A working committee to assist in addressing crucial issues confronting the people of Manipur and Nagaland has been formed at the conclusion of the two-day workshop of peace activists of Manipur and Nagaland at the Life Spring Corner here Saturday.
The morning session began with the release of the book by Editor Nagaland Post Geoffrey Yaden, titled “Religious Resources For Peace Work” comprising of research papers by seven contributing students of Oriental Theological Seminary(OTS) and edited by Dr Pangernungba Kechu, Melvil Pereira and Atungo Shitri In his brief speech Geoffrey Yaden congratulated the authors and editors for bringing out an excellent roadmap for peace building in the region towards shaping a transformed society.
He also lauded the OTS under the mentor-ship of its principal Dr Wati Aier, for inspiring theological students to be thinkers and active participants in bringing social changes. On the book, he said the foreword by noted peace activist Dr.Walter Fernandes rightly suggested that peace and reconciliation efforts should not be linked with any particular religion, if participation by people from other faiths was to be encouraged.
Geoffrey also spoke about the role of the church in peace building during the 60s when untold atrocities and violence plagued Nagaland but which the world was never made to know.
He said peace and reconciliation hinged on the arms of justice and truth. He said reconciliation was also in dire need in Nagaland to resolve inter-tribal conflicts in addition to bringing all Naga political groups together for peace. “Nagas and Meiteis are not enemies. It is only politics and divisive elements who have created the misapprehension” , he said.
Geoffrey said the book was an excellent beginning so as to chart a course for transformation of the north east . He said the region was indeed the “gem of India” with vibrant indigenous inhabitants and where religious violence was a rarity. The two-say workshop witnessed intensive deliberation in a free and frank manner between participants from both states which touched mostly on peace building between Meiteis and Nagas over the passage of three bills to implement new Inner Line Permit (ILP) in the state which has become a flashpoint in Manipur.
During the two –day workshop some important issues discussed included: the role of the church in upholding peace and the dominance it holds in the minds of the people; the problems faced by the tribal people of Manipur due to the three ILP bills passed by the Manipur Legislative Assembly, Indo-Naga problems etc.
After much deliberation and discussion on whether to form two working groups: Manipur and Nagaland independently? The house came to a common consensus to have one working group and helped formed a working group body.
The house decided that it was better that both be held together to better understand the issues that are being faced in both the states. The roles to be played by the committee would be networking with the intellectuals.
Source: Nagaland Post