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69th Republic Day speech by Brig. (Retd) S Singnya, Kedahge, FGN on 22nd March, 2024

Dear beloved Country Men and Women,
At the very outset, I thank our Almighty God for His continued Guidance and Protection. It is a privilege and an honour to address you on this historic occasion of the 69th Republic Day of our Nation. The nation is profoundly grateful to the pioneers for laying a firm political foundation for which we are able to stand up today with dignity and pride.
The Nation pays tribute and homage to the many martyrs who have made the supreme sacrifice for the Naga Cause. I salute all Naga patriots for their visions and sacrifices in pursuit of the long cherished dream. May their unyielding spirit and selflessness continue to inspire, guide and strengthen us.
Nagaland became a Republic on 22nd March 1956 when the Federal Government of Nagaland was established resulting from the convening of the First Tatar Hoho by the Naga National Council which brought together the Free Nagas, represented by the Hongki Government and the erstwhile Naga Hills District, represented by the Naga National Council. With the National Mandate of 1951 immutably entrusted to them and acknowledging that the Almighty God is the Supreme Sovereign and the authority of the people on the territory as a sacred trust from God, our leaders established our National institution based on the modern principles and ideals of Democracy, Justice, Liberty and Fraternity and instituted the Republic on the concept of the Federal System of Governance. The historic Declaration of Naga Independence on 14th August, 1947 and the Plebiscite of 16th May, 1951 were the foundations which shaped the political course of our people.
As we commemorate the 69th Republic Day, we celebrate the exemplary lives and courage of the pioneers and the numerous patriots. Our legacy lies in our history and we have to travel in the charted path till our rights are expressed in full. The time has now come for Nagas to unite and march forward together to reclaim our historical and political rights. I believe a bright future is awaiting those who have the moral strength, determination and resoluteness to make it their own.
Our ancestors were honourable people and their words used to be their law. The British recognized this custom and treated the Nagas as honourable people; despite several conflicts and agreements between the two, no written document was necessitated and so we respected each other for what each was. But when the Indian leaders made the first agreement with the Nagas, they neither honoured our customs nor their promises. We are also aware that the conflict between the Nagas and India could have been resolved long ago had the Government of India been sincere to resolve it. The GoI in the past has instead of seeking permanent solution rather has basically succeeded in prolonging the problem by manipulating the situation. However, today we hope India will live up to her world image as the largest Democracy in the world by becoming an honourable country. We Nagas, as a Nation of trustworthy and honourable people have the moral strength to stand, wait and watch as we firmly believe that what is rightfully ours cannot be crushed by power or might.
The Nagas as a people and as a nation have an ardent desire to live in peace and harmony and have always sought to live in peaceful co-existence with our neighbours. Thus for Peace to prevail and for a peaceful resolution of the Indo-Naga political issue, the Federal Government of Nagaland actively participated and concluded the political dialogue with Government of India as an entity of the NNPGs Working Committee to arrive at a political settlement which is honourable and mutually acceptable. However even after a lapse of almost four and a half years of concluding the political dialogue on 31st October 2019, the final inking of the agreement remains.
The Federal Government of Nagaland is appalled at the decision of the GoI to abolish the Free Movement Regime and the proposal to Fence the Indo – Myanmar border. Since time immemorial Nagas have been living in our God given land in our own way of life with our own traditions and customs long before the birth of India on 15th August 1947 and Burma (Myanmar) on 4th January 1948 as independent and sovereign nations.
The Nagas have always resented the short sighted and despotic bilateral demarcation of the international boundary demarcation which was done without the consent and knowledge of the indigenous inhabitants. However, the FMR has played a crucial role in facilitating interactions between people residing close to the India-Myanmar border till date. The erection of Fencing along the boundary at this juncture would be a crime against Humanity. For instance in Longwa village, a Konyak Naga Village, where out of the 990 households at present, 170 households including the Chief Angh’s residence, are exactly on the boundary line. If the GoI were to go ahead with its plans without taking into consideration the ethnic, socio-economic, cultural and community ties, it will divide villages, houses, brothers and sisters, parents from children and adversely affect a large number of people living along the border. Therefore, the Federal Government is staunchly opposed to such a move.
At this crucial time, we have to plan carefully and cautiously. We have to take into consideration the possible political developments in Myanmar by closely observing the conflicts of the Myanmar Junta and the Pro Democracy forces, ethnic armies and resistance fighters and choose the right and best path for our people.
The Federal Government of Nagaland put on record our appreciation to the Naga Shisha Hoho & the Forum for Naga Resolution for their sacrificial and invaluable contributions towards the Naga cause. They have been tirelessly and sincerely working to unite the Naga Political Groups, never being discouraged nor disheartened by disappointments so that the united Naga Political Groups can with strength and a united voice present the Naga aspiration for a logical conclusion to the Indo-Naga political issue.
May God’s grace be upon us all and His Wisdom continue to guide us as we strive forward.
God Bless My Nagaland. Kuknalim.