‘Nagaland Tribes Council’ launching ceremony speeches

By: Theja Therieh, secretary, NTC.:    15 Oct. 2013 1:26 AM IST

NTC: Platform for Naga tribes of Nagaland

Friends,
At the very outset, I on behalf of the coordination committee members of Nagaland Tribes Council and on my behalf, extend our heartiest welcome to each and every willing partner present in this historic launching ceremony of the “Nagaland Tribes Council”.
Today is a red letter day for the Naga tribes of Nagaland. Tribal leaders of different tribes after several rounds of contacts, consultation and deliberations with different tribal leaders and Hoho presidents with much concerted efforts brought about a decision to have a platform for the Naga tribes of Nagaland which every aboriginal Nagas of Nagaland aspired and longed for; since there was no such platform to raise issues of interest and to protect the Nagas of Nagaland, after the state which once a state of serenity was in turmoil due to numerous factors. No unilateral arbitrary approach was made but unanimous decision was garnered in forming NTC. This long vision of the masses has been break through from today with the launching of the platform under the nomenclature “Nagaland Tribes Council” with the object to foster unity, brotherhood and fraternity amongst the Naga brothers of Nagaland: to promote, protect and preserve the social fabric and culture heritage of its communities and to strive towards a common goal for the well being of all tribes of Nagaland; to extend solidarity towards the interest of each member tribes and to propagate the need of peace and eschew any form of violence, misgivings and promote co-existence amongst all sections of Nagas and other communities.

We have seen many individual opinions on the formation of the NTC with appreciation and discontentment. All approach was taken in consideration in course of deliberations and the tribal leaders found the balance in favor of having a platform for the tribes of Nagaland like other organizations in other Naga inhibited areas.

The word Naga is a general terminology of all hill tribes people which has its populace spread over different states of north eastern hill areas and elsewhere. There is an apex body of the organization with its nomenclature as “Naga Hoho” which represents all Nagas and its office bearers drawn from different tribes irrespective of the jurisdiction representing the tribe they belong. It should therefore have no issue to deliberate about the formation of NTC in the state of Nagaland for the aboriginal Naga tribes of Nagaland.

There has been deep degeneration in the ethos of the Nagas tribes of Nagaland and we are lacking behind to recourse due to our indecisive approach.  The Nagaland Tribes Council shall work concertedly and relentlessly without any fear and reservation to restore and uphold the lost pride and glory of the Nagas with due consultation and sharing with all brother members of the NTC.

Peace, understanding and cohesiveness within Nagas society is the prerequisite need of the hour. The Naga society is diminutive and need care and attention. In these 50 years of statehood we have to introspect meaningfully what we have achieved and what transition has taken place. Naga tribesmen have a distinct character, identity, and mindset. The 16 point agreement is the epoch bad turning point of the faith of the Nagas through which we were carved out to be recognized as the 16 sixteen state of Indian union. At this juncture we should abhor the short falls and invigorate our commitment to liberate our self from the clutches of attenuation.

NTC categorically clarifies that is a non-political social organization and its main object is to bring about social harmony and closer understanding with all Naga tribes of Nagaland, other tribes and communities to usher a common goal of interest and destiny. 
With this object in view, I as the convener earnestly urge upon all likeminded Nagas to come forward and give your lending hand, suggestion and contribute ideas and wisdom to the organizers of this Naga tribes platform to enable the organization to deliver to the Nagas their needs and aspiration in unison. NTC call upon all the likeminded Nagas to share ideas and lead the people of Nagaland to a brighter future.

NTC, shall without reservation coordinate with all organizations in all constructive ideologies and extend all endeavors with accommodative spirit for successful strive to meet the aspiration of the people for a common goal. Love live Nagaland Tribes Council

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By: P. Pius Lotha, convener NTC.
NTC for welfare of Naga tribes of Nagaland

We give thanks to God for this day, the 12th October 2013 which is set aside for us, the likeminded few, to officially launch the Nagaland Tribes Council (NTC) at Kohima, Nagaland. We acknowledge the Lordship of Jesus Christ over each one of us and beseech His unfailing protection and guidance in all our forthcoming endeavours.

What has urged you and me to come and be a participant in this function? I believe there is one common reason by which we are all attracted to become part of NTC is no other than sincere concern for the welfare of the Nagas of Nagaland. That concern made us to be like-minded and to give humble contribution as we are. It is shameful for the elders to remain mute spectators and allow our children to inherit the prevailing situation in Nagaland. 

If we are humans and not beasts we must now wake up and become sensitive enough to the plight of the common man. The Naga situation has transformed our society into animal kingdom. It should now be our endeavour to restructure it with human ethos. And yet to bring any form of reformation will not be easy nor unopposed. We know the odds are predominant and formidable. Our task is made harder when Nagas of today are susceptible, utterly selfish and very, very timid.

It is not a surprise that NTC is 1aunched today. What is more surprising is NTC is born in the 50th year of Nagaland statehood. The NTC is established within the ambit of its Constitution as we are all aware, and therefore there is no much necessity to highlight its constitutional principles here. Yet, let me share some thoughts of mine which I consider to be the parametric deterrents in its function.

a) NTC is a voluntary organization and it becomes the main public platform of 14 tribes of Nagaland state (few tribes are yet to participate in today’s function). NTC is therefore not the launching pad to propel any individual to fame or wealth but to uphold those aims and objectives contained in Article 2 and except such attainment is made by any through natural process. In other words, this platform must not be misused.

b) NTC stands for the truth. In defence of the truth NTC must not have fear. The moment NTC is cowed down under a circumstance its survival is doubtful.

c) NTC has to be a matured body with high capacity of discerning. It has to be rational, magnanimous, realistic and never become over ambitious. Let me repeat. Let us be practical, systematic and let us not bite more than what we can chew in our plans.

d) Our deed must always commensurate our words. Therefore, let us not waste our energy for cheap popularity but remain humble, committed and focused.

e) NTC is not the auditorium for tribalism, prejudice, malice, gossip, slander and whisper campaign.

f) NTC is not that industry which manufactures hatred and division (as some suspect us today).

g) NTC stands for peaceful coexistence and we acknowledge the importance of our neighbours.

h) NTC stands for Naga fraternal brotherhood minus exploitation.

i) Let us be conscious of overrating ourselves while branding others to be imperfect. When we forget our shortcomings the failure has arrived.

j) NTC has no room for one man’s show but we leave everything to collective responsibility and wisdom. Let the vocabulary ‘I’ be therefore substituted by WE’ in the NTC dictionary.

k) Let us also remember what the American President John F. Kennedy had said “Success has many fathers, failure is a bastard.”
Lastly, in the midst of obstruction, criticism, hesitation and doubts we have come here with resolute intention to launch NTC to be the conscience keeper of the Nagas of Nagaland. NTC is never a threat to anyone’s existence but, yes, it will strive for justice and equality in Naga society and to make Nagaland more liveable. As long as we don’t rely on our strength but on God’s, the NTC caravan will reach its destination. Before its gets too dark we must reach home. As we began the journey let us remain united.

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Z. Lohe, member, NTC.
NTC envisions unity of Naga tribes of Nagaland

On this historic day of the formation of the Nagaland Tribes Council (NTC), I am delighted to present this report to the august house as we formally launch the long awaited common platform. The NTC is born out of the prevailing situation and circumstances that has prompted the concern citizens to fill the vacuums, a voice to represent the feelings and aspirations of the people. The concern citizens realized their failures and took courage to rise and build the broken society. It realized the importance of a platform for every citizen rich or poor, high or low to rise to the occasions and make their voices heard and be heeded. 

It was under the initiative of some elderly Naga leaders, the idea was mooted to start the process of constitutions to protect and preserve the inherent rights and properties of the Nagas of Nagaland. Accordingly, Yesonu Veyie (sessional chairman) was nominated to be the convernor, Ntsemo Ngullie as co-covener and Imtinochet as secretary to the sessional committee to initiate further consultations during a meeting held at hotel Saramati, Dimapur on the 30th of April 2013. 

The consultative meeting was basically to deliberate on the issue of recognition of Mao Naga tribe as scheduled tribe in the state of Nagaland and also the decision of the state government recognition of Rongmei tribe as scheduled tribe in the state of Nagaland which was challenged by the Zeliang tribe at Gauhati High Court. The meeting was attended by leaders from various Naga communities who took part in the discussion where the august gathering vehemently opposed recognition of any other tribes besides the aboriginal Naga tribes of the state of Nagaland since time immemorial and before colonization by other people.

The Naga leaders present in the meeting strongly advocated towards formation of a common platform for Nagas of Nagaland so as to represent the voice and aspiration of the people in the state and to represent and be represented on all the common issues confronting the its people. The meeting thereby decided to call another meeting on the 10th May 2013 at Hotel Japfu, Kohima and invite all the leaders from the 14 Naga tribes of Nagaland to discuss on the need to form an organization comprising 14 Naga tribes of Nagaland.
The concerned Naga leaders from APO, CNTC, ZPO, ENPO, CPO, SH, LH, ASTD, WSH attended the meeting convened at Hotel Japfu, Kohima on 10th May 2013 at 10 a.m. and deliberated on the tribes recognition issues and formation of common platform for the Nagas of Nagaland. The meeting decided to oppose recognition of Mao Naga tribes as scheduled tribe in the state of Nagaland and to press the state government to de-recognise the Rongmei Nag tribe. 

The meeting while unanimously deciding to initiate formation of a common platform for the Nagas of Nagaland decided to convene another meeting at Hotel Saramati on the 25th May 2013 and had constituted a co-ordination committee to venture in to various action to explore and work out an appropriate structure and modalities of the proposed organization. 

The committee would work as core group to take all initiatives to realize our common dreams. The following members were unanimously selected in the meeting, P Pius Lotha (convener), Theja Therieh (secretary), Toniho Sumi (member), Thepfulhouvi Solo (member), Akang Ao (member), Kengim Kuluibe (member) and later on Majetho Pochury (member) and Joel Nillo Kath (member) were added to the coordination committee for wider coverage.
In the process of deliberation on the need to organize a common platform Thepfulhouvi Solo suggested that the proposed body can be named as “Council of Nagalan Tribes”, K Seyie suggested that it can be “Naga People’s organization, Hokishe Yepthomi proposed “Nagaland Tribal Organization and Akang Ao suggest “Nagaland Tribes Council”. The house after thorough deliberation on the nomenclature of the proposed body of the Nagas of Nagaland had unanimously approved “Nagaland Tribes Council” with its abbreviation as “NTC”. The ENPO delegation in the meeting namely, Toshi Wangtong, steering committee, ENPO and N T Thamlong, general secretary, general secretary ENPO extended its fullest cooperation to the proposed common platform and suggested that the coordination committee of NTC invite all the eastern Naga tribes to participate and represent their respective tribes in the body.

The convenor, NTC then proposed a draft representation to the state government on recognition issues. The house after deliberation had approved the draft and endorsed the coordination committee to pursue the matter at appropriate level in appropriate time.
Following the unanimous decision of the nomenclature of the common platform, the house proposed to constitute a constitution drafting committee with time frame to present in the nest scheduled meeting on 22nd of June 2013 with the following members – Thepfulhouvi Solo (convenor), Hokishe Yepthomi (member), Akang Ao (member)’ Zhovehu Lohe (member) and Nribemo Ngullie (member secretary).
It was in the 5th meeting of the NTC general meeting held on 22nd of June 2013 at Hotel Saramati, Dimapur at 1000Hrs. the house was called to order by the convenor and meeting proceeded with the first business of the day where the drafting committee presented the draft constitution and the floor was opened for deliberation. The house thoroughly examined the draft constitution and incorporated the proposed changes. The house appreciated the work of the committee and expressed its confidence on the contents. 

After deliberation on some other issues raised by the concerned members, the house agreed to give a statement in support to the cause of ACAUT demand and expressed solidarity with the Rengma community in their fight for justice and peaceful co-existence in their ancestral land. The house then adjourned for lunch break and re-assembled in the afternoon. Nribemo Ngullie, member secretary of NTC constitution drafting committee read out the draft constitution after incorporating the proposed changes and placed the constitution for necessary approval of the house. The convenor P Pius Lotha proposed to the august house for formal approval of the draft constitution and to which the house unanimously approved the constitution of the newly formed Nagaland Tribes Council (NTC) at 1400Hrs on the 22nd of June 2013 Anno Domini at Hotel Saramati Dimapur.

The NTC coordination committee had attempted several times to reach out to all the Naga tribes of Nagaland particularly the 6 Eastern Naga Tribes of Nagaland namely, Chang, Khiamniungam, Konyak, Phom, Sangtam and Yimchungru. The NTC coordination committee had a very fruitful consultation with the presidents and colleagues of six Eastern Naga tribes along with the ENPO team at hotel Tragopan, Dimapur on 6th July 2013. The leaders present strongly expressed the importance of having a common platform for all the Naga tribes of Nagaland and voice its regret that the Naga Hoho which was formed way back in 1994 with a slogan of “Peace and unity” was initially composed of Naga tribes of Nagaland but later merged with the Nagas from outside the state of Nagaland whereby, the issues concerning the state were gradually overlooked and deviated from the original concept of its formation which led to the exodus of the Eastern tribes compelling them to form ENPO to safeguard the genuine interest of the tribes. 

The meeting concluded with positive notes to explore all means to work together under one platform to address issues that are long overdue. As desired by the tribes and in the line of the suggestion given by ENPO, the NTC wrote letter to all the traditional tribal bodies for their cooperation and participation with representatives on 5th August 2013. The official communication was received from the ENPO, on behalf of the six tribes of Eastern Nagaland dated the 6th August 2013 where the ENPO expressed technical and circumstantial reasons that has restrained them from joining the general council of NTC. It however, expressed their desire to cooperate and work together in common issues and interest of the Nagas and the state in general. 

In the mean time, the Kuki Inpi Nagaland with its headquarter at Ahthibung, Peren district and Kachari tribal council Nagaland with its headquarter at Purana bazaar, Dimapur represented to the NTC for inclusion of the two tribes to be a full-fledged member of Nagaland Tribes Council. The NTC coordination meeting held at Hotel Yak, Dimapur discussed the issue raised by the above two tribes at thread bar. However, the present constitution of NTC having no provision to accommodate the above two tribes as share in their organizations, the matter was put in abeyance till the organizations becomes fully operational. The meeting however decided to invite the two tribes during general council meetings for discussions of common issues covering the citizens of the state of Nagaland.

The NTC coordination meeting with leaders of the apex tribal bodies of Nagaland held at Hotel Saramati, Dimapur discussed the importance of good will, acceptance and mutual association with all the tribal bodies in the state and hence, decided to continue with our vigorous effort towards building mutual coordination and relationship. However, it further decided that the NTC being a constituted apex body of the Nagas of Nagaland, its decision are to prevail on all matters concerning all Naga tribes in the state of Nagaland. The meeting also decided to officially launch the NTC on the 12th of October 2013 at Kohima.

The present constituted body of Nagas of Nagaland with its motto “Esprit De Corps” (the spirit of loyalty, devotion and unity) is formed with the following basic aims and objectives which I would like to highlight to all present: to uphold, promote, protect and preserve the social fabric and the cultural heritage of its communities: to foster unity, brotherhood and fraternity amongst the Naga people: to strife towards common goals and for the wellbeing of the member tribes; and to propagate the need of peace and eschew any form of violence, misgivings and promote co-existence amongst all sections of the Nagas and other communities as well. The Nagaland Tribes Council is an exclusive body of the Nagas of Nagaland and it is committed to work towards full realization of its entity. The NTC would sincerely work in close association with all other tribes, castes and communities for peaceful co-existence and mutual benefits in all times to come.

Remarks: The NTC envisions unity of the Naga tribes of Nagaland towards the common vision of greater unity of all the Nagas. The Nagas, despite all our differences and traditional roots that civilizations gave shape and moulded us to become what we are today yet, we can easily change, reconcile, assimilate and merge in to one homogeneous group of people having same approach and same vision, because God has created us differently and installed wisdom to think, reason, strive and grow towards His likeness. It is up to us whether we narrow down our differences to create our own kingdom or we multiply our differences and shattered all our visions. 

Every Naga citizen of Nagaland rich or poor, high or low can contribute towards achieving unity, integrity, and fraternity amongst the people if we ask what ‘I’ can do for “NTC” and what NTC can do for you. 

The attitude of ‘I’ must step aside and give way to “WE” to build a strong entity of our common platform. Over the years, the 14 Naga tribes of Nagaland while maintaining our respective identities have emerged into groups like Eastern Nagaland People’s Organization, Tenyimia union, Central Nagaland Tribal Council and so on. Let us consider all this as positive developments that has taken place with a desire to unify different sections of our people and yet, this is not our common goal. Today, as we unite ourselves and launch the NTC to represent our common aspiration and goal, different tribal groups in the state of Nagaland must give passage to NTC issues and multiple obstacles to grow and progress yet, we are infected with suspensions, misgivings and there is serious trust deficit everywhere. 

We must rise to an occasion and build trust and confidence of all to deliver what is good for us.  Despite numerous attempts from different quarters to deviate our focus with apprehensions and negative attitude towards the formation of NTC, the NTC will emerge as a body on high moral ground to represent the voice and aspiration of the people and provide mature and genuine contributions to the existing establishments and help to promote and improve the systems and the principles that are governing us today. With this humble remark, I call upon all the citizens of the state to extend your unwavering support, good will and participate in the Nagaland Tribes Council. 

Long live NTC!! Long live Nagaland tribes!! Love live Naga people!!

– NPN

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