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‘Aspire for Genuine Peace’: Nagaland CM Rio at Opening Ceremony of Hornbill Festival 2022

First Published: 1st December, 2022 18:23 IST

The CM spoke about the Naga peoples’ contribution to nation building and how a peaceful solution would enthuse the Nagas

Even as the stalemate over the Naga peace talks continues, Nagaland Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio is hopeful of a “successful conclusion” that would give a further filip to the Nagas to play a more fruitful and concrete role towards nation building.

“We aspire for genuine peace. With the successful conclusion of the peace process our contribution in the forward march of this great nation will only increase the Naga will and able to play a concrete role in the interest of humanity and for the global stage. We seek the support and prayers of all our friends and well- wishers towards our collective dream of realising genuine peace and long term progress”, CM Rio said addressing the opening ceremony of Hornbill Festival 2022.

Remembering what former Prime Minister Late Atal Bihari Vajpayee said during his historic visit to Kohima in 2003, the CM said that the late PM had said that India recognizes the unique history and culture of the Nagas. Besides, Rio added that Prime Minister Narendra Modi too, during the Framework Agreement signing in 2015 had recognised the Naga courage and commitment and said that the Nagas represent the highest levels of humanism.

“Nagas, in the words of the Prime Minister are the guardians of the eastern frontier and our gateway to the world beyond. Nagas are a proud and fighting race. Generations of our people have made significant contribution towards the nation building process,” the CM said.

The Naga peace process is in a limbo after the NSCN-IM put forth the demand for a for a separate flag and constitution for the Naga people which the rebel group described as its “core demand”. The Govt of India has since agreed to allow the Nagas the use of their flag for cultural purposes while not allowing it to be flown alongside the national flag. This demand was rejected by NSCN-IM. The Govt of India is silent regarding the demand for a separate Naga constitution and the deadlock continues.

The Hornbill Festival got off to a colourful start. Vice President Jagdeep Dhankar inaugurated the 10 day extravaganza at the Kisama Heritage Village, Kohima. The Festival, known as the Festival of Festivals, showcases the vibrant and diverse traditions, culture and heritage of the Naga people on one platform.

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