Ukhrul holds mass rally, prayer for Indo-Naga peace talks
R LESTER MAKANG
UKHRUL, 13th Oct: 'Naga Flag & Constitution; Our Rights, Our Identity' read a banner as thousands of residents attired in Tangkhul traditional clothes, marched through the township from two points and converged for a mass prayer gathering at Tangkhul Naga Long Ground here on Sunday.
The mass procession and prayer gathering was organised by Tangkhul Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) to seek divine intervention in the ongoing peace process between the Government of India (GoI) and NSCN-IM for an early amicable settlement.
Around 11 am, one group of procession began from Dungrei junction at one point and another from Tangrei area. Altogether more than three thousand people took part in the silent processions. The rallyists holding a symbolic model of the Naga national flag each, walked through the town's main thoroughfare from the two points and later congregated at TNL Ground where a mammoth public gathering was held.
Addressing the gathering, TNL president Hopingson Shimray called upon all and sundry to reaffirm their commitment and submit themselves to the supremacy of the Almighty.
He conveyed that on the current stalemate, NSCN (I-M) ato kilonser Th. Muivah has made it very clear to GoI that Nagas are not asking anyone's flag and constitution but are demanding their own. “It’s only through supplication that God would listen to our genuine plea for an honourable settlement,” he said.
Conducting a mass prayer session, UBC pastor Rev Remember Rimai urged the gathering to shed their personal differences for the greater cause of the Nagas. “Nagas have struggled for their rights for over 70 years now.
But it’s not that God has forgotten the Nagas, rather He has a destiny for the Nagas which is about to come now,” Rev Rimai exhorted. With the congregation members raising the Naga flag in unison, the mass prayer invoked divine blessing and wisdom upon the two negotiating parties of GoI and collective Naga leadership in reaching a final agreement. During the meeting, a recorded audio message from NSCN (I-M) ato kilonser Th. Muivah was also played before the congregation wherein the Naga leader acknowledged his gratitude to Ukhrul public for their prayerful support to the cause of ‘Nagalim for Christ’.
In the message, he also urged the Naga public to persevere and stay with the movement till the end of the road which was approaching. The three hour long gathering concluded with another mass prayer led by UTBC pastor Rev Somi Kasomwoshi.