Large numbers of Nagas from the “Naga areas” in the state of Manipur held rallies simultaneously in the district headquarters of Tamenglong, Chandel, Ukhrul and Senapati on Wednesday organised by the United Naga Council (UNC), “reiterating” for an acceptable and honorable solution to the “India-Naga political issue in the true spirit of the historic Indo-Naga Framework Agreement of August 3, 2015”.
The rallies were held between 10 am and 12.30 pm. Shops and other establishments closed their respective operations during the rallies. The rallies were peaceful.
In each of the four district headquarters, thousands of people came out to participate in the rallies. Similar placards were displayed in all the four places where rallies were held. Some of the placards read “Naga flag, constitution and integration are inalienable rights of the Naga people”, “Respect Naga historical and political rights”, “Indian leaders must walk the talk”, “Implement Framework Agreement”, “Government of India must stop playing divisive politics”, “No solution, no rest”, “No to imposed solution” etc., etc.
After the rallies, a joint memorandum addressed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi was submitted to the respective deputy commissioners. The memorandum was jointly signed by UNC president Ng. Lorho, UNC general secretary Vareiyo Shatsang, Naga Women Union (NWU) president Asha Wungnam, NWU general secretary Changwiliu Newmai, All Naga Students’ Association, Manipur (ANSAM) president Luikang Luckson, ANSAM general secretary Angteshang Maring and Naga Peoples’ Movement for Human Rights-South sector (NPMHR-S) convenor Joyson Mazamo.
The joint memorandum said, “In the propitious rallies held today in the Naga district headquarters of Chandel, Tamenglong, Ukhrul and Senapati, under the aegis of the United Naga Council, the Naga people in the present state of Manipur wish to register once again our collective sentiment and earnest desire to the Government of India for exercising its political will to conclude the protracted negotiation on Indo-Naga political issue in the true spirit of August 3, 2015, Framework Agreement between Government of India (GoI) and National Socialist Council of Nagalim(NSCN)”. It also said, “The United Naga Council, the apex organization of the Naga people in Manipur, encompassing 20 Naga tribes reiterates our uncompromising political aspirations and strong desire for translation of the Framework Agreement into political reality for enduring peace”.
The joint memorandum also said the signing of the Framework Agreement is well past eight years and “we are aware that it has run into a stalemate on interpretation and accommodation of the principal issues of flag and constitution which has been envisaged and implied in the Framework Agreement”.
“We, therefore, call upon the Government of India to honour the Framework Agreement in letter and spirit by accepting the universal fact that Sovereignty lies with people and by extension, that the Naga National flag and Constitution must be an integral part of the shared sovereignty,” it added.
Nagas holding rally in Tamenglong district headquarters (PHOTO: NNN)
The memorandum then said the Naga people will not accept disintegration of “Naga land” or any act that will adversely affect the interest of the Naga people while attempting to address demands of any other community. “We can only state that such misadventures will have serious ramifications that will provoke further senseless violence with different communities. However, we wish to make it clear that any other community living in the Naga ancestral homeland will not be left out of the final settlement in consonance with the mutually agreed upon competencies,” it added.
The signatories of the memorandum then expressed hope that the “honoured and premier office” of the Prime Minister of India will uphold the sanctity of the “historic” Framework Agreement for an enduring and peaceful coexistence of India and the Naga people. “We conclude this memorandum with a request to the Government of India to create the vital space for the final settlement of the Indo-Naga political issue with a sense of high urgency,” it added.
Our Imphal Free Press correspondent added that thousands of people from 11 Naga tribes took part in the rally jointly organised by Chandel Naga People’s Organisation, Naga Students Union Chandel and Naga Women’s Union Chandel. The rally which started from Maha Union Higher Secondary Ground, Chandel went till DC office complex.
Taking part in the protest rally carried out at Chandel district, Chandel Naga People’s Organisation President Devid Boyes warned the government of India (GOI) that they will not sit idle if the government agreed on the separate administration demand by the Kukis which will affect the Naga lands during the process. He said that the prevailing ethnic clash should not be concluded with forged history and wrong data. Early NRC implementation in the state could have avoided the ethnic clash in the state, he added.
He urged GOI to bring a solution to the demand by the Naga people at the earliest. He also appealed to resolve the prevailing the ethnic clash without hurting the sentiments of any community residing in Manipur.
Protestors submitted a memorandum to the Prime Minister of India through Chandel DC M Rajkumar.
Our Tamenglong correspondent added that the people of Tamenglong staged massive rallies, demanding an early implementation of the ‘Framework Agreement’.
The rallies were organised by joint tribe councils of Zeme Naga Council, Rongmei Naga Council, Liangmai Naga Council and Inpui Union Manipur under the banner of United Naga Council Manipur.
In the meantime, UNC working committee general secretary AC Thotsho told the media that massive rallies were held in all Naga inhabited areas demanding early implementation of framework agreement which is Nagas aspirations.
He said that the government of India must demonstrate political will to bring an honorable and acceptable solution to the Naga issue in the true spirit of the historic Framework Agreement.