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‘Declaration of the Naga Collective Spirit’

DIMAPUR, SEPTEMBER 10 (MExN): A ‘Declaration of the Naga Collective Spirit’ signed by several apex Naga bodies and legislators has expressed their “collective desire and resolve” to “be unified as one people demonstrating our defence of an inherited legacy which is vital for our future progress.”

The declaration, dated September 8, was appended by the Nagaland Joint Christian Forum, CM Chang on behalf of PDA legislators, Dr Ngangshi K Ao on behalf of NPF legislators, Naga Mothers Association, Naga Women Union Manipur, Naga Hoho, Nagaland Students Federation, United Naga Council, All Nagaland Students Association Manipur, Rengma Naga Peoples Council Assam, Naga Peoples’ Movement for Human Rights, Consultative Committee on Just Peace, Naga Shisha Hoho, and the Forum for Naga Reconciliation
Standing in “solidarity as one people on the issue of Naga Political and Historical Rights,” the declaration expressed determination to “engage each other in finding meaningful ways to respond to challenges and explore ways forward.”

It declared that Naga Historical and Political Rights “are the manifestation of our common hopes and dreams,” and “provide the creative impetus to engage with our present challenges and prepare for our future.” It urged for stepping “out of our confinements and rise above the politics of fear and resentment to move forward.” “It helps us acknowledge and respect the various distinct regional identities, aspirations and differences existing within the broader Naga consciousness,” it added.

The declaration also affirmed embracing the “common humanity we share with the various neighbours who border our Naga ancestral homeland.”

“Honouring the Naga Historical and Political Rights is not at the expense of our neighbours’ rights. Similarly, upholding our neighbours’ rights cannot be at the expense of Naga rights. This requires both Nagas and our neighbours to form relationships based on trust that breaks down the domestic walls and other boundaries that divide us. Today, we urge our neighbours to partner with us in bringing positive changes to transform this region for the collective interest, security, and well-being of all people,” it said.

The signatories further resolved to demonstrate statesmanship that “teaches us to step away from sectarian and divisive politics and embody a new vision for shared humanity.” This idea, it stated, is based on the principle of self-determination, and inclusive good governance that embraces a democratic vision, values of human rights, the rule of law and the inherent dignity of every human being, as well as, the collective dignity of all Nagas.

It further affirmed to continue pursuing the path of “Reconciliation and JustPeace” through nonviolent means with greater resolve and commitment.

~MExN

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