22 Jan : General Conference of Nagaland DBs Association was held at Phek from 21st to 22nd January 2009 with the theme ‘Custom for Justice’ and motto ‘Backbone of Administration’. Nagaland Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio, Minister for Health & Family Welfare Kuzholuzo Nienu graced the occasion as the chief guest and the guest of honour respectively.
The chief guest in his speech extended his thanks to the people of Nagaland for reposing their faith and mandate to the DAN government for the second time. He said that Nagas were recognized during the British regime because of our tradition and cultural identity in the past century. He lamented that many Nagas do not recognize ourselves and our potentials and he called upon Naga people to change their mindset and attitude in the positive direction. He called upon DBs to work with integrity and deliver justice to the people according to traditional values and customs for the people in their customary law.
The Chief Minister said that we need customary system of court to deliver justice to the people for which tribal Hohos of all tribes should be consulted in order to produce documentation on tradition and customary laws including conventional norms of every tribe and he advised DBs to take initiative in this regard. He also said the advantage to have customary court where we can settle our dispute and cases with justice and truth at the same time and bring amicable compromise settlement with traditional customary laws and conventional norms between the appellate and defendants for better co-existence in the society and so he called upon the people to avail opportunity where justice is catered according to our more pragmatic customary laws.
He also called upon DBs and GBs to cater justice to the people upholding the identity of Nagas and customary laws so that people in our society will live in peace and harmony. He expressed his hope that joint effort of DBs and GBs will work with full integrity and commitment in their journey for ushering peace and harmony in the state without any bias and prejudice. Lastly, he assured them of his co-operation and assistance of government for better future and progressive Nagaland.
Guest of honour, Kuzholuzo Nienu called upon the people to preserve Naga identity and uphold the principles of truthfulness and honesty, which is the true essence of our customary law. The history of GBs and DBs during the colonial rule records that they were powerful, responsible and respectable and called upon them to retrospect themselves in this regard. He also said we need to maintain unity among our people by cutting across tribalism, language and community and rise above all narrow sectarian interest so that we can foster the spirit of unity and brotherhood.
Commissioner, Nagaland, H.K. Khullu, IAS also spoke on the conference saying that his doors will remain open for the DBs. With these words he commenced his topic ‘Custom for Justice’. Commenting on the past century of Naga society he said Nagas live with honesty, integrity, hardwork with high moral values and he said that we should preserve our cultural ethos and identity of our forefathers. He said Nagas have unique customary laws in judicial system and DBs have great responsibility in upholding the Naga identity in this regard. He said we cannot demand respect but earn it with impartial conduct of justice through customary laws. With this he expressed hope that the DBs court would be a most respectful and honourable court.
Deputy Commissioner, Phek, Zachive Thele also9 spoke on the topic ‘Torchbearers of Customary Laws’ in the conference and called upon them to discharge justice with integrity, truth and impartiality irrespective of status and position of the people concerned under any given circumstances and situation as the torchbearers of Naga customary laws. President, CPO; President Nagaland GBs Federation; President Pochury Public Forum; PA to DC, Longleng and PA to DC, Peren all spoke on the general conference. Presidential address was delivered by its President, welcome speech was delivered by PA to DC, Phek.
Apart from the speakers, the Chief Minister was accompanied by Parliamentary Secretary Yitachu, Deputy Chairman State Planning Board, Neiba Kronu, NPF General Secretary and a host of government officials and public leaders. All the delegates and members of hosting units visited Civil Hospital Phek and District Jail, Phek.