Friday, June 14, 2024
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74th Independence Day Message of Ato Kilonser, N Kitovi Zhimomi, GPRN/NSCN

The majestic mountains and hills, sandwiched between India and Myanmar, the home of indigenous Nagas for thousandsof years is purposefully created by Almighty God and given to Nagas. No power on earth can usurp or deprive the Nagapeople of the historical and political right over their ancestral Land. There is no ambiguity in this truth!
On 14th of August, 1947, We Nagas under the political roof of NNC declared our Independence from the British, a day ahead ofIndia. This was a political necessity because despite rendering great service with utmost loyalty to Great Britain in both the first and the second World Wars, Nagas realised that the Britishers were leaving occupied Nagas homeland at the mercy of chaoticIndian subcontinent which was struggling to stand on its own feet; that Great Britain left the occupied Naga areas to fendfor themselves with no political future or structure was unacceptable and unthinkable to the politically conscious Nagas.
The nationalists under the leadership of NNC merged both British occupied areas and free Naga areas to become onepolitical entity. Thus, the spirit and essence of Naga nationhood was complete.On this auspicious day, I remember the thousands of Naga freedom fighters, the pioneering visionary leaders andfollowers over the decades, many of whom are buried in unmarked graves in foreign lands. I salute them all. We willrecommit ourselves to the task of fulfilling their vision.
Today, every Naga knows who we are and how our people sacrificed and suffered in the bitter past for more than sevendecades. Past must help the Nagas move forward not drag the Nagas into abyss. It is time to collectively plan a better future for our younger generation. Let us be practical and lay the first bricks for future Nagas.Nagagenerations must be given a space to grow and compete with the best in the world. We cannot burden our young men andwomen with monotonous fairytale stories that satisfies one’s ego only. We must equip them with practical lessons to helpthem shape their own future with appropriate political structure in place. Honourable and acceptable Indo-Naga politicalsolution is the only answer.
On the 17thof Nov. 2017, the WC, NNPGs and GOI, to which the GPRN/NSCN is an integral partner, signed the ‘Agreed Position’which entrenched the political and historical rights of the Nagas to self determine their future in consonance with theirdistinct identity. It was agreed that the Nagas and Indians would work out the details of a relationship based on inclusive,enduring peaceful co-existence with due regard to contemporary political realities. Based on this “Agreed principle” all contentious issues have been negotiated and resolved in principle. WC, NNPGs and GOI talks was never kept inside a cold storage at any point of time. With utmost confidence and trust, all apex Naga tribal bodies, GBs, Legislators, intellectual groups were on board and proved to be a constant source of strength. The status paper is with our apex Naga civil societies and it will exist for a thousand years. WC had the courage to listen to the people and pursue practical approach to resolve the Indo-Naga issue. The solidarity and people’s participation in the entire process allowed the WC to focus on every fiber and thread of Indo- Naga issue. We have touched, negotiated, sorted out and documented all negotiated points for posterity. With great humility and gratefulness to our merciful Almighty God, we are confident and prepared to sign the Indo-Naga Agreement anyday and anytime. Our people’s solidarity is deeply felt.
I acknowledge the visionary leadership of the Prime Minister of India Mr. NarendraModi, who showed genuinecommitment and urgency to resolve the protracted political conflict and entrusted GOI interlocutor in the Indo-Nagapolitical talks, Mr. R.N Ravi to sign the historic ‘Agreed Position’ with WC, NNPGs, representing the Nagas on 17th Nov.2017. After more than fifty rounds in three years, negotiations have concluded with unresolved matters to be pursued andsettled through democratic political process. With this clear positive direction taking place, the Naga people look forwardto entering a new era of enduring peaceful co-existence.
In His supreme wisdom, just like the tribes of Israel, Almighty Jehovah planted each Naga tribe in a well definedlandscape to call its own, to nurture, dwell upon, progress and strengthen the fabric of Naga brotherhood. This helped theNagas to pursue our common political aspiration, understanding and respecting the dynamics of each tribe’s culture,tradition and ownership of lands among brothers.Nagas were divided through political instruments into different states in Burma and India, this is a historical fact. EachNaga tribe has a demarcated territory; this is also a historical truth. To forego and deviate from these simple yet complexunwritten rules will be disturbing the traditional and customary equilibrium amongst us. As we defend our land fromoccupational forces, the same principle is applicable in respect of each other’s inheritance within the Naga family. This isour unique history.
I thank the leadership of all Naga Tribal Hohos, Gaon Buras, Churches and Naga public at large, for the unwaveringsolidarity towards the common cause. I also congratulate the decisive leadership of Naga political groups namely,NSCN(Reformation), NNC/FGN, NNC (Parent Body), NNC/NPGN, NNC/GDRN, NSCN/GPRN (Khango/Isak), and the Co-Convenersof WC for upholding the covenant of the Naga people through co-operation and comradeship. I am confidentthat Almighty God will take us all through the perilous journey. We will not fail the Naga people this time.If God is for us, who can be against us?
God Bless Nagaland!

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