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Nagaland celebrates I-Day peacefully showcasing culture

Rio inspecting the parade

Rio urges Naga groups to give an inclusive solution to political issue

KOHIMA, AUUST 15: Nagaland today joined the Nation in celebrating the 75th Independence Day peacefully showcasing the rich tradition and culture of the Nagas amid Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio calling the Naga political negotiating groups to give the people an inclusive solution to the vexed Naga political issue.
As the world’s largest democratic nation, India continues to make valuable contributions towards the progress of humanity and for the cause of freedom on an international scale, said Rio, speaking at the main celebrations at the State Civil Secretariat here.

Claiming that has also been an equal partner with all the other States of the nation in the journey that we all have been making on the path of development and prosperity, he said, “We (Nagaland) have evolved as a confident State and developed and progressed in every field. Nagaland is contributing and a participating member of India’s nation building process.”
As the country crosses the landmark of 75 years, it is an occasion to celebrate the remarkable contributions of Nagaland and Nagas in the journey of our great nation thus far, he said.
He said that while the State wonders at the achievements that have been made, the Naga people are also always reminded of the very exceptional kind of situation that Nagaland and people have faced all along.
“As a part of this great country we continue to be in pursuit of the final solution of the Naga Political Issue, which remains as old as this nation itself”, said Rio.
In this, the Chief Minister said that the hopes of Naga people have risen to a great extent as in recent years there have been significant forward movements on this issue.
The Naga Political Groups have been in ceasefire with the Government of India (GoI) for a long time and the peace talks over the years have made significant progress, he said.
Saying that it has been possible to understand each other’s (Naga negotiators and GoI) position and reach a broad consensus on most of the issues, Rio said the Naga people sincerely appreciate the Government of India for recognizing the unique history and position of the Naga people and for acknowledging the problem as a political issue.

On the part of the State Government, the CM said it has over the past years played the role of active facilitator to the ongoing Indo-Naga political peace talks.
To give further impetus to the peace talks and help arrive at the final solution at the earliest, he said the Government has formed the Parliamentary Committee on Naga Political Issue consisting of all members of the Nagaland Legislative Assembly and our two Members of Parliament under which is the Core Committee to ensure a focused approach in its role as facilitator.
The Committee, Rio said, has appealed to the negotiating parties to move forward with a positive approach of mutual respect and set aside pre-conditions in the greater interest of the people’s cry for long term peace.
“We have also appealed to all Naga Political Groups to make serious efforts towards unity and reconciliation”, he said.
Rio also announced that by listening to the voice of people, all elected members of the present Assembly have come together, irrespective of party affiliations, on the Naga Political Issue and common peoples’ issues.
Touching on the long pending Nagaland-Assam border dispute, Rio recalled that there were some recent tense situations along the border where both the Governments took pro-active steps to de-escalate the situation.
The State Assembly on August 5 has constituted a Select Committee to examine all aspects of the Assam-Nagaland border issue.
“We feel that the border issue should be settled amicably by the two State Governments, by involving the local communities from both sides”, said Rio.

On the occasion, the Chief Minister also reflected on the very tough situation that has gone through this year, along with the rest of the country, on account of the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The ferocity of the second wave of the pandemic has tested our capacities and our resilience, but we have made efforts to combat the pandemic successfully”, he said.
Saying despite the best efforts put in by everyone concerned, however, there have been cases of people succumbing due to COVID-19, the Chief Minister further appealed to all citizens of the State to continue to observe COVID-appropriate behaviour at all times while also urging all eligible persons to take the vaccine “not only in your personal interest but in the greater interest of your family and the community”.
The COVID-19 pandemic and the lockdowns required to check the spread of infection have made us realise the importance of building the skills of our people and making them self-reliant to earn their livelihoods, he said.
The Government has, therefore, focused on strengthening the Agri and allied sector, skills and service sector and trade and commerce with the four key objectives namely, self-reliance, re-skilling, gainful employment and facilitation, said Rio.
Meanwhile, as the nation joins together to celebrate our 75th year of freedom, Rio also congratulated the Indian contingent at the recently concluded Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games for a remarkable performance.

Rio further called upon all to take a pledge to re-dedicate ourselves to work sincerely for bringing positive developments in all those areas the State is still lagging behind so that Nagaland soon gets counted amongst the most developed and progressive States of the country.
It is our dream and our aspiration to take Nagaland forward in a progressive manner, he said while seeking the cooperation and participation of all citizens, especially the youth, in the common quest to make Nagaland a much better place for the present and future generations.
“Let us all put our best efforts to make Nagaland shine brighter and work towards a Nagaland where peace and security prevails; where an atmosphere and platform is provided to our youth to have equal opportunities and compete with the rest of the country and the world; a society powered by economic growth with a thriving atmosphere of creativity and innovation; with the constant flowering of the human spirit and the triumph of the human endeavour”, appealed Rio.
On the occasion, 11 contingents, including Security Forces, State Police, Home Guards, State Task Force, Indian Reserve Battalion, marched to the beats of Naga Police Central Brass Band and 14 Assam Rifles Pipe Band with Deputy Commandant of 10th NAP (IR) Nikho Venuh as Parade Commander and Assistant Commandant of 15th NAP (IR) Mahila Battalion Medemkala Tsudir as second-in-command.

Cultural troupes of Sumi, Pochury, Chakhesang, Ao and Angami tribes added colour to the celebration with special presentations on Vande Mataram, Ode to my Motherland and Teri Mitti.
Presentation of Governor’s Gold Medal and Commendation Certificate to various meritorious services also marked the occasion.
(Page News Service)