Orgs criticize TCLPeF’s statement

ITANAGAR, Aug 17: The Nefa Indigenous Human Right Organization, the Global Human Right Organization and the Arunachal Citizens’ Right have strongly criticized the statement issued recently by the Tirap, Changlang and Longding People’s Forum (TCLPeF), in which it had said, among other things, that the All Arunachal Pradesh Students’ Union (AAPSU) had not come to the help of the people of the three districts when it was needed.

In joint statement, the three organizations on Monday expressed support to the AAPSU and said that when the AAPSU had been invited by the Naga Students’ Federation to the latter’s annual conference in Phek in 1996, the then AAPSU president, Tage Lapung, who had headed the AAPSU team, “made it very clear before the hundreds of gathering, stating that the people of Arunachal respect and honour the Naga political movement but shall not compromise even a single inch of land from the territory of Arunachal Pradesh, and till date the AAPSU’s stand is very clear with regard to Tirap, Changlang and Longding districts.”

Reacting sharply to the TCLPeF’s claim that the tribes of the TCL region “are Nagas by culture, origin and birth,” the organizations said: “They may be Nagas, but they are from Arunachal by culture, by origin and by birth, and not from Nagas of Nagaland.”

The organizations endorsed the AAPSU’s stand that territorial changes or administrative and political interventions from outside the state would not be acceptable, and expressed hope that the Indo-Naga talks would bring about a peaceful and honourable resolution, “without interfering in others’ territorial right.”

The organizations also questioned whether the TCLPeF had the mandate of the people of the three districts or if it was “induced by outside the state.”

They appealed to the TCLPeF to refrain from making “such fabricated and baseless statement.”