Rongmei Naga People’s Organisation (RNPO), the apex body of Rongmei people living in the three States of Assam, Manipur and Nagaland, has expressed its heartfelt gratitude to NSCN (I-M) for recognising Zeme, Liangmai and Rongmei as separate tribal communities at the recently-held Tatar Hoho assembly.
The organisation said clubbing of these tribes together as a single tribe with the nomenclature Zeliangrong for so long had created confusion and had also suppressed their right to assert their separate identities.
In a press release, RNPO also termed as baseless the claims of certain Zeliangrong organisations that the Tatar Hoho’s decision was taken without people’s prior consultation and rubbished their appeal for revocation of the decision. The organisation pointed out that the decision was taken up after a series of meetings and discussions at the joint council meeting of Zeme, Liangmai and Rongmei tribes at Hotel Saramati, Dimapur on September 22, 2015.
Referring to resolution no. 2 that clearly stated that Zeme, Liangmai and Rongmei would represent themselves as distinct tribes in all apex Naga civil society organisations, the release added that RNPO had also made a declaration to this effect at the Rongmei people’s convention at Tamenglong on January 9 this year. Hence, the claim that the tribes concerned were not consulted made no sense, it added.
Thanking NSCN/GPRN for ascertaining the fact that the Zeliangrong was never a tribe and never would be in future, but a social organisation for the three kindred tribes, RNPO said it remained truly indebted to the militant outfit for fulfilling the long-felt aspiration of Rongmei people. The organisation also extended its support and co-operation to the ongoing peace process for resolving the decades-old Naga political issue.