Kohima, August 16: Government of Nagaland Civic Reception in honour of Shri R.N Ravi, Honourable Governor of Nagaland held at NBCC Convention Center, Kohima today (16th August).
The Governor, in his address, said the trust of the Naga people on him has been a humbling experience. “At times I wonder what God has been in store for me and all my Naga friends. I pray to him to give me the wisdom to fulfill his mission, for the deliverance of our people who have been longing for peace for such a long time,” he remarked.
He said that when the rest of the country moving at a fast pace, a never seen before pace for growth and development, the country is sending missions to Moon and Mars and the aspirational youth are dreaming big because of congenial atmosphere, “in the midst of all these it saddens me when our people in Nagaland are craving for basic necessities: for a good motorable road, good education, access to proper health care, descent employment opportunities, it saddens me all the more because this beautiful land is richer in resources than many parts of the country and our youth is more talented than larger part of the country.”
He pointed out that the dark shadow of the unresolved Naga political issue castes shadow on every aspect of nagas life, “this cloud must go because our people deserve sunshine.” He stated that there was sincere intention in every attempt but inclusivity was missing: all the Naga armed groups, Naga tribal bodies, Naga civil societies, grassroots leaders, Naga intellectuals, senior citizens, elders and Naga legislators should be included.
He said that in the last five years we have resolved all the substantive issues including powers that belong to the Naga people and they are the masters. On a few symbolic issues options were offered and interlocutors were urged to explore. He implored on the need to work out the best, most honourable and dignified solution.
He stated that before his appointment, the Prime Minister expressed the need to conclude the peace process within three months time, He added “that is a long enough time because we have been talking and negotiating for the last 22 years. In the last five years we have taken spontaneous steps by including all the stake holders, both sides trying their best, and there is no reason why we cannot conclude it.”
He expressed the need to do it because the status quo that remains today is unbearable for the Naga people: the status quo which means the nagas have to bear the burden of multiple taxations, fear of gun, dreams of Naga youths are choked and suffocated, “we are trying to do it and I am hopeful with your cooperation we will do it.” He also commented that the process is mature and delaying it is like delaying a ripe fruit.
He pointed out that some people have expressed apprehension that what happened in J&K may cast shadow in Nagaland, he assured nothing of that will happen because in article 370, right from the beginning it says temporary provision or administration of J&K and there is nothing permanency about it, infact under-sub clause 3 of article 370 it mentions under what circumstances the President can delete the provision. Article 371(A) is the result of over three years of negotiation between the people of Nagaland and the Government of India, it is an agreement derived at that’s why it is a solemn commitment, and secret to the people of Nagaland, it is not temporary or impermanent as Article 370 is, the Governor stated.
Chief Minister Nagaland, Neiphiu Rio in his speech thanked the mass based civil societies for attending the civic reception in honour of the Governor of Nagaland, which he said was a sign of love and respect for the new Governor.
He described the new Governor, R.N. Ravi as no stranger to the naga people because of his role as the Centre’s interlocutor for the naga political issue and whose name is a household name amongst the naga families. Ravi is a man who had extensively studied the history and political affairs of the naga society and whose immense contributions led to the signing of the framework agreement, he added.
The Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi appointed Ravi as the new Governor of Nagaland with an objective to resolve the naga political issue and whose appointment at this juncture would pave the way forward for the naga political issue. He wished him good health, long life and a pleasant stay in Nagaland.
President, Tenyimia Public Organisation, Timikha Koza while delivering the welcome address congratulated R.N. Ravi for sworn in as the new Governor of Nagaland and extended his appreciation on behalf of TPO. He said R.N. Ravi who was the Centre’s interlocutor for the Naga Political Issue and whose coming as the new Governor of Nagaland at this crucial juncture, is indeed a blessing and an opportunity for the nagas to resolve its impassable political issue which is honourable and acceptable to all sections of Naga people. Ravi is distinct from his predecessors in a way that he was once the Centre’s interlocutor for the Naga Political Issue. With that distinction, he termed him ‘people’s Governor’ and urged him not to take advantage on the weaknesses of nagas but strive hard to accomplish the common goal.
President ENPO while speaking on the occasion congratulated R.N. Ravi for assuming the highest constitutional post. He said he had nothing to apprise him about the political affairs of Naga society as he has been closely associated with Naga people for the last few years, he mentioned. He said Ravi’s coming to Nagaland as the new Governor at this point of time is a blessing for the nagas as his service and guidance is required for early settlement of naga political issue. He also mentioned that the naga political issue is about the identity of naga as a whole. He also urged the new Governor to continue look it into the naga political issue with best possible solution for the Nagas without compromising the identity of the Nagas.
President CNTC, Matong Jamir while welcoming the new Governor, expressed hope that with with his appointment as the Governor, the Naga peace talk will be expedited and that the nagas would be able to see the protracted Naga issue coming to a logical conclusion and peace ushering in through out the Naga inhabited areas.
The invocation prayer was offered by Bishop of Nagaland, Most Rev. Dr. James Thoppil. A song titled “Any dream will do” was presented by Nagaland Adolescent Girls Club while “Aghutomi Philokuwo” was presented by Siiriimi Cultural Society, Kohima. “God is our refuge” by Baptist Revival Church, Kohima and “Jai Ho” by Purple Fusion.
Chief Secretary Nagaland, Temjen Toy, IAS gave the concluding remarks.