Various Naga political groups and civil society organizations will commemorate the Naga Plebiscite Day of 1951 on Thursday, 16 May.

The Forum for Naga Reconciliation (FNR), NSCN-IM, NNC, as well as the All Naga Students’ Association Manipur, Naga Students’ Union Shillong, and Naga Students’ Union Delhi are set to commemorate the day.
The FNR has invited all Nagas to the Naga Plebiscite Day celebration, a day of prayer and thanksgiving, organized by it and supported by Naga Political Groups, apex civil society organizations, and the Church. The event is to be held at the NBCC Convention Centre, Kohima.

Meanwhile, the NSCN-IM will also be commemorating the day at its headquarters in Hebron.

Civil society organizations such as the Naga Hoho, Naga Mothers’ Association, Naga Students Federation, the Global Naga Forum, the Naga People’s Movement for Human Rights, as well as the United Naga Council, Manipur; Tirap Changlang Longding People’s Front, Arunachal Pradesh; Eastern Nagaland People’s Organization, Naga People’s Organisation, Myanmar are expected to attend the event.

UNPO Secretary General reaffirms support for self-determination on Naga Plebiscite Day

The Secretary General of the Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization (UNPO), Merce Monje Cano, shared a solitary message on the eve of Naga Plebiscite Day. In a prerecorded video message, Cano said that the Naga people exercised their sovereign will and aspiration to determine and secure their own political destiny through the Naga plebiscite 73 years ago on May 16, 1951.

Merce Monje Cano, Secretary General of the Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization (UNPO)

On that day, an overwhelming majority of the people voted for a sovereign Nagaland, she said. Cano stated that the right to self-determination is a fundamental right and a fundamental pillar of the UNPO. She maintained that the UNPO remains committed to advocating for the rights of unrepresented nations and peoples worldwide, like the Naga people.

The Nagas, she said, have been a member of the UNPO since 1993 and added that all UNPO members have stood together for the respect of the Naga people’s right to self-determination since then. Cano said that the Nagas’ struggle exemplifies commitment and desire for autonomy and freedom, clearly shown during the plebiscite in 1951.

The UNPO Secretary General further said that the event demonstrates the moral and political consensus of the Naga people to determine their own peoplehood. She said, “Today, as we reflect on the Naga people’s journey, we are reminded of your resilience in the face of adversity. Despite hardship and conflict, you have remained steadfast in the pursuit of justice and equality.”

In commemoration of Naga Plebiscite Day, Cano also called upon all the members of UNPO to reaffirm their commitment to support the right of all to exercise their right of self-determination in a nonviolent manner and to be respected for that. She also urged the UNPO members to join voices to call upon governments and stakeholders to engage in genuine dialogue and negotiations, guided by the principles of inclusivity and mutual respect.

“It is only through such collective efforts that we can pave the way for a future where all Naga people can live in peace and prosperity,” she said. She concluded her message by saying that the struggle for self-determination knows no bounds, adding that it is a journey marked by courage, perseverance, and hope.

“As we stand in solidarity with all of you, with the Naga people today, let us recommit ourselves to the noble cause of justice and equality for all unrepresented nations and peoples,” she said.

Mokokchung Times

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