Kohima/Imphal, Aug 14 (IANS): The Naga tribals hoisted the "Naga national flag" and organised programmes in Nagaland and at many villages in the Naga dominated areas of Manipur on Sunday to celebrate the "Naga Independence Day".
Several programmes were held on the occasion in different places of Nagaland while besides organising small programmes in many villages of the Naga inhabited areas of Manipur, the Naga flags were hoisted in the houses, shops and various other establishments.
A considerable number of Naga tribals inhabited in many of the 16 hill districts of Manipur while there are Kuki tribals in these hill districts, bordering Nagaland, Assam, Mizoram and Myanmar.
In Manipur's Ukhrul district, which is the birthplace of several top Naga leaders of the major rebel group National Socialist Council of Nagalim (Isak-Muivah) including the General Secretary Thuingaleng Muivah. A statement signed by Muivah said: "All Nagas unite with one decision, one faith, and one politics on the principle of Nagalim for Christ."
It said that the Nagas have endured 25 years of gruelling ceasefire living up to "our commitment for a peaceful solution of the Naga political issue".
"We have also waited patiently for seven long years after the historic Framework Agreement was signed on August 3, 2015. We have not left any stone unturned of what it takes to bring a solution that is honourable, inclusive, and acceptable to both the Nagas and the Government of India. The ball is now in the court of the Government of India to make the right move and to fulfil the commitment given to the Nagas," the statement said.
The NSCN-IM statement said that political movement without looking into sustainable economic development is outmoded policy.
"We have to feel comfortable about the fact that Nagalim is immensely rich in terms of God-gifted natural resources and human resources. The Nagas are blessed with physical, mental and spiritual potentialities to grow.
"All the nations move forward through the spirit of self-reliance in all fields-political, economy, military and in the field of education. In order to build a strong nation, it is imperative for us to build a strong economy. Therefore, we should be ready to explore all avenues for the generation of revenues to build our national economy."
Referring to the Emergency National Assembly of NSCN-IM held on May 31, the statement said that the meet was one of the turning points in the history of the Naga political movement.
"We have taken the stand before God and Naga people that NSCN will uphold and protect the unique Naga history and the Naga National principle at any cost. The Naga flag and constitution are indivisible parts of the recognized sovereignty and unique history. We believe the Indian leaders too understand it," the statement said.
Manipur-based All Naga Students' Association (ANSA) in a separate statement referring to a Manipur government notification said that the blanket order to hoist Indian National Flag on August 15 circulated in various departments including the education department whereby "directly and indirectly confronting the rights and sentiments of the Nagas and provoking us is condemned".
It said that the recent expenditure statement of the allocated budget of four years reflects a mere 5.7 per cent of the total proportion in the hills.
"An insult such as this cannot be celebrated with hoisting of Flag on Independence Day rather it amounts to rubbing salt in the wound. In order to avoid confrontation we are cautioning the departments, especially the education department, to refrain from compelling people to hoist flags in our villages," the ANSA statement said.