The Nagaland Gaon Bura Federation (NGBF), the hereditary Custodians of Naga customs, traditions in the present state of Nagaland, puts on record the following matters for posterity in the face of alarming and malicious media publications on Indo-Naga political issues. The NGBF observes the following:
- In the last twenty three years of Indo Naga Peace talks, the GBs of Nagaland have stood for and supported inclusive, acceptable and honorable solutions for all Nagas irrespective of boundaries. After the signing of FA 3rd Aug. 2015 between GOI and NSCN (IM) and Agreed Positions between GOI and WC, NNPGs on 17th Nov. 2017, time and again the NGBF has appealed to all the negotiating parties to bring home honorable and acceptable political solution to our people. The NGBF has met Prime Minister of India Shri Narendra Modi in New Delhi and GOI interlocutor Shri R. N.Ravi a number of times for early settlement of Naga problem.
- There is a perpetual tendency within NSCN (IM) leadership to brand Naga leaders, tribes, organizations, other civil societies as anti Nagas and traitors for not towing their political ideology. This is a mockery of Nagaland for Christ. The statements contradict frequent fasting programs and prayer requests seeking cooperation from Nagas. God fearing leaders should not insist their words and actions are final in the Naga context. The people’s voice and will is final. NGBF is opposed to dictate that stifles people’s sentiment. Nagas did not oppose British occupation and Indian occupation to finally be treated like expendable humans at the hands of fellow Nagas.
- Post Shillong Accord in 1975, rampant killing among Naga national workers ensued in Eastern Nagaland. After the split of NSCN in 1988, the fratricidal killings spilled into present Nagaland state. The brazen assassination attempts on politicians, bureaucrats, civil society leaders and wiping out of a generation of young local entrepreneurs is still very fresh in the memory of our people. Today, leaders or groups with such tendencies must rethink. Our children have come of age. Wounds of the past must be allowed to heal and not flare.
- On the issues being raised against GOI interlocutor Shri R.N Ravi, NGBF observes that the demand for replacement of interlocutor is unjust and untenable due to the fact that he is also the GOI interlocutor with other negotiating groups. The status paper is with the tribal leaders and organizations. The transparency and practical aspect of the negotiations between GOI and WC, NNPGs, without compromising Naga history, identity and political right in all Naga areas, being communicated to the tribes and public at the grassroots level has found favour with the people. In recent days, the NSCN (IM) statements have described 14 tribes, NTC, NGBF, CNTC and other civil societies as planted by R.N Ravi and tutored by him has deeply hurt the sentiment of the Nagas. R.N Ravi was first seen by Nagas on TV having a warm handshake with Mr. Th. Muivah on 3rd August 2015. After twenty years of peace talks, the GOI had no option but to invite all other Naga Armed groups to the negotiating table. Just like the NSCN (IM), all the groups had different ideologies and policies and owe their origin to the very first undivided NNC. The only role the Naga civil societies particularly the NTC, NGBF and Churches played was bringing sworn enemies to a common table where they could see eye to eye for the sake of Nagas. It was providence.
- 3rd August 2015 Framework Agreement signed between GoI and NSCN (IM) clearly mentions that negotiations had concluded, R.N Ravi and Th. Muivah signed and sealed with a handshake. Three years later, GOI realized it had been misled. There were other stakeholders on the ground. Sensing exclusive pact was not going to solve the Naga issue. NGBF and all tribal hohos insisted on an inclusive solution and on 17th Nov. 2017, the Agreed Position was signed between GOI and WC, NNPGs. Logic says if R.N Ravi, as NSCN (IM) allege, planted or tutored stakeholders, he would never dare acknowledge or admit that the Nagas had political and historical right to self determine their future in consonant with their distinct identity. Not in a signed document. This is a great achievement and credit goes to Naga tribal Hohos, the GBs, Churches and prayer warriors. Blaming R.N Ravi or MHA has no basis.
- A group negotiating with GOI with R. N Ravi as interlocutor and issuing statements saying, “… any organization falling in line with R.N Ravi is anti Naga…” this sums up the inconsistencies in the last twenty three years of political talks between GOI and NSCN (IM).
NGBF cannot lie to the people at a grassroots level and therefore this press statement is issued with a hope that Nagas would stay calm and positive against disturbing media trials and presumptions.
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