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Be sensitive to needs of neighbours: Vajpayee
October 28, 2003 23:06 IST
Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee on Tuesday asked the people of northeast to be 'sensitive' to needs and concerns to their neighbours to achieve permanent peace in the region
He was apparently referring to differences between Manipur and Nagaland over the National Socialist Council of Nagalim (Isak-Muivah) demand for Greater Nagaland.
"The people belonging to each state and each ethnic group in the region should be sensitive to the needs and concerns of their neighbours," he said.
Likewise the Centre will always be sensitive to the needs and concerns of the people of Nagaland and the other states in the region, he said in his address at the first convocation of the Nagaland University.
Vajpayee said further progress could be achieved in efforts to establish peace in Nagaland 'with the involvement of all sections of Naga society'.
Stating the Centre was ready for talks with any militant outfit, which was prepared to give up violence, he said, "Let us leave behind all the unfortunate things that happened in the past. For too long, this fair land has been scarred and seared by violence."
"It has been bled by the orgy of killings of human beings by human beings. Each death pains me. Each death diminishes us," he said.
Prior to his speech, Vajpayee conferred D.Lit (Honorary) on Shurhozelie Lieziedsu, a minister in Nagaland government, and awarded doctorate degrees to 10 research scholars.
Nagaland Governor Shyamal Dutta, Chief Minister N Rio and Union ministers Bijoya Chakraborty, C P Thakur and Ashok Pradhan were also present at the convocation ceremony.
Vajpayee said it was unfortunate that certain outfits in the region were 'misguiding the youth to embrace the ideology of extremism, exclusivism and divisiveness'.
He announced grant of Rs 35 crore for development of Nagaland University infrastructure, Rs 10 crore for setting up a centre each for IT and horticulture and floriculture and Rs 15 crore for establishing a Sainik School in Kohima.
Referring to the recent Indo-ASEAN Summit, he said all the initiatives including the Mecong-Ganga project and highway from Imphal to Thailand would give a big boost to economic activities in the northeast.
Noting that higher education had become an important item in export strategies of countries planning to strengthen the knowledge base of their economies, Vajpayee asked the academic community not to lag behind in attracting students from abroad especially South East Asia.
"Didn't our own young Kalpana Chawla go on a space voyage? She gave up her life in the process. But she proved that self-sacrifice in pursuit of a lofty goal is a reward in itself. She also proved women are not second to men in science and technology, adventure and enterprise," he said.
More reports from Nagaland
Read about: Naga Ceasefire