Nagaland chief minister T.R. Zeliang with well-wishers at Dimapur airport. Telegraph picture
Kohima, April 28: A grand civic reception was accorded to Nagaland chief minister T.R. Zeliang today when he landed at Dimapur airport from Bali in Indonesia where he had received Lifetime Achievement Award in Transformation at the Sixth Global Leadership Award on April 23.
Addressing the gathering, Zeliang said: "I share the award with the people of Nagaland" and added that he was touched by the homecoming reception which shows unity and solidarity among the Nagas.
Zeliang said initially it was a pleasant surprise when he got an invitation from Bali to take the award, adding how and why he deserved such a prestigious award flashed through his mind. He said he was amazed as he is only a chief minister of a small state which is part of a vast country like India. Zeliang said after going through the credentials of the organisation he, however, gave his consent to receive the award.
At the Global Leadership Award ceremony, although various categories of awards were given, Lifetime Achievement Award were given to only three personalities.
Besides Zeliang, the other two selected for Lifetime Achievement Award were an American professor and the Speaker of Indonesia's Parliament.
He said upon his arrival at Bali airport, he asked about the reasons for his selection. The reason explained to him was - he is leader of Nagaland which is one of the trouble-torn states passing through many turbulent situations. Zeliang said he stood proudly before the world and said, "It's the creation of the people and all these were possible because of the support of the people."
The chief minister thanked the American Leadership Development Association and some international leaders.
He said it was a memorable experience for being honoured by leaders from different countries in Bali. He said at this critical juncture of Naga history, the award would be a big boost for a sustainable peace in Nagaland.
"Let us work together to bring permanent peace, better understanding, development and progress to our land," Zeliang said.
The president of the Naga Hoho, Chuba Ozukum, said the international recognition given to the chief minister is a laurel for the entire Naga society. "The civil society under the aegis of Naga Hoho and Eastern Nagaland People's Organisation (ENPO) have organised the civic reception to extend fullest support to our leader," Ozukum said.