Kohima, June 15: On Wednesday evening, Kohima observed a candlelight service in memory of veteran Naga leader and Chairman of The Nationalist Socialist Council of Nagaland NSCN (K) Shangwang Shangyung Khaplang. Hundreds of people assembled at Old MLA junction, Phoolbari, Kohima, to pay their respect.
The service was organized by the Naga Students Federation, while leaders from Naga organisations including Naga Hoho, Naga Mothers Association, Naga Peoples’ Movement for Human Rights and various tribal bodies and churches attended the programme.
All the speakers who addressed the gathering saluted the leadership and sacrifices of late Khaplang. The message for Naga unity was loud and clear as the leaders voiced the urgent need for the Nagas to come together and fight for our rights as a people. Naga Hoho President, Chuba Ozukum lauded late Khaplang for being a true Naga freedom fighter. “Khaplang was second to none and is one of the tallest leaders among the Nagas. He was a visionary leader, a true fighter and a man of principle,” Ozukum said. “We cannot forget his sacrifices and his love for Naga people. The legacy that he has laid for us, we should stand together to safeguard the interest of the Nagas,” Ozukum appealed.
NPMHR secretary general, Neingulo Krome, in his address, regretted that late Khaplang “left us a bit early.” Had Khaplang lived for a few more years, Krome said, he would have been one Naga leader to solve the kind of divisions which exists in Naga society.
“Nagas ought to be grateful to Khaplang, not because of his greatness alone, but because he provided the needed space and the air to breathe for every Naga freedom fighter right from the days of Naga national movement”, he said in reference to the passage of Naga freedom fighters who crossed Myanmar when entering China.
Krome also deeply regretted the divisive forces that kept Khaplang away from other Naga leaders. He observed that some groups within the north east region also played their parts in separating the Nagas from coming together.
NSF President, Subenthung Kithan saluted late Khaplang for being a tall standing Naga nationalist who made tremendous positive and valuable contributions to the founding and development of Naga freedom struggle. The programme was chaired by NSF assistant general secretary, Kesosul Christopher Ltu.