groups in Kohima call for repeal of undemocratic laws in Naga areas
A number of civil society groups and individuals met at Kohima on March
19 and passed the following resolutions:
- We resolve to constitute
a People's Commission comprising eminent persons from Naga areas and
India to look into all violations of democratic rights of Naga people
which have taken place both before and during the current ceasefire
as well as investigate how scarce resources meant for the state of Nagaland
have been squandered by various agencies and institutions.
- We hereby resolve
to launch a campaign against all draconian laws in operation or being
framed for their enforcement in Naga areas as well as other parts of
the Indian sub-continent.
The Civil society
groups also adopted the following declaration at the meeting held in Kohima
on March 19th 2001:
"We, the members of the civil society, convinced that the overwhelming
desire of the Naga people is to live in dignity and freedom which have
been denied to them for over 53 years, and mindful of the imperative need
for a peacefully negotiated solution reiterate the following:
"The partial cease-fire which has lasted for over three and a
half years is a cause for concern because:
- Political dialogue
has yet to start.
- The Armed Forces
Special Powers Act and other draconian laws continue to be in operation.
with which negotiations are to be held have been banned and warrants
of arrest issued against their leaders.
- Violations of
basic rights of people carry on.
- A campaign of
calumny has been unleashed against Naga civil society groups.
corruption of civilian and security apparatus have reached endemic proportions
and paralysed all development.
"We therefore demand:
- The withdrawal
of Armed Forces Special Powers Act, National Security Act, Nagaland
Security Regulation, 1962, Assam Maintenance of Public order, 1963,
Unlawful Activities Prevention Act and other such draconian laws and
democratic rights of people be restored;
- Government of
India must ensure withdrawal of all cases against the members of the
Naga National Movement;
- Ceasefire be honoured
in letter and spirit between the two parties namely the Government of
India and NSCN (IM) and role of the civil administration be fully established;
and the Government of India without further delay fulfill its commitment
to hold unconditional talks at the highest level.
Mindful of the anxieties
and fears that have been stoked by several quarters, deliberately misinterpreting
the terms of the ceasefire, we feel that these apprehensions need to be
addressed in order to ensure that divisions are not created between the
Nagas and their neighbours to thwart the peace process.
the ongoing efforts made by the Naga people and their organizations, we
urge them to carry on the dialogue with all neighbouring communities for
resolution of all issues that concern them, in the spirit of mutual respect
and peaceful co-existence.
"We also believe
that due recognition must be given and acknowledgement made to the women
and youth for their contribution to the Naga people's struggle for peace
"Finally we affirm
the need to build a wider peace constituency in order that the civil society
can play its pivotal role in promoting just and democratic peace