A seven Naga women member christened as “Naga Women Peace Delegation” met leaders and officials in New Delhi and hear on the Naga political issue. The team held discussions with the Government of India officials and Naga leaders.
“Recognizing women as ‘creators of peace’, the Global Naga Forum (GNF) in its peace initiative, sponsored a seven member peace delegation of Naga women from different Naga areas to reach out to the Government of India in Delhi on the Naga peace process,” said a press statement on Tuesday issued by the Naga Women Peace Delegation.
According to the press release, prior to the Delhi meetings, the Naga Mothers’ Association (NMA) leaders met both the top leaders of the NSCN IM and the NNPGs in successive meetings at Dimapur and listened to both groups and shared women’s concerns for an inclusive and early peaceful settlement. The seven women peace delegates from the GNF –Abeiu Meru, president, Naga Mothers Association (NMA), Asha Wungnam, president,Naga Women Union in Manipur (NWU-M) ,Yutan Sanya, former Arunachal Civil Services and representative from Tirap district ,Arunachal Pradesh, Miriam Rengma ,former president Rengma Students Union Guwahati ,representative from the Rengma Hills, Assam ,Dr. Neikesanuo Sorhie, former Convenor, Naga Peoples Movement for Human Rights (NPMHR),Ningreichon Tungshang, former Convenor, NPMHR , Delhi and Prof.Rosemary Dzuvichu, Advisor, Naga Mothers’ Association who led the “Naga Women Peace Delegation”.
“The Naga Women Peace Delegation called on the Ato Kilonser Th. Muivah and top leaders of the negotiating party and Collective Leadership in Delhi, to convey the concerns of Naga mothers and women to bringing an early and inclusive settlement to being peace into all our Naga areas,” it said. The call for an early settlement and a yearning for inclusive peace in all Naga areas were shared by women from different regions, the team added.
According to the statement, the women peace delegation attended meetings held with top officials of the Government of India at Hotel Ashoka, and later with the National Security Advisor (NSA) Ajit Doval and the Deputy National Security Advisor (Deputy NSA) Padsalgikar and discussed the long drawn out peace process and the need for an early inclusive settlement. The memorandum to the Prime Minister of India was submitted at the PMO Secretariat to the National Security Advisor Ajit Doval .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.
The press note then said integration of contiguous Naga traditional homeland and respect for the rights and history of the Nagas be it in Nagaland, Manipur, Arunachal, Assam and Myanmar, which have been arbitrarily divided. “Respect and recognition of the Naga Flag, which is a part of our identity and long history of struggle,” it asserted. It was conveyed that Indian history is replete with examples of flags being used by different states and therefore the demand for recognition of the Naga flag must be respected and ensured for peace, it further said. The press note also said a Naga Constitution which will be a living document that reflects our values and philosophy and protects our customs and traditions, our 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, the press note stated. “Concerns on man- made borders and boundaries that divide the Nagas and that the Peace Settlement should embrace our lineage and history and recognition of the rights of our Nagas beyond the international border of Myanmar. That the Settlement must be inclusive of all Naga Political Groups to enable our children to live in an environment free from war and violence and live in dignity as a people,” it added.
According to the press release, several other issues of the ground realities which had been misinformed and misinterpreted to the Government of India were clarified by the women peace delegation during the discussions. “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 .Women’s daily struggle with heavy armed militarisation in Naga areas under the AFSPA, during the Ceasefires, was shared and a call made for accountability and peace as well as stopping movement of armed forces which have been responsible for high spike in COVID 19 in Naga areas,” the press note further stated. It added that the attention of the Government of India was drawn to the lack of development of Naga areas in Myanmar in terms of roads, infrastructure, health and educational facilities and that the peace settlement must take these concerns of our Naga brethren into account. It also said development of Border Trade Centres and opening of borders for the Act East Policy of the Government of India to ensure full participation and benefits for the Naga people in these changing dynamics of peace. The representative top Officials of the Government of India and the National Security Advisor and Deputy National Security Advisor , in successive meetings made it clear that the Prime Minister was committed to an early, inclusive settlement for peace and development of the Naga areas. They respected the points laid down by Naga women and took cognizance of Naga mothers and women’s efforts towards peacemaking and peacekeeping and sought the cooperation of Naga women to ensure the road to an inclusive , peaceful settlement. Copies of the Memorandum were also submitted to the Union Home Minister and the Defence Minister offices in North and South Block respectively. A meeting with GNF members in Delhi was also held to interact and share outcomes of the meetings with the Government of India. The peace team also reached out to interact with Indian writers and activists on the Naga peace process, the press release added.
The Naga Women Peace Delegation then said it placed on record “our deep gratitude to all those who continuously upheld the peace delegation in prayers night and day, the generous donors of the Global Naga Forum family, friends and well wishers who sponsored the journey”. The press note said it was not easy as mothers and women to leave family and homes in the midst of the pandemic, but it has been “our contribution towards the Naga cause and built strong bonds of understanding amongst Naga women across our Naga areas”. It further stated, “We remain committed to foster unity and peace and an end to war and violence”.
“We earnestly appeal to our leaders and brothers to reconcile in purpose for peace and the greater good of the Nagas and ensure our children and younger generation have a future of peace and prosperity in the days to come,” the press release added.