EU Ambassadors interact with Naga civil society

NTIMES 15MAY: EU Ambassadors interact with Naga civil society
Chizokho Vero | Kohima | May 14 Morung Express

The visiting European Ambassadors today interacted with the NGOs here at Razhu Pru where they were briefed about Naga political issue and aspirations of the Nagas among others by the representatives of Naga civil society. The purpose of their three day maiden visit to Nagaland according to them was to improve the relationship between India and European countries including North East India.

Naga Hoho President Keviletuo Kiewhuo told the media persons after an interaction that the NGOs had highlighted to the visiting diplomats about the political development and aspirations of Nagas. The Naga Hoho chief said the visiting Ambassadors were patient enough to hear the voices of NGOs and want to keep in touch with them. The diplomats informed the NGOs about the impact of conflict and how to resolve it. Kiewhuo said that he found them exhibiting “genuine concern” for Nagas.

Angami Public Organization (APO) President Keneingunyu Sekhose also told the media persons that the visiting Ambassadors expressed their desire to explore about investment potential in Nagaland. During the interaction, the civil society groups also conveyed its desire to have cultural exchange programme with European countries, Sekhose said.
The visiting diplomats expressed their desire to know more about the youth activities in Nagaland and the challenges they will be facing for better tomorrow.

The interaction hosted by Angami Public Organization witnessed the presence of representatives from Naga Hoho, Nagaland Baptist Church Council, Eastern Nagaland People’s Organization, Nagaland Catholic Association, Naga Students’ Federation and Angamimiapfu Mechu Krotho representing Naga Mothers’ Association. Later, the visiting diplomats made a courtesy call to Nagaland’s Governor Nikhil Kumar at Raj Bhavan. They also met with Nagaland’s Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio and his cabinet ministers which, was followed by a dinner hosted by the Chief Minister.

Earlier, the visiting Ambassadors visited Nagaland University, Kohima campus, Meriema this morning and interacted with faculty, scholars and students. They also held a meeting with leaders of political parties at the committee hall of Nagaland Legislative Assembly. Last night, they met with the senior officers of the Nagaland government at the Heritage and had a brief interaction on the state’s avenues for investment in various sectors.

The eight-member delegation is led by Joao Cravinho from the European Union as Head of delegation and includes Brisian Kirilove Kostova from Bulgaria, Milosav Stasek from Czech Republic, Terhi Hakala from Finland, Janos Terenyi from Hungary, Piotr Klodkowski from Poland, Marian Romasik from Slovak Republic and Card Meier Klodt from Germany.
On Tuesday (May 15), the diplomats will visit 2nd World War Cemetery, Khonoma Green Village, State Museum and Naga Heritage Village, Kisama.

They will depart Kohima for Dimapur on Tuesday where they will interact with Dimapur Chamber of Commerce and Industries at Niathu Garden. They will also attend the Ist Police Day celebration at Nagaland Armed Police Training Centre, Chumukedima which will be followed by dinner hosted by Home Minister Imkong L. Imchen. They will depart Dimapur for Itanagar, Arunachal Pradesh on Wednesday.
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Visit to Nagaland University

The visiting Ambassadors during the day also visited the Nagaland University, Kohima campus, Meriema. Interacting with the Vice Chancellor, academic staff and students of Nagaland University, the visiting dignitaries said that as Ambassadors, part of the mission is to discover the country and to work more closely with India including Nagaland. They said that they decided to visit the University because it is a central place for everyone. Skill development is the biggest challenge that India faces, they said adding that the world is facing skill shortage.

The visiting Ambassadors also stressed on cooperation between European and Indian Universities and to create opportunities for exchange of students and faculties between Nagaland University and European Universities. Vice-Chancellor, Nagaland University, Prof. B.K. Konwar gave a speech on ‘Nagaland University in Perspective’. The visiting Ambassadors also had discussion with the faculty members, research scholars and students.
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Meeting with political parties

The European Ambassadors held a meeting with leaders of political parties in Nagaland at Nagaland Legislative Assembly, Committee Hall. The meeting was presided over by Speaker Nagaland Legislative Assembly Kiyanilie Peseyie. The visitors said that the objective of their visit is to understand the Indian diversity and to understand Nagaland better and its challenges for economic development in Nagaland in particular.

Briefing the gathering, Minister for Urban Development and Higher Education and NPF President, Dr. Shurhozelie highlighted the challenges of economic advancement and added that the visit is unique and will be a milestone in the history of the Nagas. He said that the formation of Nagaland Legislative Forum of the 11th Nagaland Legislative Assembly comprising of all elected members of NLA is a big boost to finding a solution to the long struggle of the Naga Political Problem. He called upon the visiting Ambassadors for their supports and suggestion to the Indian Government for finding a solution of the Naga Political issue.

Speaking on the occasion, MLA and senior Congress Member, K.V. Pusa briefed the delegates about the Naga people living in neighboring states of Assam, Manipur, Arunachal Pradesh and one-third of the Naga population living in Myanmar. Replying to questions put forward by the Ambassador of Finland on the participation of Women in Naga society, he said that women are treated equal with men.

Participating in the discussion initiated by the visitors, Tokheho Yepthomi from Congress party and leader of the opposition of Nagaland Legislative Assembly said that Nagas are still economically backward but the visit of Europeans Ambassadors and its outcome would lighten the problem.
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Meeting with government officials
The European Ambassadors met with the State senior officers at the Heritage on 13th May 2012 to have a brief interaction on the State’s avenues for investment in various sectors. The meeting was hosted by Nagaland State Chief Secretary, Lalthara, IAS.

Welcoming the dignitaries to the State, Lalthara said that European countries have set the best example to the world in setting up a global village where boundaries are respected but freedom to movement within the European countries is free and everyone should learn from them. The Chief Secretary was of the view that Nagaland is growing with the rest of the Country and is advisable for investment.

Commissioner & Secretary Planning, Mhombemo Patton gave a brief report on the State. He said that the story of Nagaland is of a small State with a high growth. He explained that although the growth has been consistent in the State, sectors like Agriculture, Tourism, Bee Keeping, Bamboo, Infrastructure and Banking & Insurance have seen a higher growth.

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Home Ministry upset with MEA over EU envoys visit to Nagaland

New Delhi, May 14 (PTI): The Ministries of Home and the External Affairs were today at loggerheads over the visit of eight envoys of the European Union to Nagaland. Following a protest lodged by MHA over the visit without any intimation and security clearance and the ministry raising its concern on the delegation meeting political leaders and civil society, Foreign Secretary Rajan Mathai spoke to Home Secretary R K Singh on the issue.

“In all such visits necessary process is ensured and coordination is ensured amongst all concerned organisations and ministries,” sources in the MEA said. Asserting that the decision to allow the diplomats to visit the sensitive northeastern state was “unilateral”, the MHA asked the MEA to tell it the purpose of the visit and wanted to know why security clearance has not been sought before giving permission for the visit as is the normal practice.

Official sources said the delegation, which includes ambassadors of Czech Republic, Hungary, Finland, Poland, Bulgaria and Slovakia, met Nagaland Chief Secretary, Speaker of the Assembly, leaders of political parties, representatives of several NGOs and businessmen yesterday. The envoys also visited Nagaland University and met Governor Nikhil Kumar today. Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio is hosting a dinner for them tonight.

Sources said the MHA was particularly upset over the delegation’s meeting with leaders of political parties and civil society members. It was of the view that Nagaland being an insurgency-prone state such representations could lead to sharing of information which are inimical to country’s interests.
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