Kohima: Nagaland Chief Minister T.R. Zeliang on Tuesday said that the decades-old separatist movement in the state has entered a new era with the signing of the "framework agreement" between the central government and National Socialist Council of Nagaland (Isak-Muivah).
"At this crucial juncture of our Naga political history, the situation demands that we sink all our petty differences, and forget and forgive the past bitterness and pains, and come together for our common good and our common goal," Zeliang said on Tuesday.
The chief minister was speaking at a function to mark the 50th anniversary of the formation of Nagaland Peace Centre held at this mountainous state capital of Nagaland.
Stating that interlocutor to Naga peace talks R.N. Ravi has repeatedly said that the talks are for the Nagas and not for a particular group, Zeliang said that the rest of the Naga separatist groups should also come together and strengthen the Naga issue.
"By remaining divided, Nagas will not achieve anything but if we are united, we can take forward the Naga issue for a solution that is acceptable to all," he said.
He appealed to all tribal Hohos, churches, civil societies and even commoners to encourage and move all rebel groups to come together and talk with Indian government to resolve the decades old Naga political problem.
Recalling the history of the Peace Centre, Zeliang said that the first ceasefire agreement of 1964 had its origin in the Baptist Church Convention held at Wokha during January 31-February 2, 1964.
"It was during this convention that the Naga Peace Mission was formed, consisting of three famous personalities, namely, Jayaprakash Narayan, Rev. Michael Scott, and B.P. Chaliha," the chief minister recalled.
"Unfortunately, the ceasefire of 1964 did not last long enough to produce the desired result, and Nagaland once again plunged into violence and bloodshed."
"In spite of that serious set-back, the Nagaland Peace Centre continued its noble efforts to bring peace to Nagaland through Naga political movement that witnessed countless incidents of violence and bloodshed," he added.