September 23rd 2020
1. The Naga struggle has brought us to another crucial moment of dangers and opportunities to be expected from a political dispute crisis that has defied solution for over century. The choices made by the leaders involved will decisively shape the future of tomorrow’s Nagas for good or ill.
2. Angami Public Organisation believes the united good sense and wisdom in all will achieve the right solution at this time if the genuine apprehensions and concerns of different groups are understood and addressed and not treated lightly or ignored what is needed is to generate a conducive atmosphere of trust and understanding within the Naga family with all sections of society making their honest contribution for lasting parties to resolve the issue without further delay.
3. On the occasion of APO’s 25th Anniversary Celebration a “Statement on the Naga situation by Angami Public Organisation” was issue on 20th December 1997. The purpose of the statement was to take a fresh look at ourselves, our society and the Naga struggle we have been part of from its birth. The position paper reaffirmed. The Angamis have always stood by the terms of the Naga Plebiscite of 1951. This was reaffirmed by the Angami Public Organisation in June 1996. The rejection of the Shillong Accord by the Angamis therefore should have been automatic from the beginning as Clause 1 of the Accord violated the basic stand of the Plebiscite. APO stand by the Plebiscite. This position remain unchanged.
4. Subsequent APO clarifications have revolved around the stand taken in the above mentioned statement. For the ongoing peace processes and negotiation for settlement, Angamis wish the negotiation teams will succeed in writing a good chapter in the book of Naga history, so that coming generations will pick up to properly respond to the call of their time in the best spirit and peaceful methods of true democracy and genuine non-violence which will be fulfillment of the Naga struggle.
5. The British trespassed upon the lands of some of the tribes while they were establishing the eastern boundary line of their empire in south Asia for over 50 years the Naga resisted the blatant violation of their honour and right of ownership of their land. The resistance ended with the historic last battle in 1879, followed by a No More fight Agreement between the representatives of the imperial power and the defiant Nagas in March 1880. Subsequently, the lands of the Western Nagas tribes were made Naga Hills District of Assam. The choices Nagas had made and stated to the Simon Commission in 1929, their reaffirmation of the same position 18 years later in the declaration of independence on August 14 1947 and the Plebiscite of 1951 are all a matter or record.
6. APO restates today that it stands by the position of the Nagas that their struggle for their aspirations cannot be characterized as one with any intention to cause harm to India. To declare we are incapable of causing harm to our neighbor is to state the obvious. But Nagas keep repeating it for the Indian public to understand the truth.
7. The Nagas fought the British invasion of their land at a time when the Nagas had not yet come to know India or Burma in any political shape or form. The Nagas had no connection with these neighbours before the British came. The Nagas were of no interest or value to the Maharahahs or monarchs who ruled the feudal kingdoms west and south of their homeland. The Nagas were not anti or against the British created India and Burma and their peoples in any way when they started to declare and define their understanding of their identity and their land as their history7 fully entitled them. To the Nagas the moral, legal and political authority of their struggle comes from these unique facts.
8. Therefore, if India and Myanmar today continue to insist they cannot even discuss the core issue of sovereignty in their negotiations with us, then to the Nagas any settlement that may be reached by any group is interim and does not change the original Naga position of sovereignty.
9. Nagas believe Indian policy shapers will see the long term good for both sides to trust the Nagas and enable them to evolve the right relationship with India on the basis of their history, we want India to know that she will not damaged by doing what will be best and wise with us.
10. APO’s stand on what may emerge from the negotiations by the two group and where Nagas should change to restore their unity to be able to go forward:-
a. It must not damage what Nagas always had or have achieve but be honourable and acceptable to Nagas and India, therefore workable.
b. Nagas henceforth, should than Almighty God and acknowledge and appreciate one another’s contribution for what we have achieved together.
c. We have to cease blaming and destroying one another for what we have not yet achieved. A house divided against itself cannot stand and this must stop.
11. We have become a people and a nation. It is not a small achievement. Whether we consolidate it and build on it or destroy it will reveal what motivates us. It is up to us.
12. Nagas now urgently need to reach our in humility, transparency and far seeing willingness to our neighbours to bring about a common stability for the region. This is now priority number 1 if we are to have economic development. If we do not achieve this together our dreams will become nightmares. The need for mutual trust and cooperation built on genuine goodwill for one another is desperate. The time has come to meet the need. God who made us neighbours will inspire us to achieve the impossible together.
Dr. Kepelhuise Terhüja Mrs. Neithono Sothu
President, APO Info & Publicity Secretary, APO
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