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Forum for Naga Reconciliation (FNR) held a service to commemorate the ninth year of ‘Covenant of Reconciliation’ at Dimapur Ao Baptist Arogo (DABA), Duncan Basti here on Wednesday.
In his opening address, FNR convener Rev Dr Wati Aier gave a brief history on how the forum was formed after factional clashes in 2008.
Rev Dr Wati Aier claimed that FNR was instrumental in bringing about almost complete cessation of armed hostilities among various factions and for which, even the Union Home Ministry has acknowledged the role of the Forum for Naga Reconciliation, which has also become a subject of study in academic institutions. (Speech on p-6)
Naga National Council (NNC) president ‘gen.’ (retd) Thinuoselie Keyho , maintained that Naga independence movement “ is the will of God” and recalled when there was just one national government. Today he said there are nine government and this has made it pertinent for reconciliation and unity.
Keyho lauded FNR for bringing all factions together which help stop bloodshed among the warring factions.
NSCN (I-M) steering committee convener in-charge, V Makritsu read a message from convener Rh Raising. In the message, NSCN (I-M) said it was opposed to any move aimed at political reconciliation among “brothers” at any point of time. It however insisted on issue-based reconciliation.
NSCN (I-M) however, added that the reconciliation spearheaded by FNR was encouraging.
Advisor to the collective leadership GPRN/NSCN, C Singson, also read out a message on behalf of NNPGs Working Committee convener and GPRN/NSCN ato kilonser, N Kitovi Zhimomi. In the message, Kitovi, said while there could be differences in personalities, political principles and ideas, NNPGs have to learn to accept each other through reconciliation and love for the nation.
Eustar Chishi Swu, president of the Council of Nagalim Churches (CNC), who also spoke on the occasion, sought an apology on behalf of her late husband Isak Chishi Swu, NCSN (I-M) yariuwo, if he had hurt and caused pain to anyone.
She emphasized that NSCM (I-M) was committed to reconciliation and recounted what the group had to undergo in the early years of its formation.
Powerful testimonies from victims of assassinations were narrated by Khetoli N and Visasier Kevichusa. They recounted incidents when their family members were killed and how they have learnt to forgive.
Khetoli recounted how her husband was killed on his way to Dimapur and her struggles of raising six young children as a single parent. Visasier Kevichusa narrated how his father (Chalie Kevichusa) was killed when he was a school boy.
He said even before the family’s wounds had completely healed, his uncle (Tubu Kevichusa) was also killed .
Visasier said the entire family however chose to forgive the killers and not be imprisoned in a spirit of bitterness, hatred and vengeance.
The hopes and aspirations of the younger generations were also spelt out by Rakodu Nukhu, Bwenye Kemp and Rev Dr Ellen Konyak Jamir.
The service at DABA was attended by members of the Legislative Assembly, leaders of various Naga National Political Groups, civil society organisations, women bodies, students’ organisations and church leaders.
Earlier, the programme was chaired by Dr. Rosemary Dzuvichu, while Khriekethozo Pucho was the cantor.
On the occasion, a book titled “Walking the Naga Day” was also released by Rev Dr V K Nuh.
Other highlights of the programme included a congregation song, a minute’s silence for late Isak Chishi Swu and SS Khaplang, invocation by SDB parish priest Kohima, Rev Dr Father Peter Salew, clips of audio speeches of quakers from abroad, prayer reaffirming Covenant of Reconciliation by NCRC president and Nagaland Joint Christian Forum vice-president, Rev. Dr. N Paphino; a choir by cadres of various NNPGs, a chorus by Naga Day Choir of Oriental Theological College.
The benediction was delivered by general superintendent, Assemblies of God (NE), Rev Moses Murry.
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