Nagaland Chief Minister Dr Shurhozelie Liezietsu said Meiteis and the Hill Tribes of Manipur have been maintaining good neighbourly relations since time immemorial and will continue to be neighbours for all times to come.
Addressing an election rally at Senapati this morning, the Chief Minister said Meiteis and the Hill tribes of Manipur have no other homeland except the ones they presently occupy and that they have no option but to remain neighbours for generations to come.
“As long as this planet exists, we shall remain neighbours and so we should learn how to live in peace and harmony as good neighbours,” he said. “Meiteis are more advanced people in all spheres of life and we expect them to play the role of the elder brother by initiating measures to ensure continuity of living together as good neighbours.”
He was of the view that the present Chief Minister Ibobi Singh has been raking up communal tensions in the State “so that the Valley people back him during elections. He is more communal than his political party.”
He called upon the Meitei people not to fall prey to Ibobi’s designs and called upon “scholars and intellectuals to come out and speak the truth. If they speak the truth peace and harmony will come to the land.”
Elaborating on the aims and objectives of the Naga People’s Front, the Chief Minister, who is also the president of the NPF, said the primary aim of the party is to bring the Hill Tribes together by bringing them together to a single platform.
“This party is for the Hill tribes and not only for the Nagas and we hope that in due course of time, Meiteis too, would join the NPF,” he said and expressed happiness that some Meiteis are members of the party in Kangpokpi area.
Lauding past legislators from the Hill districts for all the good that they have brought about, the Chief Minister however, rued that in the past the legislators belonged to different political parties and that when they got to the Assembly at Imphal, “they become strangers to each other and failed to take up common issues.”
“It is for this reason that the NPF hopes to provide a single platform to all the legislators from the Hill districts so that they can speak in one voice and one mind in the Legislative Assembly to uplift the people of the districts and bring all-round development to the areas,” the Chief Minister said.
He elaborated that to fight for one’s rights and to improve one’s living standard should never be construed as going against other communities and that in this present age of global village, “we do not want to see our people living as second class citizens in their own State.”
On Naga political issue, the Chief Minister said “any problem that is to be solved peacefully through dialogue should not be construed as going against any community” and assured that his party stands by its motto Fide Non Armis (By Faith, Not by Arms).
Pointing out that some NPF leaders have sacrificed their applications for NPF tickets and have now come out to go all out to support “their friends who have got the NPF tickets”, he termed these individuals as “true Heroes of the NPF” and asked others to emulate them and strive for the betterment of the party.
Earlier in the day, he lauded former Chief Minister and present Chairman of DAN Coordination Committee TR Zeliang for making the supreme sacrifice for the party and people of Nagaland and assured him that “we shall all work together to ensure that you retain your position one day or the other.”
(Issued by Media Cell, Chief Minister’s Office, Nagaland)