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We, the signatory governments of this Open Statement declare to the Nagas and before God that we are committed to Naga Reconciliation and we remain firm in our pledge to cultivate understanding and work towards building a shared Naga Future. Our longing to fulfill the necessity for Naga reconciliation has been embodied in the “Naga Concordant” where our top leaders have agreed in principle to form one Naga National Government on the basis of our historical and political rights as a sovereign people.

The long drawn internal strife within the Naga movement has divided and polarized the Naga nation. This deplorable political condition was exploited by external forces with devastating effect. Nagas lost many capable and committed leaders. Not only did we inflict much hurt on each other, but our society suffered as a whole. It germinated much suspicion, bitterness and caused a vicious cycle of vengeance, which threatened our very existence as a nation. It was the darkest days in recent memory.

However, over the decades, numerous initiatives for reconciliation by Naga Churches and civil society enabled us to take slow and measured steps towards reaching a point where we were prepared to meet each other face to face. Finally, in 2008, with the formation of the Forum for Naga Reconciliation a decisive push towards reconciliation was made. FNR with its wealth of knowledge, experience and as a neutral body performed the role of an active facilitator and ably guided the reconciliation process to this point. Their timely intervention has by and large reduced violence between us. The signing of the Covenant of Reconciliation and subsequently the Naga Concordant are historic milestones in the Naga Reconciliation: A Journey of Common Hope.

There is now no turning back for us from this path of Naga Reconciliation. In the spirit of forgiveness we have agreed to let bygones be bygones and we are now prepared to understand each other and work for a shared Naga future. This does not mean there will not be any hurdles and difficulties before us. In fact the path to Naga Reconciliation is filled with many challenges. We believe that with the support and understanding of the people, we are certain to overcome all obstacles.

Today, the Naga people have the best opportunity to reconcile and march together as a nation towards our historical and political rights. None of us should remain silent in times such as this. Every Naga needs to constructively contribute and participate to make this Reconciliation process a living reality. The Naga nation needs each and every one of you. On our part we also admit that the behavior of our cadres have been contrary to the values of the Naga movement. We seek your forgiveness and we hope that for the healing of our nation, you will forgive us. Let us march together to the future.

At this juncture, we jointly raise three specific points for public understanding:
1. A number of individuals have been regularly expressing their views on the Naga Reconciliation process in the local media. We are troubled because their views and opinions are often factually incorrect and at times driven by self-preservation. The hypothesis they present are far from the reality and intent of the reconciliation process and therefore very misleading to the people. Such statements are detrimental for reconciliation. The Naga Reconciliation has come this far against much odds and it is our appeal that the people recognize the sensitivity of the process. The Naga politicians, bureaucrats, intellectuals, organizations and people are urged not to play divisive politics anymore. Rather let us work together for the common good of all.

2. The signatories are equally appalled by so called ‘Christmas Gift’ in the form of a “Naga Supra State,” which is supposedly proposed by the Government of India. We place on record that Nagas are not seeking or demanding any ‘gift’ from India. Nagas are only resisting against forces that are preventing us to exercise our historical and political rights. To clear any confusion or suspicion in the minds of the Naga people, we therefore jointly declare that any resolution to the Naga issue should be based on the historical and political rights of the Naga people. We will continue to reject and oppose any solution or package that is imposed upon the Naga people.

3. To this end, with full trust, we are committed to continue supporting the Forum for Naga Reconciliation (FNR) in its “Journey of common Hope.”

Let us unite together and work hard to make the Naga nation worthy of the blessings we have been endowed with.

Kuknalim!

Gen (Retd) VS Atem, Member High Level Commission, NSCN/GPRN
Mr. Zhopra Vero, Member, High Level Commission, NNC/FGN
Mr. Azheto Chophy, Member, High Level Commission, GPRN/NSCN

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