|Independence message by Adinno Phizo-
I send my warmest greet-ings to our people on the 60th Anniversary of the Naga representatives’ historic declaration to the world on 14 August 1947 that Nagaland will stay independent, a day ahead of the British India independence granted by Great Britain.
Sixty years on, despite unremitting Indian occupation army militarised tyranny since 1954, the Federal Republic of Nagaland is very much alive. For where our nation is today, we thank the Almighty God for sustaining our people to stand on own’s ground. We will always remember our patriots who sacrificed their lives in defending our freedom. The Government of India (GoI) senseless policy to colonise Nagaland has no place in modern world.
My generation witnessed momentous political upheaval across the world in the aftermath of World War ll. At that juncture, the Naga communities had no common purpose. But unlike neighbouring British India and Burma, the sovereignty of Naga territory was never conceded to foreigners. It stayed the same during the former British empire.
In the 19th century, the British invaders met fierce resistance from the Angami Naga villages that started in January 1832 till 22 November 1879. To end the war, the British entered into an unwritten peace understanding with the dominant Khonoma village on 27 March 1880. The basis of the understanding unequivocally bound the British that on the day the British decide to go back home, the Naga territory were to be left alone.
By any reckoning, the Naga people neither share a common history nor ancestry with the people of India. Nonetheless, in the interest of future good neighbourly relation, the Naga community representatives led by A.Z.Phizo reached out the emerging Indian leaders, namely, Mahatma Gandhi, M.A.Jinnah, Gopinath Bordoloi, C.Rajagopala-chari, Gen K.M.Cariappa, Sri Prakasa, etc., in friendship to promote understanding and mutual respect prior to British India gaining its independence as well as after the birth of modern India. Not surprisingly, none of the Indian leaders the Naga delegations met expressed any reservation or opposition to Nagaland’s independence at any point in the series of talk. That said, prior to independence, incredibly the nascent Constituent Assembly of India led by Gopinath Bordoloi arrived in Kohima to sound out the Naga National Council (NNC) with an ‘offer’ to join the Union of India and stayed from 19 to 21 May 1947. The ‘offer’ was politely but categorically rejected.
In keeping with Naga democratic tradition, NNC conducted a landmark voluntary Naga plebiscite on 16 May 1951, to determine the wishes of the Naga people on their political aspirations to be a nation. Against all the odds, the resounding verdict of 99.00 per cent Naga people in favour of a single national identity and unequivocal affirmation of the earlier declaration of independence in August 1947, uplifted a whole generation with much optimism for the future. Thenceforth, the Naga people immutably entrusted the NNC with the national mandate to uphold Nagaland sovereignty.
The President of NNC, A.Z.Phizo, next turned his attention to the then “Unadministered Areas” Free Nagas. He toured the Regions extensively and got the consent of their leaders for a federal union to be duly enshrined in Naga Constitution. On the basis of the Naga Federal Constitution, henceforth, the Yehzabo of Nagaland, the Federal Government of Nagaland (FGN) was established on 22 March 1956 empowered with legal authority.
In total reversal to Mahatma Gandhi’s word that India will never use force against Nagaland and respect Nagaland independence, given to NNC representatives on 19 July 1947 during a visit to Delhi, Jawaharlal Nehru, the first Prime Minister of India, gave order to his Indian army to invade Nagaland in 1954. Ever since, the GoI flagrantly pursue with no signs of relenting, the annexation of peaceful and beautiful Federal Republic of Nagaland.
The 53 years (1954 – 2007) unresolved conflict between by any standard unequal Nagaland and India, couldn’t have done the Indian leaders reputation much good other than a laughing-stock. Whether Delhi care or not, trampling on Nagaland sovereignty on false ground, not to mention aiding and abetting a proxy militia gang, will eventually collapse because of inherent contradiction. India may find the only availble exit strategy is to quit Nagaland at the earliest ostensibly with good grace.
It is clearly a fallacy to refer Indian aggression against Nagaland as the “vexed Naga problem”. The core issue between the two nations is simply the total withdrawal of the Indian occupation army and its camp followers from Nagaland immediately. There can be no excuse for India to concoct imagined fear to prolong the occupation of Nagaland.
From the outset, Nagaland did not seek or demand any favour from India. The Naga stand always has been Nagaland belong to the Naga people. Let no one doubt the resolve of the Naga nation to uphold the Yehzabo of Nagaland.
On this 60th Anniversary of Naga Independence Declaratrion day, I call upon our people to promote peace, understanding as good Naga and pursue national unity towards a common purpose.
May God bless Nagaland. Urra Uvie
Adinno Phizo, president,
Naga National Council,
|Message by Kedahge, Gen. (Retd) Viyalie Metha, FGN-
I send my warmest greet-ings to you all on the oc-casion of the sixtieth anniversary of historic Naga independence declared sixty years ago on this day, in 1947. I am once again privileged to take this opportunity to praise God Almighty on behalf of the Naga people. At the same time, I call upon each and every Naga citizen to celebrate our historic national day in appropriate manner with due humility towards God for His unceasing love and care through out the generations.
As we celebrate our great National Day, we remember the founding fathers of our nation who initiated and moulded the Naga Nation. We also remember the good deeds and sacrifices of our predecessors and ancestors, many of whose sufferings were known only to God. But their dedication and prayer in silence sustained our nation. They are the unsung patriots and true national heroes to whom we owe our gratitude. At the same time I express my gratitude and thanks to the present leaders and national workers for their continued sacrifice and steadfastly upholding our national right to this day.
As we arrive at a new mile-stone of our national history, let us look back to the facts that Nagas declared their independence on the 14th August 1947 before India attains its independence from the British. It is a fact that we conducted a plebiscite in 1951 and confirmed that declaration to remain independent. It is also a fact that we established our national government on 22nd March 1956 where by our people took oath of allegiance to the Yehzabo of the Federal Government of Nagaland. It is also a fact that Naga people made the Lakhuti Resolution which still stands to judge those who violate the Yehzabo of Nagaland.
And that, ever since our people came together to live a stronger national life, India began to invade our land, occupied our land by force and has been trying to destroy our tradition and fabric of our social and cultural life with the power of money and armed forces. In course of which countless futile exercises were perpetrated on Naga people, one latest of such kind was by hoodwinking a number of self seeking Naga acquired educationists along with few pseudo nationalists and renegades trying to mislead our people under the cover of holding stage managed so-called peace talk with India has once again failed to impress the reasonable thinking Nagas.
Even as India continued its unremitting militarized tyranny in Nagaland and tried to replace the national institution-Naga National Council (NNC) and our legitimate government, the Federal Government of Nagaland (FGN), with imposters and helping the self trumpeting heroes to replace the true national heroes, on the other hand India supports the terrorist groups to terrorize with intent to subdue the Naga people into submission.
Let us be very clear about our case with India. India invaded Nagaland, therefore it is a case of invasion and so it is war. Nagas fought the war with India in defense of their own country for a long time. However the war was brought to a halt in 1964 with the signing of the international Cease-Fire Agreement between the two nations. Accordingly Nagas kept their words and the cease-fire is honored till today even though India unilaterally abrogated and violated the agreement since 1972 to resume its oppressive agenda upon Nagaland.
God gave us Nagaland. And our forefathers laid our national foundation so firm that no power can destroy or take away our rights. It is for us to live and enjoy the fruits of the heritage that was handed down to us through our forefathers. And we who are living today, we have our responsibility to protect, preserve and nature our heritage, the envy of all.
We are in Nagaland, it is our country and we are not going to be threatened into submission. Any Naga who believes that it is not God but Hindu who can save him is neither a real Naga nor a Christian Naga as said by A.Z. Phizo father of Naga Nation.
The Naga National Council and the Federal Government of Nagaland had successfully celebrated the Golden Jubilees in 1997 at Kohima and 2006 at Chedema respectively. And today as we celebrate our nation’s historic day, I call upon every bona-fide Naga citizen to decease from repeating any foolishness but be awakened and let the past pass. Let us give a chance to good deeds for our nation. Time has come for Nagas to speak out in one voice with one purpose. For our task ahead every single Naga is needed to take part let no one be left behind.
By tradition Naga people are known for their honesty and integrity and we shall live up to the expectation with our mission to maintain sanity if that is humanly possible to live in harmony with our fellow men and be of service to others at all time and with the objective to be a man among men and to be a nation among nations. Those were the teachings of our forefathers which we shall do our best to maintain.
With the brief reminiscence of our predecessors, I wish you all be blessed by God whom I beseech for His continued blessings.
Kedahge, Gen. (Retd) Viyalie Metha, FGN
|14/08/07 Speech of Gen. (Retd) I. Panger Walling, president of NNC on the occasion of the 60th year of Naga independence-|
My beloved people of Nagaland,
I stand here on this auspi-cious occasion of our Naga independence to salute all the Naga people in the Homeland and abroad as we celebrate and observe this day of ours prayerfully. May our living God bless us all on the occasion of sixtieth year of our Independence Day declaration.
When we look back sixty years ago on this day of ours, we praise God because the NNC could declare independence one day before India’s declaration. And because of this official declaration with official information to the United Nations, all the Embassies in Delhi and India in particular, the Nagas became Independent people and because of this political this achievement by the NNC on behalf of the Nagas, the Naga political issue has become unique even in the present context of struggle. But the Government of India instead of giving due recognition sent her troops(army) to Nagaland in 1954 and started destroying the Naga villages, killing, torturing, raping women, grouping of villagers etc. and finally occupied Nagaland. Since then, the war went on between the Naga Government and the Government of India and political talks started at Prime Ministerial level. But the Government of India unilaterally withdrew the cease-fire, in this matter of peace initiative between the Nagas and India also. Therefore, the Government of India can never be trusted in ceasefire and political dialogue for permanent peace and settlement of political issue.
Today the NNC want to make it very clear that the Nagas are fighting for their political rights of recognition as sovereign Nation basing on political rights of 14th August Declaration of Naga Independence in 1947 and 16th May 1951 Voluntary Plebiscite of 99.9% voted for Independence of Nagaland but not fighting afresh for self-determination as stated by some Naga people. The Nagas are not demanding self-determination but demanding that the Government of India and the Military Junta of Myanmar pull out their respective armies stationed in Nagaland in complete violation of International Law, and in total violation of human rights of occupation by force since 1954. Therefore, the Nagas must know the actual political rights and position of the Homeland. And the political history of the Homeland cannot be changed just because of political blunder committed in the past as well as because of hatred. The Naga political history will remain as it is forever. It will be only a curse and doom for those who try to undo and change the political rights and history of Nagas which is made and done with thousands of precious lives of the Nagas.
The NNC caution that the Naga NGOs as well as the Naga sympathizers and well wishers abroad should maintain neutrality as they are social and neutral bodies, therefore, the NGOs should be very cautious, careful and tactful in their dealing with human problem of sixty years of political conflict. And this is my prayer to God Almighty that He help and control each one of us to bring real blessing and permanent peace in the Naga Homeland instead of more curse and bloodshed.
The NNC welcome and appreciate all those Governments, NGOs and leaders’ concerns and support for the Nagas at this critical juncture of Naga political struggle for sovereignty.
The NNC once again appeal to the Government of India and the Military Junta of Myanmar to come forward to settle the political problem of the longest struggle once and for all for the sake of peace in the world and for the permanent peace and tranquility in the South East Asian Region in particular.
The NNC is closely watching that the International community is now coming forward in the North East Region for world peace and development rapidly. The NNC in particular welcome those concerned parties, companies etc. who are working for permanent peace in the Region.
The NNC will ever stand to welcome or support any Nation or Organisation or leader who speak or write or work officially in support of genuine cause of the Naga political problem of sixty years of struggle for sovereignty.
But the NNC will oppose the faction or Organisation or NGOs who compromise the very right of sovereignty of Nagaland. Also the NNC will oppose any incorrectness of incidents, events and biasness in the political affairs of the Nagas.
The NNC also must say that the ceasefire talks between the Government of India and the NSCN-IM has miserably failed and the NSCN-IM has completely fallen into the trap of New Delhi’s “indefinite” cease-fire policy without any objection. And this is very unfortunate because this is a complete compromised. Of course, the Government of India will never solve the political problem with NSCN IM alone rather their (GOI) policy is to weaken this faction completely to come to term with them for another Shillong Accord of 1975 and this is almost going to be done now.
Therefore, NNC is determined to work harder for the cause of the Naga Sovereignty in the Homeland and abroad for the betterment of the Naga people as well as to save the political situation for the best interest of the Naga Nation in particular. God bless Nagaland. Long live the Naga Independence.
Gen. (Retd) I. Panger Walling,
President of NNC
YARUIWO (PRESIDENT) ISAK CHISHI SWU’S ADDRESS TO THE NATION ON THE EVE OF THE 61st INDEPENDENCE DAY OF NAGALIM (14th Aug. 2007).
PRAISE THE LORD!
The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob was with our forefathers when they first chose to settle in this part of the world. Nobody raised a finger, no one objected because they were the first settlers; they survived and flourished into a nation. The same God was with our honored leaders when they first hoisted the Naga National flag on 14th August 1947 and declared to the world that Nagas value liberty and freedom above everything else. It is the same God who salvaged our tiny Nation from the threat of annihilation, treachery and capitulation. I am convinced that only He could have done so much for the Nagas despite our weaknesses. God has been with us in our best and worst moments.He has a big purpose for the Nagas. Praise the Lord!
On the eve of the 61st Independence Day, I greet my countrymen everywhere for it is your sublime steadfastness against political slavery, suppression and domination which has brought us thus far. The will to survive has been the essence of our struggle. Over the past sixty years, bones of thousand of men and women lie scattered all over Nagalim and other foreign lands; all for a cause so dear and precious to their hearts. The sacrifice of the dead and the unyielding spirit of the living is the testimony of the right of the Naga nation.
We pay homage to our beloved comrades who laid down their lives for Nagalim. History shall remember their courage. May they find everlasting peace in Heaven. I also take this opportunity to announce the promotion of some of the distinguished officers in the Naga Army to their next higher ranks in recognition of their seniority, achievement and loyalty towards the Nation.
Dear Nagas, Our politics and history is clear; to live in peace with our neighbors and to develop ourselves as free people was, and is, never a point of debate because this is the basis of our struggle. We respect and cherish the historical affinity that we share with our neighbors. This bond, we pledge, shall continue for hundreds of years to come. We are, however, very clear that Naga history, our right and our people cannot be reduced to being safety valves for our neighbors. Emotional outbursts cannot erase historical facts. Historical errors committed must be rectified by those very people who committed the act in their weak moments. The artificial boundaries created arbitrarily to suit the politics of the time must be uprooted. Historical blunder of few decades must be set straight to conform to the ageless fraternity amongst the Naga family. The inalienable right of the Nagas to live as one must be rightfully restored.
Mahatma Gandhi and his assurance to the Naga leaders on that sunny afternoon of 1947 still echoes in the hearts of both young and old alike, “Nagas have every right to be independent.” This utterance from the Father of the Indian Nation must be respected both in words and actions. On Indo-Naga political talks, we do not wish either the Government of India or any other power to be confused or attempt to confuse us on this paramount issue. We will not survive on anyone’s whims and fancies. Both sides have had, for hundreds of years, clear and distinct political, historical, cultural, social and religious existence. We do not beg or plead, we simply ask India to respect the rights, wishes and sentiments of our people. History has shown that to defend a nation and its right, succeeding generations come wave after wave giving little or no importance to enemy strength or size because to live and die defending the truth is the very meaning of life. It is more powerful than the mighty army. Sixty years ago our fathers struggled for us for that very reason; today without fear we struggle for tomorrow. I take courage to tell my countrymen that the world shall never brush us aside unless we allow ourselves to be.
The ceasefire and the political talks between the Government of India (GOI) and the National Socialist Council of Nagalim (NSCN) has taken ten long years and although GOI has, time and again, failed to take any concrete step other than assurances through words, NSCN is committed to peace process. We have made our position very clear that the will of the Naga people shall be taken into consideration for any solution because we belong to the people. If the talks collapse, insincere nature of the Indian Government would be the sole reason. During the July 21 talks in New Delhi, NSCN proposed the next round of talks to be held in Nagalim for wider participation and consultation. Therefore, on 31st August 2007 at Dimapur, ceasefire with the GOI was extended indefinitely on the condition that there would be progress in the political talks and improved situation on the ground. The GOI is set to strengthen and ensure that ground situation would be conducive for political talks. This may simply be explained that GOI shall stop Indian Intelligence services such as Research and Analysis wing (RAW) and Intelligence Bureau (IB) and Para Military Forces such as Assam Rifles (AR) and Indian Reserve Battalion (IRB) from Sheltering, transporting and supplying money, Arms and ammunition to Khaplang Gang and the so called Federal/NNC people. Until GOI put an end to these covert dealings, ceasefire would be meaningless. This has clearly been conveyed to Indian representatives in the talks and NSCN has been assured positive response. NSCN has, over the years, done much to understand the difficulty of the Indian government. We have proposed for a special federal relationship recognizing each other’s historical and political rights as two different political entities through mutually acceptable political agreement. Mere recognition of unique history and situation of the Nagas does not solve any problem unless unique solution is found. NSCN hopes that the Indian leadership would exhibit boldness and maturity in tackling South Asia’s longest running conflict. The ball is in GOI’s court as to whether to bring the conflict to an end or resume hostilities. Any solution, therefore, must be honorable and acceptable to the Nagas. We are hoping for the best while also preparing for the worst.
Fellow Nagas, At this point of our struggle we need to have a broader perspective on how to achieve the desired goal and not elbow one another on the question of factionalism without having a closer look at its origin. “Factionalism” is the most frequently used word in the Naga context. It is a simple ploy of GOI and its intelligence wings to undermine the Naga struggle in the eyes of international community. They supply hardware and other logistic support to K and NNC people to be used against the Naga Army.
Beware of imposters and traitors who constantly harp on Naga sovereignty even as they slumber inside enemy camps. A band of antisocial elements sheltered by Assam Rifles and IRB and transported from camp to camp fully armed to fight the Naga Army, can never taste true patriotism. Naga army have captured enough arms and ammunition with Indian markings on them, not to mention of the true accounts of former K, federal/NNC cadres who joined the national mainstream having realized the futility of their association with K and NNC people. The crux of the problem is: how does one deal with a group who shout unity by day and troop back into Indian Army barracks by night? Will GOI react if Naga Army ambush Indian military vehicles transporting K and NNC people?
We honor and respect the efforts of the GB’s and DB’s, Hohos, the students, Mothers, Churches and different organizations who continue to pursue common goal for unity and reconciliation among the Nagas. We are for the people and will continue to listen to the voice of the Nagas, yet regretfully at times, reality of the situation forces us to defend and prove ourselves against enemies of the people.
The contribution of Naga civil societies and their efforts to create people to people dialogue with their counterparts in mainland India is very much appreciated. This is a noble way for the two peoples to understand and appreciate each other’s history through non-political prism. NSCN has the highest regard for the many sympathizing Nations, International organizations, friends, well wishers and Christian believers worldwide, who take it as a mission to bring solution to the Indo-Naga political conflict. The support of UNPO (The Hague), SFTP (Germany), NISC (the Netherlands) NAC (US), PNSD (UK), NPFNK (Korea) Forum Asia (Thailand) IWGIA (Denmark), KWIA (Belgium) etc., has been instrumental in drawing international community’s attention to the Indo-Naga political conflict. We convey our gratitude to every organization that speaks out for the oppressed nations and peoples.
The enormity of the task ahead demands that every Naga be prepared to accept the challenge of the time. We value tomorrow and therefore we must plant our feet firmly on the ground. There is no greater shame than bowing down to enemy in confusion and chaos. It is clear to us; Nagas shall never part with what belongs to them. I urge my countrymen to return to Christ for in him dwells the fate of our Nation. Let those who seek to glorify themselves by pleasing the enemy do so. A day will come when one’s own actions and deeds shall return to mock at the tall claims.
As we celebrate this historic day of our nation, may our hearts rejoice with great pride. May the good Lord bless us all