Talks in Chiang Mai kindles hope for Nagas

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Kohima, Jun 28 (UNI) The peace initiative in Chiang Mai in Thailand, organised by the Forum for Naga Reconciliation, where both the factions of the NSCN held talks and issued a joint statement, has sparked fresh hope among the people of Nagaland, reeling under persistent conflicts between rival factions.

Nagaland Home Minister Imkong L Imchen expressed happiness over the successful Naga Peace Summit at Chiang Mai and particularly the joint statement issued by the emissaries of the rival NSCN factions general (retd) V S Atem of NSCN-IM and Y Wanting Naga, deputy kilonser (minister) of NSCN(K).

''The statement speaks volumes about how sincere and serious both the leaders are in their initiative for peace, reconciliation and unity amongst the Nagas,'' he said.

Maintaining that the most powerful and effective weapon within the human society and individuals was forgiveness, Mr Imchen said the joint statement deserved appreciation from all sections of the people, especially those who care for the Naga national cause, which he termed as another milestone in the Naga history.

The Naga Hoho expressed gratification over the new development in Chiang Mai and voiced that this effort should be seriously followed up unlike the many opportunities that were missed in the past due to petty differences.

A statement issued by Naga Hoho General Secretary P Chuba Ozukum and Joint Secretary Nikhrolo Khalo said for over half a year, Nagas had been passing through mental trauma and vindictiveness, ''a design created by our own people in the interest of alien forces.'' However, the Naga Hoho was ''overwhelmed'' to see a spark of hope over the new development with renewed vision particularly between NSCN(K) and NSCN-IM in Chiang Mai, owing to the timely initiatives of peacemakers along with the unflinching support of peace activists from America, England and Canada under the banner of Forum for Naga Reconciliation.

Towards this noble endeavour, the Naga Hoho felt that the Nagas should take this effort seriously and ''not allow adversaries to derail our own destiny'', the release added.

UNI AS DPM GL AS1249

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