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KOHIMA, Jan 10 (NEPS): Forum for Naga Reconciliation (FNR) has organized for the first time the “Naga Day” here at the historic Kohima Local Ground (Khuochiezie) on Wednesday. They organized this first “Naga Day” on January 10, 2018, for reaffirming and upholding the Naga Hills Memorandum submitted to the Simon Commission on 10 January 1929 by the Naga Club. They celebrated on this day that “Nagas are a people and a nation without borders.”
Angami Public Organization (APO) hosted the celebration.
It also declared that every year on this day, the January 10, the “Naga Day” will be celebrated wherever Nagas are in a manner that will deepen their relationships and enrich their “understanding of each other as One People.” “Naga Day belongs to all Nagas and not to any organization,” says the Naga Day Declaration at the end of the Celebration.
The Naga Day Declaration also said: “Nagas are peoples comprised of many nations (tribes) living in their ancestral lands spread across the present state of Nagaland, Assam, Manipur, Arunachal Pradesh and Burma (Myanmar). By coming together in solidarity under the theme ‘Nagas Without Borders’ we demonstrate our collective desire to live as ONE PEOPLE.”
It further said that as part of the Naga Day celebration, they resolved to explore and evolve creative ways of educating and empowering themselves about “our history, our culture, our land, our rights and our responsibilities.” “On this day we agree to strive towards rapprochement with our neighbors in building better relationships based on mutual trust and respect,” it said.
They also urged the Government of India to “honor its commitment to engage the Naga political rights that stem from the facts of our history with honesty, sincerity and through peaceful means.” They pointed out that the Naga political struggle being one of the oldest running conflicts in the world, it must be addressed with “openness, political maturity and statesmanship, for bringing about an inclusive, just and lasting resolution without borders.” “This must be given paramount priority above all other issues and should be reached at the earliest,” it said.
At the same time, they made it very clear that the Naga National Groups, the Governments of India and Burma must truthfully engage the Naga political rights with utmost transparency, accountability, and respect for peoples’ aspirations. Towards this, Governments of India and Burma now needed to go beyond militarization to build confidence with the people and address collective trauma. “In this spirit, the Government of India should repeal the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (1958) and all other anti-democratic legislations not worthy of a great democratic nation like India,” it asserted. “For rebuilding relationships and peaceful co-existence, we encourage the Governments of India and Burma to admit to the gross human rights violations and to apologize for their wrongdoings to the Naga people.”
Niketu Iralu, noted Naga thinker, Rev Wati Aier, Convenor, FNR, Dr. Kethoser Kevichusa, Dr. Akum Longchari, Dr. Chingmal Chang, Dr. P Ngully, L Adani were among others who spoke on the “Naga Day” celebration today.
Thousands of Naga people attended this first Naga Day Celebration.