Kohima: A seven-member Naga women peace delegation from different Naga areas met central government representatives in Delhi for an early inclusive settlement. Recognizing women as creators of peace, the Global Naga Forum (GNF) sponsored the team.
The seven women peace delegates are, Abeiu Meru, President, Naga Mothers Association; Asha Wungnam, President, Naga Women Union in Manipur; Yutan Sanya, former Arunachal Civil Services and a representative from Tirap District, Arunachal Pradesh; Miriam Rengma, former President Rengma Students Union Guwahati and representative from the Rengma Hills, Assam; Dr Neikesanuo Sorhie, former Convener, Naga Peoples Movement for Human Rights; Ningreichon Tungshang, former convener, NPMHR, Delhi; and Professor Rosemary Dzuvichu, Advisor, Naga Mothers’ Association.
Led by Dzuvichu, the women peace delegation attended meetings held with top officials of the Centre at Hotel Ashoka, and also met with the National Security Advisor (NSA) Ajit Doval and the Deputy National Security Advisor Padsalgikar. A press note from Dzuvichu said that the long drawn out peace process and the need for an early inclusive settlement was discussed.
A memorandum to the Prime Minister of India was also submitted at the PMO Secretariat to the National Security Advisor Ajit Doval, it informed.
Demand for recognition of the Naga flag must be respected:
In the high level meetings, the core issues for a meaningful and peaceful relationship between India and the Nagas was discussed as mentioned in the Memorandum, it said. It conveyed the integration of contiguous Naga traditional homeland and respect for the rights and history of the Nagas –in Nagaland, Manipur, Arunachal Pradesh, Assam and Myanmar, which have been arbitrarily divided.
It conveyed that respect and recognition of the Naga Flag is a part of the Naga identity and long history of struggle and that the Indian history is replete with examples of flags being used by different states. “Therefore, the demand for recognition of the Naga flag must be respected and ensured for peace,” it said.
The women delegation also said that the Naga Constitution will be a “living document that reflects” the values, philosophy and protects the customs, traditions, land and resources from “any form of exploitations”.
“The legal contentions on the Art 371 A vis a vis the Oil and Natural gas issues, of state and central govt, which has shown that we need further protection of our rights, land and resources,” it said.
Further, it said that concerns on man-made borders and boundaries that divide the Nagas and the peace settlement should embrace the lineage, history and recognition of the rights of the Nagas beyond the international border of Myanmar.
It added that the settlement must be inclusive of all Naga Political groups. Besides these, it informed that several other issues which had been misinformed and misinterpreted to the Centre were also clarified by the Women peace delegation during the discussions.
“Shed no more blood”:
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, it said.
The women delegation said that women’s daily struggle with heavy armed militarisation in Naga areas under the AFSPA, during the Ceasefires, was also shared and a call was made for accountability and peace, and also to stop the movement of armed forces which have been “responsible for high spike in COVID 19 in Naga areas”.
It informed that the attention of the GOI was drawn towards the lack of development of the Naga areas in Myanmar in terms of roads, infrastructure, health and educational facilities. It emphasized that the Peace Settlement must take these concerns into account.
In successive meetings, the top officials of the GOI made it clear that the Prime Minister was committed to an early, inclusive settlement for peace and development of the Naga areas, it claimed adding that they respected the points laid down by Naga women and took cognizance of Naga mothers and women’s efforts towards peacemaking and peacekeeping.
The centre also sought the cooperation of Naga women to ensure the road to an inclusive, peaceful settlement.
Prior to the meetings in Delhi, the Naga Mothers’ Association (NMA) met both the top leaders of the NSCN IM and the NNPGs in successive meetings at Dimapur where it “listened to both groups and shared women’s concerns for an inclusive and early peaceful settlement”, the GNF said.
The Naga women peace delegation met NSCN-IM general secretary and chief negotiator Th Muivah and top leaders of the negotiating party and the collective leadership in Delhi. The women delegation conveyed the concerns of Naga mothers and women to bring “an early and inclusive settlement to being peace into all our Naga areas”.
It said that the call for an early settlement and yearning for inclusive peace in all Naga areas was shared by women from different regions.
Meanwhile, a meeting with GNF members in Delhi was also held where it interacted and shared outcomes of the meetings with the GOI. The peace team also interacted with Indian writers and activists on the Naga peace process.
It further expressed its commitment to foster “unity and peace and an end to war and violence” and appealed the leaders to reconcile in “purpose for peace and the greater good of the Nagas”, ensuring a future of peace and prosperity.