Michael Van Walt Van Praag.

The NSCN (I-M) on Tuesday congratulated Dr Michael Van Walt Van Praag on being conferred Knighthood by the Netherlands government.

Praag truly deserved the prestigious Royal Distinction of Commander in the Order of Orange-Nassau, one of the highest civilian distinctions given by the Dutch government, for his long period of attachment in the service of humanity, particularly his tireless works to resolve diverse conflicts that exist around the world, the outfit said in a statement.

He was awarded for his life-long dedication and commendable services in support of the unrepresented and oppressed nations and people around the world, it said.

The release described him as a person of immense significance for the NSCN in particular and the Nagas in general.

It said Praag found the historical and political legitimacy in the Naga struggle and helped the NSCN get a foothold in the international arena by admitting it as a bonafide member of the Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organisation on January 23, 1993, when he was its general secretary.

The NSCN (I-M) expressed gratitude to the Dutch government for taking cognizance of Praag’s contribution towards helping the unrepresented nations and oppressed people in “magnifying” their issues in the eyes of the world.

“This is reflective of the Dutch government’s social and liberal tolerance,” it said.

The NSCN (I-M) said it remained indebted to the Dutch government for the historic declaration made by the government of India in Amsterdam on July 11, 2002, during the meeting between the government of India’s representative and NSCN leaders giving recognition to the unique history and situation of the Nagas.

Bhadra Gogoi

Bhadra Gogoi is Northeast Now Correspondent in Nagaland. He can be reached at: bhadragogoi@yahoo.com