Addressing the 76th Naga Independence Day at Camp Hebron in Nagaland on Sunday, Th Muivah said “We have also waited patiently for seven long years after the historic Framework Agreement was signed on August 3, 2015. We have not left any stone unturned of what it takes to bring a solution that is honourable, inclusive, and acceptable to both the Nagas and the Government of India. The ball is now in the court of the Government of India to make the right move and to fulfil the commitment given to the Nagas,” the NSCN-IM leader added.
The Nagas have endured 25 years of gruelling ceasefire living up to “our commitment” to a peaceful solution to the Naga political issue. He then said that conscious of it or not, it is God who guides the destiny of nations and the course of their history. “God is the author of history,” Muivah further stated.
The NSCN IM leader further added, “Our no to the dictation of the enemies will save our history. Our survival strategy lies in the power of prayer in the name of Jesus Christ. The name of the Lord is our strong tower, which we believe is bigger and stronger than the coalition forces of many kings. The presence of the Lord has been with us on all fronts since the beginning of the resistance movement. Our strength comes from the Lord.”
The NSCN-IM leader also said that the Nagas are looking for an issue-based solution. “And that we are opposed to the imposition of Indian will on the Nagas”, he added.
Muivah then asked, “What shall we do if the Government of India imposes its will on us?” He stated that the Nagas need to work out a survival strategy. He also said that the Nagas must stay the course. “Our future is in our decision to stand firm on our sovereign right, not in submission to the aggressors.”
The NSCN-IM general secretary said that ceasefire is a political terminology. “It is the harbinger of peace. Ceasefire has been with the Nagas for 25 years now. But we see no meaning in the ceasefire that does not embark upon political negotiation,” Muivah also said, while adding, “And we see no meaning in negotiation if it cannot deliver solution”. He further added, “Indeed, we are for agreement, but it would be a form without content if it cannot bring a solution”.
According to the NSCN-IM general secretary, all the past agreements were no solution “because they betrayed the Naga national principle”.
The NSCN-IM leader then said, “Let us also take critical note that divisive elements and collaborators are restlessly indulging in slanderous fabrications targeting the Framework Agreement”. According to him, the irony is that the Government of India is keeping pretentious silent over the Framework Agreement it has signed on August 3, 2015. “But the truth shall prevail in the long run,” he added.
Muivah then said that the May 31, 2022, ‘Emergency National Assembly’ of the NSCN-IM is one of the turning points in the history of the Naga political movement. “We have taken the stand before God and Naga people that NSCN will uphold and protect the unique Naga history and the Naga National principle at any costs. The Naga flag and constitution are indivisible parts of the recognized sovereignty and unique history. We believe the Indian leaders too understand it,” he added.
Muivah then said that political movement without looking into sustainable economic development is an outmoded policy. “We have to feel comfortable about the fact that Nagalim is immensely rich in terms of God-gifted natural resources and human resources. The Nagas are blessed with physical, mental and spiritual potentialities to grow,” he also said. According to him, all the nations move forward through the spirit of self-reliance in all fields – political, economic, military and in the field of education. In order to build a strong nation, it is imperative for us to build a strong economy. “Therefore, we should be ready to explore all avenues for the generation of revenues to build our national economy. All Nagas unite with one decision, one faith, and one politics on the principle of Nagalim for Christ,” he added.
Muivah also paid homage to “our beloved comrades-in-arms who have made supreme sacrifices for the cause of Nagalim for Christ”.
He said he highly appreciated all the civil societies who have taken all the necessary troubles in advocating for the rights of the Naga people at any time of horrible military atrocities committed against our people by the “aggressors”.
Muivah also thanked all the churches and “prayer warriors” who have been praying for the Naga national cause and the workers in the forefront without ceasing. “Furthermore, we are grateful to our friends abroad for their unflinching support to the cause of the oppressed Naga people. Indeed, the Naga people are deeply indebted to them,” he added.
Muivah then said, “We are Nagas by blood, by culture and by history, who profess the same faith and political concept”. He also said that Nagas are neither Indians nor Burmese. He added that there should be no doubt about it that Nagas are a sovereign people from time immemorial, which makes our history unique. The NSCN-IM leader added that sovereignty is “our birthright”, which should be defended at all costs. “If we cannot defend our sovereignty, our future will be decided by others. If we cannot defend our land, the aggressors will possess it. If we cannot defend our people, we will become foreigners in our own land. If we cannot defend our freedom, we will become a lost people. If we cannot defend our history, it will be uprooted. If we cannot defend our culture, it will be assimilated. And if we cannot defend our identity, we will be proselytized,” Muivah further added.
The NSCN-IM leader then said that the Nagas don’t want war, but war is imposed on them. He further stated that war has killed hundreds of thousands of Nagas. He also said that war has destroyed “our villages, towns, and forests”. Muivah also stated that war has destroyed “our educational institutions and churches”. He added, “This ugly war has damaged the psychology of our people, young and old. This war must be stopped or it will devour us. We look for peace, but peace without freedom is wishful thinking. Peace does not exist by itself. It goes along with freedom, truth, justice and rights”.