Imphal: Recognizing women as Creators of Peace, the Global Naga Forum in its peace initiative, sponsored different Naga areas to reach out to the Government of India, on the Naga peace process. Prior to the Delhi meetings, the Naga Mothers’ Association (NMA) leaders met both the top leaders of the NSCN-IM and the NNPGs in successive meetings in Dimapur and listened to both groups and shared women’s concerns for an inclusive and early peaceful settlement.
In a press release, it stated that the seven women peace delegation of Naga women from the GNF Abeiu Meru, president, Naga Mothers Association, Asha Wungnam, President, Naga Women Union in Manipur, Yutan Sanya, former Arunachal Civil Services and representative from Tirap District Arunachal Pradesh, Miriam Rengma, former president Rengma Students Union Guwahati representative from the Rengma Hills, Assam, Dr. Neikesanuo Sorhie, former Convenor, Naga Peoples Movement for Human Rights, Ningreichon Tungshang, former Convenor, NPMHR, Delhi and Professor Rosemary Dzuvichu, Advisor, Naga Mothers Association who led the Naga Women Peace Delegation.
It said that the Naga women peace delegation called on the Ato Kilonser Th. Muivah and top leaders of the negotiating party and Collective Leadership in Delhi, to convey the concerns of Naga mothers and women to bring an early and inclusive settlement to bring peace into all our Naga areas. The call for an early settlement and a yearning for inclusive peace in all Naga areas were shared by women from different regions.
The women peace delegation attended meetings held with top Officials of the Government of India at Hotel Ashoka, and later with the National Security Advisor Ajit Doval and the Deputy National Security Advisor Padsalgikar and discussed the long drawn out peace process and the need for an early inclusive settlement. The Memorandum to the Prime Minister of India was submitted at the PMO Secretariat to the National Security Advisor Ajit Doval. In the high level meetings, the core issues for a meaningful and peaceful relationship between India and the Nagas were discussed as mentioned in the Memorandum.
Integration of contiguous Naga traditional homeland and respect for the rights and history of the Nagas be it in Nagaland, Manipur, Arunachal, Assam and Myanmar, which have been arbitrarily divided. Respect and recognition of the Naga flag, which is a part of our identity and long history of struggle. It was conveyed that Indian history is replete with examples of flags being used by different states and therefore the demand for recognition of the Naga flag must be respected and ensured for peace. A Naga Constitution which will be a living document that reflects our values and philosophy and protects our customs and traditions, our land and resources from any form of exploitation. The legal contentions on the Article 371 A vis a-vis the oil and natural gas issues, of state and central government, which has shown that we need further protection of our rights, land and resources. Concerns on man- made borders and boundaries that divide the Nagas and that the peace settlement should embrace our lineage and history and recognition of the rights of our Nagas beyond the international border of Myanmar, said the statement.
The release further said that several other issues of the ground realities which had been misinformed and misinterpreted to the GOI were clarified by the women peace delegation during the discussions. The Naga Mothers’ call for “Shed no more blood”meant no more deaths for both Nagas and Indians and we must ensure an early peaceful settlement. Women’s daily struggle with heavy armed militarization in Naga areas under the AFSPA, during the Ceasefires, was shared and a call made for accountability and peace as well as stopping movement of armed forces which have been responsible for high spike in COVID 19 in Naga areas. The attention of the GOI was drawn to the lack of development of Naga areas in Myanmar in terms of roads, infrastructure, health and educational facilities and that the Peace Settlement must take these concerns of our Naga brethren into account. Development of Border Trade Centres and opening of borders for the Act East Policy of the GOI to ensure full participation and benefits for the Naga people in these changing dynamics of peace. The representative top Officials of the GOI and the National Security Advisor and Deputy National Security Advisor, in successive meetings made it clear that the Prime Minister was committed to an early, inclusive settlement for peace and development of the Naga areas.
In conclusion, the Naga women peace delegation places on record our deep gratitude to all those who continuously upheld the peace delegation in prayers day and night, the generous donors of the Global Naga Forum family, friends and well-wishers who sponsored the journey. It was not easy as mothers and women to leave family and homes in the midst of the pandemic, but it has been our contribution towards the Naga Cause and built strong bonds of understanding amongst Naga women across our Naga areas. We remain committed to foster unity and peace and an end to war and violence. We earnestly appealed to our leaders and brothers to reconcile in purpose for peace and the greater good of the Nagas and ensure our children and younger generation have a future of peace and prosperity in the days to come.