM) demands have already been proposed to the Union Government the ball is in the latter’s court for an amicable solution the decades old Naga political pro- blem.
Among others, the IM proposal covers amalgamation of all Naga inhabited areas in the North East region under a single admi- nistrative unit. the current cease-fire expires on June 30.
the Indian side would be represented by Minister of State Oscar Fernandes and the Centre’s interlocutor on the ongoing peace parley K Padmanabhaiah, he mentioned
Regarding composition of the NSCN (IM) delegation he said in addition to chairman Isak Chisi Swu and general secretary Th Muivah, other top leaders like V Atem and RH Raising would attend the meeting.
When questioned whe-ther some Naga MLAs had met the collective leaderships in Bangkok in view of arrival of general elections in the state, Chawang opined that the legislatures may have interacted with the IM leaders during the consultative meeting while clarifying that the organisation has nothing to do with Indian elections.
Nagas in thousands demand integration The Imphal Free Press
IMPHAL, May 13: The UNC sponsored `Peace Rally` in support of the Indo-Naga political dialogue was held today at the district headquarters of Senapati, Ukhrul, Tamenglong and Chandel. The rally was participated by several thousands of people who chanted slogans like `No integration, no solution`, `One land, one people` and `We want immediate solution`.
The rallyist also held placards with messages like `No integration, no solution`, `Integration is our birth right`, `We want Naga Integration`, `We fully support peace talk`, `Don`t try to stop Naga integration`, `Our land is our`, `Stopping Naga integration will create more bloodshed`, etc.
At Ukhrul district headquarters, people in large number including young school going boys and girls gathered at Kharasom junction and Dengsei junction. The rally kicked off from the two spots at around 11am. After passing through some important locations in the town, the rallyist converged at Tangkhul Long ground in the heart of Ukhrul town where a meeting was held and resolved to endorse the ongoing dialogue between the government of India and NSCN(IM).
Several prominent leaders of the organisations like Naga Students Federation, ANSAM, Naga Peoples Movement for Human Rights, United Naga Council, Tangkhul Youth Council, Tangkhul Katamnao Saklong, Tangkhul Naga Long, Tangkhul Women Council, Ukhrul Students Union spoke about resolving the vexed Naga problem and bringing Naga Integration.
Speakers at the meeting strongly observed that issue of the Naga people have to be resolved by the Nagas only. They also alleged that government of India has been playing divide and rule policy to separate the Naga. They also expressed regret that the nine year old peace talk between the government of India and NSCN(IM) failed to come out with any tangible solution. They however expressed hope that next round of talk between the two sides slated for May 28 to 29 at Armstadam, Netherlands will come out in a positive note.
Meanwhile, in a press release, the Naga Students Union, Delhi termed the integration rally in the four hill districts of Manipur as an expression of the aspirations of the Nagas to live together as one people under one political unit. The rally is a reaffirmation for an honourable and lasting solution between the Indian government and the Naga people. The release warned the Indian government not to take the aspiration of the Naga people for granted and that the Indian government would be solely responsible if peace talks fails.
The Naga Students Union affirming its full support to the UNC in its efforts to strengthen the peace process, called on the government of India to come out with a clean and concrete policy statement towards the inherent rights of the Naga people. Finally, the press note appealed to the international community to intervene in the peace process to safeguard the rights fo the Naga indegenous people. Add Newmai News Network: Cries of "we demand honourable solution, expedite peace process, long live the collective leadership, one people one land and no integration no solution" reverberated in the hills of four Naga dominated districtsof Senapati, Tamenglong, Ukhrul and Chandel in Manipur today as thousands of Naga students,children, women and men marched braving the scorching heat, showingsolidarity with the ongoing peace talk between the NSCN (IM) and the government of India.
The slogan shouting rallyists had gathered and marched to reaffirem the Nagas demand for integration of all the Naga inhabited areas under one political roof, one of the main demands of the NSCN (IM) in the nine year long peace talk with Indiagovernment. Submission of identical memorandums to the Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh rounded off the rallies, which was held peacefully. The memorandum copies were submitted to the Prime Minister through the deputy commissioners of Senapati, Chandel, Tamenglong andUkhrul districts, where the rallies were organized. The memoranda submitted to the Prime Minister of India through the four districts` deputy commisioners said the Nagas once again unanimously endorsed and reaffirmed their commitment for the integration of all Naga areas under one political roof. The demands listed in the memoranda included removal of "arbitrary boundaries imposed" upon the Nagas, delivering justice to the Nagas by expediting the ongoing NSCN(IM)-Centre peace process and honourable solution acceptable to both theparties. Representatives from Naga Hoho, Naga Students Federation,Naga Mothers Association and
Naga Peoples Movement for Human Rights attended the programmes. Hoho president Keviletuo Angami, NSF vice president Chatoba and former NSF president NSN Lotha were among those attended the Senapati rally. Hoho general secretary Neingulo Krome took part in the Chandel rally while NSF president Pushika Awmi addressed the rally organized in Ukhrul district headquarters. Addressing the Senapati rally Hoho president said today`s rally would strengthen the Naga negotiators. He urged the Nagas in Manipur to continue the struggle with the firm resolute of living together as one people in one land. "We are one and we should suffer today so that we can be a nation tomorrow," he told the crowd. NSF vice president said no force can block integration. If the government of India is sincere and truthful, Nagas` aspiration of living together would be achieved by now. K. Raina former MLA also addressed the gathering. He said Nagas should stand and fight united against any one who opposes the demand for Naga integration.
In Chandel Naga Hoho general secretary Neingolo Krome said, "The issue of Naga integration is something to do with a broken family. Nagas should not think in terms of artificial boundaries, but rather think that Nagas should live together. UNC general secretary Ajang Longmei said at the Chandel rally that the Naga aspiration and wishes to live under one administrative unit is the long cherished dream of the Nagas. In Ukhrul NSF president Pushika Awomi while coming down heavily on Indian government said India is playing a divide and rule policy among the Nagas. "If no solution is brought to the ongoing peace talk Nagas will live separately.
The Naga Hoho leader C.Daipao said at the Ukhrul rally that peoples mandate is already given to the "collective leadership` so now the ball is in the court of the government of India.
At Senapati UNC president KS Leo Paul warned that if India is unwilling to fulfill aspirations of the Nagas, then Naga boys and girls will not hesitate in taking up arms and fighting for sovereignty and unification. He said that the rally was organized to demonstrate to the world including Indian government and Nagas` neighbours the Nagas commitment to integrate and determine their future. "Not an inch of Nagas` land was presented by anyone. Nagas are standing today on their land handed down by our ancestors. The time has come for the government of India to be sincere and make up its mind to deliver justice to the Nagas," Leo said. In Tamenglong rally Naga Hoho speaker H.K.Zhimomi said if the government of India continues to play divide and rule policy on the Nagas then the situation would get worsened. HK Zhimomi further stated that Naga Hoho is committed to the peace process because it believes that the people are solidly behind the ongoing peace process. He said the the Naga Hoho cannot do anything if there is no support of the people to the peace process.The Naga Hoho speaker further stated that the Nagas are no more alone as the world community has now recognised the political rights of the Nagas.NSF general secretary Elu Ndang appealed the Nagas to fully support the peace process.NPMHR convenor Phamhring and UNC leader Tolkham Maring also spoke on the occassion.
The bane of bandhs & blockades in Manipur Donn Morgan Kipgen Sangai Express
A decade or so ago, general strike, state-wide bandhs, economic blockades, JACs inquiry commissions, etc were few and far between; thereby many cases of injustice went unnoticed. But nowadays, there have been far too many and too much of them, for justifiable causes, which become more of a liability to the general public in many cases. Yes, indeed, all the calls for recognition of grievous injustice and public anger are acceptable and their point or demands genuine. With the rapid progress of literacy rate and communication system, atrocities committed by law enforcement agencies, misgovernance, under-hand corrupted activities, misdeeds of UG militants, etc have reached far and wide and joint condemnations becoming swifter. Though mediaper-sons are sometimes mishandled unnecessarily, it is only through general media that most of the institutions or organisations spread their gospel of agit-ations, bandhs, etc very swiftly on all corners of the State. Hence, bandhs, economic blockades and JACs become more and more popular in Manipur. So much so popular that many right thinking citizens have started questioning the over-use of them and failed to appreciate the credibility of such repeated forms of public agitations and dharnas.
Violent means of protests over violent official activities often undermine the very purpose of the agitations. Nowadays the sign of grievances are more anti-public in nature, some physical vocal and some resorted to vandalism taking undue advantages for their own interest. Like the infamous Churi Chaura incident, many violent unrelated criminal activities by hoodlums and irresponsible person completely compromised the very lawfully genuine agitations or mass-protests which openly undermined the credibility of the said issues. There are no acceptable excuses for such highly or extremely undesirable 'by-products' of any genuine mass-agitations, which of course have been either ignored, disowned and vaguely justified by some bandh or blockades leaders. At least, the Mahatma Gandhi boldly and responsibly called off the Civil Disobedience Movement (CDM) since the bloody attack on Chur Chaura police station was carried out independently by CDM supporters. That's the highest example of accountability and responsibility openly displayed by true public leader. However, this is not meant to accuse socio-political leaders of Manipur of being irresponsible or incompetent. It's rather a matter of important fact that many bandhs or blockades went beyond the acceptable norm of public protests. Ironically, it is usually general public who bore the brunt of incessant and volatile rampaging agitations. High ranking Government officials, wealthy citizens and political leaders hardly notice the prolonged effects of such impasses or agitations. Whatever destroyed, damaged or ransacking belonged to common ordinary citizens. Judging by the weary views of the common people, bandhs or strikes have more often than not become a general punishment for the people by the people and of the people's interest. The State of Kerala might have banned bandhs but public protest or agitation for right cause is the symbol of freedom of expression and liberty of thought.
Here is present day Manipur, without any economic power house and self-sustaining natural resources, the repeated doses of general strike and bandhs promptly called by the so-called JACs have become more of a menace than public interest. Indeed, such actions have been boldly taken as a part of protest on the ground of universal human rights. It is also an acceptable reciprocal move against armed forces atrocities and pathetic inactivities of the State Govt in all plundering departments.
Tragedy is an abstract pain and indescribable sorrow. Both the near and dear ones of UG militants, SF personnel and innocent victims of CI OPs are bou-nd to have their own painful words. As for non-tragic politicalised issues, there ought to be a limit when it comes to nerve wrecking agitations. More-over, freedom of speech, expression and liberty should not be over-exploited just for the sake of it. Too many cooks spoil a brood, or so they say. At present, the real value, weightage and significance of any bandh or strike have lost their way; and the impact of bandh has gone down by the weeks. Many right thinking citizens considered indefinite bandh as an acti-on for a lost cause, viewed economic blockade as an 'economic-crime', and formation of daily JAC against the State as a grieving local dharna. Since too many bloody incidents overlapped one after another, even the media-hounds failed to catch-up, capture and cover them systematically. Pompous claims and counter-claims are the only luxury offered to media fraternity. Under the present circumstances, it would be highly advisable to submit a memorandum and filed a case fittingly in the court of law, as done in the recent surrendering fiasco. All armed forces units and State police officials know that a majority of Manipur citizens have a rather short memory and susceptible to grandiose promises.
The Chief Minister's waste-paper basket must be quite heavy and his letter heads dwindling by the minutes. The Chief Minister is instrumental in calling in the 44th Mtn Brigade since he had specially asked for four army battalions for CI OPs in the valley and he had also called in two brigades of central paramilitary forces so as to avert President's Rule. So, all the so-called 'crimes' by central armed forces should be the direct responsibility of the State Govt and direct action must have to be initiated by the Home Minister i.e, the CM, thro-ugh the Chief Secretary and Principal Secy (Home), with the assistance of Special Secy (Home) and the State police Hq. At present, we have seen or read about controversial killings and contradictory claims during the course of CI OPs day in and day out which resulted in the formation of JACs and therefore repeated call for bandhs. Perhaps many bandhs and blockades could have been avoided if the State Government knows its own responsibility and sincerely initiate prompt inquiries rather than having many parts of the State paralysed and burning on weekly basis.
God knows how much the growth of our frail economy has been harmed or sabotaged by the endless general strikes, one could guess - hazard the daily loss of a statewide bandh at around Rs 2 to 5 crores. The cost of losses and private properties would be no less than Rs 5 to 10 lakhs a day which, of course, would depend upon the nature or intensity of the agitations. With the state law enforcement agencies dragging their lazy foot and the indifferent attitude of the State Government, a charged-up street protest always resulted in mob violence and subsequently bloody confrontation when it becomes, as the police authority would have it, 'out of control'. This often ended with the loss of precious lives and limbs; and this is turn led to a more organised violent agitations.
With due respect to the victims, such kind of agitation has been crippling the state police administration and has arrested the socio-economic development, more so when an economic blockades have been called. The JACs and local organisations have to look into the merits and demerits of their proposed actions. Otherwise, the very purpose of their action will become redundant or unsympathised.
The kindergarten question: 'How many days are there in a week?' Could now be rephrased, 'How many bandhs are there in a week in Manipur?' The answer should be based on the average of bandhs or general strike called in a year divided by 48/50 weeks. Could the answer be 2.5 to 3 bandh in a week? It should be sent to the office of the Guinness Book of World Record, it surely must be uncontested and unsurpassable by nation-state on earth. Bandhs and blockades have lost their moral values and their impacts hardly noticeable. On the other hand, both the State and Central armed forces authorities know very well that if they commit a bloody or accidental crime against humanity in Manipur, there would be a loud protest with a couple of days bandhs, a week of mourning and bold headlines, then promises with ex-gratia payments and inquiry commission in a more high profile case, but thereafter everything will be forgotten, and a new case will come up and so on and on. That's how they would surely view the ever increasing bandhs and blockades. However, this is not to say that bandhs, blockades etc. should be avoided or discouraged, it means that they should be called, led and organised properly so as to have an enormous impact. Only then, the aggrieved party can call the shots, loud and clear.
Gogoi takes oath as CM today Congress, BPPF(H) stake claim By a Staff Reporter Sentinel
GUWAHATI, May 13: Congress Legislature Party (CLP) leader Tarun Gogoi will take oath as the Chief Minister of Asom tomorrow for a second consecutive term at the Raj Bhawan here in presence of the Governor and party leaders. He will fly to New Delhi to meet Congress president Sonia Gandhi after the ceremony.
As was expected, Gogoi was today elected as the CLP leader at a meeting held at Dispur in presence of senior party leader Mohsina Kidwai, Digvijay Singh, APCC president Bhubaneswar Kalita and several MPs of the party. Initially, Kidwai and Singh collected the personal views of the newly-elected members on the choice of their leader in writing. Later, taking consent from party president Sonia Gandhi they asked the elected party members to propose the name of their choice. Gogoi’s name was proposed by Dr Bhumidhar Barman and it was supported unanimously by all the members. Bhubaneswar Kalita, who presided over the CLP meet, felicitated Gogoi on being elected with a gamosa.
Significantly, two independent candidates — SR Subba and Mahibul Haq — were also present in the meeting. In the evening, the Congress leaders and Hagrama Mahilary met Governor Lt. Gen. (Rtd.) Ajay singh and staked their claim on forming the Government.
Gogoi, while talking to the media after being elected the CLP leader, said that his government would want direct talks with the ULFA. “We will start negotiating with the other organisations as well,” he added.
He thanked the people of Asom for not supporting the ‘communal” forces like the AUDF and BJP. “The mandate this time has proven that the voter in Asom is very matured,” he claimed.
Although he said that the AUDF had affected the Congress, yet he expressed his hope that the people who deserted the Congress would realise their mistake and come back to its fold within three months. In fact, some of them has already come back, he said. Further, the thanked the minority people for not playing into the ‘religious game card’ of the AUDF. About the Independents, he said, “They have been coming to us on their own.” Gogoi said that the responsibility of his Government has doubled as the people will now expect more from it.
Frans on 05.14.06 @ 01:47 PM CST [link]