India: Kohima Declaration



    We, the Naga Peoples Movement for Human Rights, gathered for the International Day of the World Indigenous Peoples on 9th August, 2014, declared by the United Nations, here at

    Kohima along with solidarity members and other participants, under the banner “Bridging the Gap: Implementing the Rights of Indigenous Peoples”;

    Express our heartfelt solidarity with our indigenous brothers and sisters across the world in celebrating the Day, and also in their struggles against dispossession and inhumanity;

    Appreciate the United Nations and Heads of States for recognizing and acknowledging the vital contributions of indigenous peoples in upholding holistic approaches imperative for the continuation of life on earth;

    Remember the bequest of our ancestors, the sacrifices of our leaders and peoples, and the hopes of our children, as we continue to struggle for our rights and rightful place;

    Acknowledge the difficulties of our struggles, the human toll and the human differences that have cropped up, even as we pursue our journey toward common goal;

    Recall that every struggle requires supreme sacrifices and unfettered dedication, for which we would once again reaffirm our commitment.

    Therein the Naga Peoples Movement for Human Rights would like to draw attention to the fact that:

    1. The promotion and conservation of traditional knowledge and wisdom is pertinent to the continuity of a harmonious world for resolving conflicts and misunderstanding and for sustaining a good life and living;
    2. The proposals of State-centered initiatives like Nagaland Special Development Zone will hugely impact the traditional way of life of many Naga communities, encourage land alienation, and drastically change demographic equations;
    3. The perpetual militarization of our peoples by Indian armed forces and the continuing military-legal paraphernalia perpetuating brute military governance through the Disturbed Area Act and Armed Forces (Special) Powers Act 1958, is a concern for mental health of a nation and an outright breach of human rights;
    4. The processes involved in accessing natural resources, which include Oil and Chromites, as the present cases are, by existing governments, does not follow international norms set for local standards like Free, Prior and Informed Consent, thereby spelling misunderstanding and discreet crony capitalism;
    5. Policies and developmental projects need social audit and wider public consultation before implementation.

    Therefore, Naga Peoples Movement for Human Rights urges and calls for:

    1. Respect, promotion, and preservation of indigenous knowledge, and thus call into attention the revitalization of our knowledge systems by reclaiming our own languages and institutions;
    2. Review and issue moratorium on all Exploration and Exploitation of mineral resources in Naga areas, including; Oil exploitation in Wokha District (Nagaland) and Tamenglong District (Manipur), Chromites extraction at Ukhrul and Chandel Districts (Manipur) and other mineral resources, while exploring a comprehensive review of policies and framing a right-holder approach to just benefit sharing;
    3. Mitigation of militarization and excess violation of human rights, including the present Ukhrul standoff;
    4. Complete overhauling of Nagaland Special Development Zone, which is detrimental and dangerous for Nagas’ way of life and control over their land and resources;
    5. Continued support of Naga public in particular and solidarity groups in general, in sustaining our rights and rightful place.

    K.N. Sekhose building, Jail colony, Kohima – 797001, Nagaland