Kohima: Nagaland Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio on Wednesday said that even if the Central government and the Naga Political Groups (NPGs) signed a final peace accord or settlement, there will be no real peace if the Nagas cannot act as one people.
The Chief Minister said that forgiveness and reconciliation at various levels of Naga society are the prerequisite for a peaceful resolution of the Naga political issue.
Addressing the 75th anniversary celebration of Peren Township at Peren Town, the Chief Minister stated that if people cannot forgive each other and rise above narrow tribalism, and if people cannot unite and act as one people, there would not be real peace in Nagaland. Rio said Peren district has good prospects to become a prosperous and self-reliant district since it is near the state capital and the commercial capital Dimapur.
After over 80 rounds of talks between the Centre and the Naga groups, dominated by the National Socialist Council of Nagalim (Isak-Muivah), there is still a stalemate over the contentious issues of a separate Naga flag and constitution. The NSCN-IM has been demanding a separate flag and constitution, which the former government interlocutor and then Nagaland Governor R.N. Ravi had rejected on a number of occasions.
Meanwhile, former chief minister and chairman of the ruling United Democratic Alliance (UDA) T.R. Zeliang, said that Peren Town was established on April 1, 1947 and has since grown gradually with time. He urged the people not to forget the Peren villagers who generously donated their land for the town for the welfare of the Zeliang community.
He said the ‘Mithun’ (state animal of Nagaland and Arunachal Pradesh) and the human figurines seen there today are a recreation of the event that took place on April 1, 1947 when the inauguration and declaration function was held by the sacred act of slaughtering a Mithun and partaking its meat by all the representatives of 25 villages. Zeliang said that only 5 human figurines are standing today but they aim to put up a total of 25 human figurines, to signify the 25 ancestral villages, which will be unique and one of a kind in Nagaland.
With a population of little over 10,000, the town is not as big as other towns in the state. It is home to many other tribes who have settled here and accepted Peren as their own and live harmoniously with the locals, he said.