Will remain true to Framework Agreement, saya NSCN-IM

Today, 03 August 2019

Will remain true to Framework Agreement, says NSCN (I-M)

NSCN (I-M) on Friday made its stand clear that it would stand true to the end till the Nagas achieved an honourable solution to the Indo-Naga political conflict.

NSCN (I-M) though its MIP, declared that it would uphold the August 3, 2015 Framework Agreement and strive to conclude the ongoing Indo-Naga political negotiations honourably.

However, NSCN (I-M) said it was sufficiently aware of the divisive policy of the enemy within and outside and asserted that it would not allow any adversary to confuse and divide the Nagas.

MIP further stated it was profoundly convinced of the absolute righteousness of national struggle of Nagas in defence of their historical right over their land and political right to determine their future, despite all vociferous noise to cause confusion among them by adversaries and elements among the Nagas dancing to the tune of their political masters. Come what may, NSCN (I-M) would unwaveringly stand on the Naga national decision, a statement issued by its ministry of information & publicity (MIP) added.

Meanwhile, in the backdrop of the last formal talks held with Government of India representatives not having gone down well with its negotiators led by Th Muivah, MIP said a Joint Council Meeting of steering committee, council of kilonsers, tatars, heads of departments and brigadiers and above, was held at Hebron on Friday.

According to the statement issued by MIP, the meeting took note of the prevailing political situation as discussed earlier in the meeting convened by the collective leadership, members of the collective leadership and NSCN members.

Source from Nagaland Post.

NSCN IM, FNR, NMA condemn Myanmar military offensive in Naga areas

Dimapur, May 19 (EMN): The NSCN (IM) has condemned the “diabolic and outrageous” military action of the Tatmadaw (Myanmar army) coordinated by the Indian security forces in Naga villages along the Indo-Myanmar border.

“The chaotic situation thus created by the blatant offensive of the Tatmadaw has destabilised the livelihood of the Naga villagers as the Naga people are made to bear the brunt of the Tatmadaw onslaught. What has happened to Hoyat and Laonyu villages is just another act of treachery which will not help strengthen the peace process started by Myanmar government under the 2012 ceasefire agreement,” read a press release from the group on Sunday.

What is important for the Myanmar government, it stated, is to take cognisance of the historical and political rights of the Nagas and go for peaceful means because neither India nor Myanmar is an enemy of the Nagas.

“Aggression of the Indian armed forces in collaboration with the Myanmar armed forces on the rights of the Nagas in that part of Naga territory in the guise of flushing out the Meitei armed groups – UNLF, PLA and ULFA from Assam is a naked and deliberate violation of human rights.

Given the hostility shown by the Tatmadaw’s operation in the so-called Indo-Myanmar corridors, the road to peaceful solution may get jeopardised if they fail to recognise the need for trust, respect and mutual understanding that goes together in solving a political problem that is more complex than one could see.”

Under such circumstances, it stated, Naga people cannot remain “aloof from what our fellow Nagas in the east under Myanmar occupation” are going through at the hands of the Tatmadaw. “We are one Naga family and we express profound solidarity with them at this critical stage of their suffering.”

Also, the Forum for Naga Reconciliation (FNR) stated that it was deeply disturbed with the ongoing situation of armed confrontation between the Myanmar army and the NSCN (K), resulting in suffering of innocent civilians and destruction of properties in Naga villages in the Naga Self-Administered Zone.

“We send our message of solidarity and hope to the civilians whose safety, livelihood, properties and physical movements are being threatened and denied,” read a statement on Sunday.

It appealed that the recent armed confrontation, “which is buttressed by regional national security interests”, should not sabotage the mental, economic and physical well-being of innocent Naga civilians.

“That conducting armed confrontation, torture and harassment of people and destruction of properties in civilian inhabited areas must be avoided; that the Myanmar army and NSCN-K work to honour the regional-level ceasefire that was signed in April 2012; that intervention of Naga community leaders, humanitarian aid and human rights workers be made possible based on accepted international principles.”

In a separate statement, the Naga Mothers’ Association also expressed deep concern at the sufferings meted out to Nagas in Myanmar. “As mothers who seek peace within all Naga inhabited areas and for our people as well as our northeast neighbours, the NMA strongly appeal to the Burmese authority, the Tamadaw, the NSCN (K) as well as the Indian army on the borders, to ensure that initiatives for peace is upheld for the sake of the people, the unarmed population whose lives and property are endangered through such violent incidents,” it stated.

A brief history of the NagaLabour Corps

At the outbreak of the First world war, the British who were ruling over the Naga hills, enlisted approximately 2,000 Nagas, mainly through the initiative of Deputy Commissioner Herbert Charles Barnes, for what was designated as the Naga Labour Corps. The first batch was dispatched on April 21, 1917 for France, and they sailed for that country on April 26, 1917.
Arriving in France in two main groups (688 men on June 21, 1917 and 992 men on July 2, 1917), they were initially divided into the 15th, 16th, 17th and 18th Naga Labour Companies but to avoid confusion with other Indian Labour Corps units serving in Mesopotamia at that time, these companies were renumbered as the 35th, 36th, 37th and 38th (Naga) Labour Companies. The Naga Labour Corps worked in various places around France and Belgium on salvage work, road repairs among others. They returned to India in mid-1918 A.D
As agreed upon earlier Kuhoi Zhimomi son of a legendary Sumi warrior chief Sukhai Zhimomi was chosen to command over the Naga Labour troops, Hekiqhe Awomi of Surumi village as his assistant, and KHAKHU DIGHALI of Lazami village was choosen as the leader over whole coolies of the Corps.. They were each directed to carry a set of traditional attires along with their spears and machetes, they were divided into groups and made to swing their machetes and spears high into the air and vent out their typical Naga war cries while thumping their feet on the ground. Meanwhile, the Britishers were keenly taking every pictures of this flamboyant movements and later on this pictures was circulated into the Germans territory and made a propaganda that the Britishers have bought an extraordinary race of people called the Nagas from the North Eastern side of Indian sub-continent to fight against the Germans. The British used the Nagas in their psychological game against the German.
It is worth mentionening here that, out of the 2,000 Naga Labour Corps, 1000 belonged to Sumi Tribe and out which 50 was from Lazami village alone.
“Enlisting 50 men from a particular Naga village during the time is no less significant”.
The ablility to gather as many as 50 labourers from a single Naga village is due to the fact that Lazami village was one of the largest villeges in the whole of the Naga Hills even during those days. Moreover, there was one popular and influential Doobashi (Interpreter) at the Deputy Commissioner’s office, Kohima Elakha by the name KHUPU KHUWO who also happens to be the First Doobashi (Interpreter) among Sumi Naga tribe. Perhaps, the D.C used this man’s popularity to enlist as many as labourers from his native village.
Men who returned from France formed a socio-political association called the Naga Club with branches in Kohima and Mokokchung immediately after their return in 1918,”. It was this association that submitted a representation to the Simon Commission in 1929 to “Leave Us Alone”, conveying the right of choice of self-determination of the Nagas when the British left India. Thus, The Lazami village had contributed no less in the shaping the present Socio-Political condition of the Naga people.

List of WW-I Participants from Lazami Village and their brief biography:
1. Khakhu Dighali:
Khakhu Dighali was the third and youngest son of Zashena and Tijili. During the first world war he was appointed as the head over all Coolies in the Naga Labour Corps. When the team was sailing towards their destination in Europe, the ship in which they were travelling came under heavy bombardment. In the ensuing battle, Khakhu Dighali saw one Brithish officer (Anonymous) on the brink of drowning. Seeing his officer in distress Khakhu Dighali yodeled “aeu-he-he” (Sumi War Cry) and saved the officer’s life. Therefore, after the war, the officer send a recommendation letter to the then Deputy Commissioner of Naga Hills District at Kohima to reward Khukha Dighali for his bravery. The recommendation was complied and Khakhu Dighali was appointed as “Doobashi” in 1918 A.D. He served as doobashi till 1948 A.D.

After retirement from Doobashi, Khakhu Dighali continued to serve the Naga people in different capacities:
Some of the position held by Khakhu Dighali after retirement from Doobashi are listed
a. SDO Mockokchung : Just before the departure of British from the Naga Hils, Khakhu Dighali was given charge of SDO Mockokchung for Few months. This information has been traced and confirmed from the Centenary Jubilee Souviner of Mockokchung Township. However, the date and year in which he discharged SDO duties is vague.
b. 1948-54 : First Chairman, Bench Court, Pughoboto 1955-59.
c. First Angh (Governor) in the NNC from Pughoboto Range.
d. Died 20th July 1964.

2. Khupu Khuwo:
Around 1845-47 The British Expedition team arrived at Lazami Village for the third
time in little over a decade after the first British Expedition team under Captain Jenkins and Pemberton set foot in the Naga Hills. The team was lead by Major John Butler (sr). During their period of stay at Lazami Village, an Orphaned boy Khupu Khuwo use to fetch water for the Expedition team in exchange for a day’s meal. In course of time, Khupu Khuwo learned Assamese, the language that was a medium of communication of the time. Learning Assamese language proved to be very crucial as it Broke language barrier between the Villagers and the expedition team. Thus, suddenly, an orphaned boy became the most important person in the village as his service was required by both sides for communication. Nevertheless, before any significant development took place, the Expedition team was recalled to Assam due to Dalhousie’s non-intervention policy towards the Naga Hills.
After the withdrawal on Non-Intervention Policy in 1866, the British expedition team started constucting Kohima-Tseminyu-Wokha-Mockokchung road as part of the design to contain restive Nagas tribes of the Barail Mountain range and to protect Assam plain from raid by these Naga tribesmen. A small connecting road meant for horse-drawn cart was also constructed connecting Kohima-Tseminyu-Wokha-Mockokchung road from Kasha junction till Lazami village, and a Bangalow was aslo constructed at Lazami village. In a nutshell, this road was constructed around 1870-75 A.D. It may be mentioned that Khupu Khuwo asssisted the British team and played a major role in constructing the above mentioned road.

By the time Captain John Butler (Jr.), the Political Agent of the Naga Hills Distrcit arrived at Lazami village, Khupu Khuwo was already a household name. It took no time for Butler to identify Khupu Khuwo and their friendship blossomed in no time. Together, they constructed a motorable road from Kohima-Tseminyu-Wokha-Mockokchung road to Lazami village. This road was called

“JOHNY LAGHE” meaning “JOHNY’S ROAD” named after John Butler Jr. and can still be seen at Lazami village. In all probability, Khupu Khuwo was appointed “DOOBASHI” by John Butler Jr. around 1875-76 A.D. Thus, KHUPU KHUWO’s name is etched in history book as the first person among Sumi Naga tribe to be appointed to the acclaimed post of Doobashi.
When the First world war broke out, Khupu Khuwo was serving as Doobashi in the Kohima D.C office under J.H Hutton. He took active part in enlisting the Naga tribesmen in the Naga Labour Corps. Probably, it was due to Khupu Khuwo’s influence and leadership that the Sumi tribe, numbering 1000 men, consituted the single largest tribal representative and Lazami village (Khupu Khuwo’s Native village) numbering 50 men consituted the single largest village representatives in the Naga Labour Corps.
It is also worth mentioning that, Khupu Khuwo was a personal friend and colleague of J.H.Hutton. He was also one of the three interpretors of the Author of “the Sema Naga” and “J.H Hutton’s Tour Dairy in the Naga Hills”. In the acknowledgement note of the later, J.H Hutton wrote, “I am indebted to my friend Khupu Khuwo of Lazami village….”
After conclusion of the First World War, Khupu Khuwo was awardeed “The Medal for Faithful Service” by the British Empire. The photograph of the Medal is enclosed herewith at Annexure-I

3. Kiviye Khuwu:
Kiviye was the eldest son of Khupu Khuwo. Answering to the call of duty, Khupu Khuwo enlisted his eldest son in the Naga Labour corps much against the wishes of his wife and the villagers. Thus, the father-son duo bravely represented Sumi Naga Tribe in the Naga Labour Corps.
There is no record about Kiviye Khupu returning to the village after the war . Hence, in all probability he was killed during the war.

4. Akhalu Sakhama:
No other detail infrormation about Akhalu could be furnished. However, The “BURMA STAR MEDAL” awarded to him is still being preserved by his offsprings. The Photograph of the Medal is attached herewith at Annexure-II

5. Musalho Tsuipu:
He was appointed as Military Interpreter (M.I.) after First World War. He probably died
without a natural heir.

6. Chinisho Tsubohu (Futhena Clan):

7. Khakhu Shukupu:

8. Chinisho Zalipa (Kappo Clan):

9. Khumtsa Amiyi:

10. Ghuzhui Kithonu (Futhena):

11. Asau Saghunu:

12. Asapu Lokunu (swunetho)

13. Khulu Ghuzhukha:

14. Inatha Kulhoba (Tijimi Clan):

15. Zashaena Kurubo (Futhena):

16. Asapu Kuhoyi:

17. Axhi Shelaba:

18. Kupfuna Kamtho:

19. Hethana Swu (assumi):

20. Punaha Tsubaxa:

21. Punumixi Muzakinu:

22. Ghucho Baghu (Kappo):

23. Khulu Kilivinu (Futhena):

24. Kupuna Chuwokha (Assumi):

25. Asapu Jikhapu (Wotsa):

26. Khulu Tuyinu:

27. Kivikhe:

28. Nishena Wozami:

29. Khupu Saishe (Tsuipu):

30. Ghukhana Inaghonu:

31. Nishena Ghileshonu (Tsuipu):

32. Kikhu Ghuzuinu:

33. Khumtsa Munumixinu:

34. Punaha Kholau (Kappo):

Although there is no dispute about the figure ”50”, the names and details about the rest 26 men could not be furnished at the moment due to paucity of information and lack of time. However, the Lazami Village Council and every individual citizens shall endeavor to collect the name of the remaining WW-I participants from our village and submit to the concerned Authority in the near future.

Compiled By:-


NCST to do away with the category any Naga tribe in Arunachal Pradesh

NEW DELHI, Aug 16: The National Commission for Scheduled Tribes (NCST) has issued a no objection certificate to the Centre in considering the Arunachal Pradesh government’s proposal to amend the list of Scheduled Tribes of the State.

The Arunachal government had proposed doing away with the category ‘any Naga’ tribe and instead recognising the tribes of Nocte, Tangsa, Tutsa and Wancho. It has argued that this would be in the larger interest of people belonging to these tribes. 

According to the minutes of the meeting there are no other tribes “under the umbrella of any Naga tribe”. So, the “state government’s proposal to replace Naga tribes with Nocte, Tangsa, Tutsa and Wancho should be accepted,” the state government has proposed which the NCST has now given a no objection certificate to. 

The State government has also proposed the deletion of Abor tribe from its list of Scheduled Tribes claiming there is no such tribe there. Among the other amendments, the state government has also proposed, replacing the tribes of Khampti, Mishmi from its list and replacing them with Tai Khamti, Idu. According to the government, there are no Khampti and Mishmi tribes.

The entity of Momba – another categorised Scheduled Tribe in the list should be replaced with the terms Monpa, Memba, Sartang and Sajolong, according to the proposal.  

According to the modalities, the state government has to refer the proposal Register General of India and NCST before it is sent to the Cabinet.

The state government has declared that there are no tribes by the name of Abor, Khampti, Mishmi and Momba in the state and so the proposed amendments should be approved. newindianexpress.com

Nagas and Meiteis must live together as good neighbours

July 30, 2018
Z.K. Pahrü Pou
Mission Colony, Pfutsero

*History of the Meiteis (Manipuris):* In the past, Meitei kingdom was known as Kangleipak. The present name ‘Manipur’ evolved along with the sanskritisation of Meitei population during the 18th century. The Meiteis have a long history which dates back to 33 AD. The Royal Chronicle known as “Cheitharon Kumpapa” has the chronological order of Meitei Kings from first century till the late 1940s. However, with more confusion exists than clear evidences, there is much contestation on this claim. A noted Meitei scholar, O. Tomba Singh, in his book “A Need to Rewrite Manipuri History (1993)” opined that the record of Royal Chronicle is debatable because geological excavations suggest that the entire Manipur valley was under water till about 500 years ago. Prof. Jyotirmoy Roy, in his book “History of Manipur (1973),” wrote that although the sea receded (the present Loktak Lake), the valley portion of Manipur remained under water for a long time. If we are going to believe the Royal Chronicle dating back to 33 AD then we may conclude that the Meiteis have settled somewhere else and migrated and settled at the present site in about 500 years ago. The Kangleipak kingdom was confined to Imphal Valley extending to Kabaw Valley which was gifted to Burma.

*Past Relationship of the Meiteis and Nagas:* Nagas did not live under monarchical king like Meiteis but each village existed as a sovereign and republic nation. They lived as free people and had very less contact with outside world. Unlike the Nagas, the Meiteis often wage wars with the neighbouring Kings such as the Burmese and Tripuri Kings. Interestingly it is on record that the Nagas extended helping hand to the Meitei Maharajas in times of danger and wars. In 1717-18, the Raja Garib Nawaz requested the Naga Chiefs to him attack Samjok. According to K. Gyanendra Singh, in his book “Security and Development: The Political Economy of Insurgency in Manipur, 2011), Raja Garib Nawaz was a man who practiced both vaishnavism and militarism. His constant war efforts had led him to develop cordial relationship with the Nagas. Again when the Burmese troops attacked and took possession of Kangleipak for seven years, all the Meitei men fled to the hills from the Valley for safety. During this Seven Years’ Devastation (Chahi-Taret Khuntakpa, 1819-1826), the Tangkhul Nagas generously gave shelter to the Meitei brothers (See Prof. Jyotirmoy Roy, “History of Manipur (1973). Probably some Meiteis permanently settled in Ukhrul district. In this context, it is not difficult to understand why Meiteis consider the Tangkhul Nagas as ‘elder brother.’ In appreciation of this humane gesture, the Tangkhul Nagas were given prominent place in some of Meitei religious ceremonies even today. When the Nagas had given their best for the protection of the Meitei Kingdom, should not the Meiteis reciprocate the Nagas with the same good gesture today?

*The Nagas in Manipur state:* Although Nagas do not have their own written record, their oral traditions pointed out that they were the first settlers in Manipur. T.C.Hudson, in his Book, “The Naga Tribes of Manipur, 1996 (reprint), also mentioned that the Nagas were well settled than their counterpart in the valley. However, due to topographical location, the Meiteis had rapidly developed themselves. Cutting short the story, the coming of the British to Manipur had colossal impact on the sovereign right of the Nagas. The British helped the Meiteis to drive out the Burmese. Gambhir Singh was made the ruler of Manipur. By 1872, the British along with the combined forces of Raja Gambhir Singh began to intrude into the Naga territory. However, in 1891, war broke out between the British and the Meiteis. The Meiteis were defeated and British took control of the whole of Manipur. The British main interest in Naga areas was to collect taxes and use them as porters. It allowed the Meitei Raja to conquer some of the land of the Nagas on the condition that Meitei Raja would help the troops of the British to go to Burma without any hindrance. Later on, this has resulted to the Naga Raj movement by the Zeliangrong Nagas in Manipur. The British knowing fully that the Meiteis and Nagas were of different ethnic communities kept them under different administration. According to N. Ibobi Singh, the hill territory was separated from the general administration on the plea that ‘the hill people are not Manipuris and have entirely different customs and languages’ (The Manipur Administration 1707-1907). The distinct identity of the Nagas from the Meiteis was recognised even after India’s Independence under the Article 371-A. The British and the Independent India had then fully recognised the fact that Meiteis and the Nagas were of different ethnic groups. The Naga leaders of the past who have agreed to stay in Manipur (when a new state was curved out from Assam) might have assumed to be saved because there were many provisions that safeguarded the interest of the Nagas. The fact that Meiteis and Nagas are different needs to be recognised, respected and accepted by all so as to evolve a harmonious and neighbourly relationship among all the communities.

*Problem of an-inch of land:* The total area of present Manipur is 22,327 sq. Km, out of which the hill areas cover 20,126 sq km and inhabited by the tribal people. The tribal people (Nagas and Kukis) settles in the hill areas and the valley is dominated by the Meiteis. The Naga people live in their own land (hill area) so as the Meiteis (valley area). The dominant Meitei community who keep saying that ‘not even an inch of land in Manipur will be given to the Nagas’ is nothing more than to insult the Nagas. The Nagas have been living in their own land since time immemorial. There is nothing such as ‘‘smaller or greater Naga land”. Wherever the Nagas are living for centuries, rightly the land belongs to them. If the Nagas have seized any part of land and forest that belong to the Meiteis, I am sure the Nagas will be happy to return them. The Meitei elites must come out with concrete historical proof which village or parts of land of the Meiteis have been seized by the Nagas in the history of Manipur. Let’s call spade a spade. We can’t live together with lie. Nagas in Manipur are not asking for even ‘an inch of land’ that rightfully belongs to other community. The Nagas are just pleading the Government of India and the Meiteis to recognise and respect what is rightfully belonging to them since time immemorial. This can be done through readjustment of the existing state boundary under Article 3 of Indian Constitution.

*State wide Bandh/protest in Manipur:* The Meitei CSOs are gearing up to organise with what they called as ‘state wide bandhs or state wide protest’ by ‘the whole people of Manipur’ against the imminent signing of Indo-Naga political talk. Look at the fact. Out of the total area of Manipur state, the so-called ‘state wide protest’ or ‘bandhs’ will affect only about 2000 sq km (valley portion). So the right term should be ‘Valley wide protest or bandhs’ by the ‘Meiteis’. Using the phrases such as ‘state wide bandhs’ or the ‘whole people of Manipur’ is misleading and a blatant lie. These are used just for media propaganda. On the other hand, it gives the impression that ‘Manipur’ means only ‘the valley portion’ and ‘the whole people of Manipur’ simply mean ‘Meiteis’. Therefore, it is even safer for the Meitei community to be specific by saying that the bandhs/strike will be affected in the Valley and imposed by the Meitei community. Of course, it is no surprise, to see some Naga people ( especially Naga Chameleon politicians) with vested interest (or some common people out of compulsion) speaking to media about the unity of Manipur during every protest or bandhs. Such voice cannot and does not represent the interest of the whole Naga community.

*Save life, Save Neighbours*: Nagas have lost thousands of its brave men and women for the cause of freedom. Meiteis have lost 18 precious lives on Naga issue on June 18, 2001. Let’s not sacrifice any more life on this issue. Enough is enough. Meitei elites may kindly give up the temptation to play the role of BIG BROTHER for the Nagas. It only provoke to anger the Naga population when some Meitei politicians shouted that ‘there is no Naga in Manipur’; ‘the Meiteis will take extreme step if special status or any type of alternative arrangement’ is made for the Nagas. These are not brotherly and sisterly words. If Meiteis really love the Naga people, then they should not stop the GOI to develop the Naga people through certain special arrangements.
It is time for Meitei elites and politicians to think beyond the solution of the Nagas for the development of Meitei community. We need to live side by side as good neighbours. We need the help of each other to grow and develop in the modern world. If Meiteis have political rights, then they should tell to the Government of India and get it. Nagas would be very much happy to see them fully developed and well secured. Even if Nagas are separated, Manipur will continue to be a state with 40 MLAs intact. Geographically, Manipur will be still bigger than Goa. Meiteis will live in peace without any disturbance from the Nagas who are considered to be ‘trouble makers’ in Manipur. Instead of standing in the way of Nagas’ solution, it is time for the Meiteis to search ways and means to build up good relationship in the aftermath of Naga political solution with India. Nagas owned their freedom and they have every right to decide for their destiny. Any community or party that hinders the Nagas from achieving its aspiration will be considered as ‘enemy’ by the coming generation.

For discussion: zkpahr@gmail.com