Tuesday, February 7, 2023

Nagas must bury differences and unite: Rio


Nagaland chief minister Neiphiu Rio has made the pitch among all Nagas to bury their differences so as to unite since they were all brothers.
He made the appeal while addressing the traditional stone pulling ceremony at Mezoma village around 20 kms from Kohima. The event was organised by Mezoma Mechü Kehou in collaboration with the State government at Mezoma village Tuesday to commemorate 142 years of Anglo-Naga peace treaty.
Referring to the migratory route of Nagas from Makhel village from where the tribes went their separate ways, Rio said it was vindication that all Nagas are brothers. He maintained that people should unite while accepting their differences and that they should not be scared of enemies outside, but those from within. Rio described the stone pulling ceremony “significant” as it marked the 142nd year of the peace treaty signed on March 27, 1880 between the British on one said with Mezoma and Khonoma.
The treaty, referred to as “Vitho” in local language, effectively ended the “state of war” be-tween the former and Angami Nagas.
Rio said Mezoma was one of the last battlefields of the British invasion and also recalled how the village along with a few neighbouring villages had fiercely repelled the advancing foreign forces. He said the exemplary bravery displayed by the village in the fight for all Nagas should be made known to the whole world.
He claimed that following the famous battle against the British, Mezoma earned its reputation as a historical village. Recollecting the peace treaty signed 142 years ago, Rio emphasised the need for forgiveness even in the present society and urged all to collectively protect Naga customs and traditions.
He pointed out even the invading Britishers felt the need to keep the culture, traditions and customs of the Nagas intact. The British did this through the Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulation Act to promulgated Inner Line Permit (ILP) system.
Rio mentioned that the state government, in a bid to preserve and promote the Naga way of life, organised the annual Hornbill Festival to showcase and promote Naga traditions, culture, attires, motifs, identity and cuisines.
“This festival unites the whole State where every tribe converge at Heritage village Kisama to celebrate the festival of festivals. Nagaland is truly a land of festivals and people from all over the world come looking for us,” he remarked.
Meanwhile, the ceremony saw participation of representatives from brotherhood villages, including Tseminyü, Tesophenyü, Kikrüma and Touphema.
Around 1,000 men dressed in traditional attires pulled the stone to its resting place at the village ground where it would be kept for the upcoming 150th anniversary of the treaty.
The ceremony began with invocation by Mezoma Catholic Church catechist Rüülhoukho Kha-wakhrie, while traditional blessing was pronounced by GB Rovigwelhou Chüsi.
The programme was chaired by organising committee convener Neivikuolie Khatsü.

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