Kohima, Apr 5 UNI | 4 months ago

The Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) Commemoration of the 70th anniversary of the Battle of Kohima (World War II) was observed at Kohima War Cemetery here on Friday with visiting dignitaries laying wreaths at the stone of remembrance.

According to official sources today the dignitaries included Sir Joe French KCB CBE (Retd) Air chief Marshal Vice Chairman of CWGC, Lt Gen Ravi Eipe (Retd) honorary Liaision officer CWGC, Mr Scott Furssedonn-Wood Deputy High Commissioner Eastern India and Himato Zhimomi, Commissioner for Tourism of Nagaland Government. In his brief address to the gathering, Himato requested CWGC to set up an institution in collaboration with the Japanese Government to keep the memory alive where it could be a centre to forget the past and spread the message of peace to the world. Kohima Educational Trust (KET) chairman Dr P Ngully, in his speech, said during the CWGC 60th anniversary in 2004, the KET was founded as a debt of honour to the Naga people who were their allies to sustain the memory of the courage and sacrifice of those who fought and died in the battle. He said CWGC deserved the highest accolade for meticulously and serenely maintaining the cemetery keeping alive the memory for the future. Ngully said memories of those who lay buried in the cemetery maintained by the CWGC were carried forward to the living by the KET and Kohima Education Society (KES). He also highlighted the various projects carried out by KET and KES. Sir Joe French who unveiled the information panel and also addressed the gathering.

The other visiting dignitaries included Barry Murphy, Director Africa and Asia Pacific Area CWGC, Lieutenant Colonel Simon Colyer Military Adviser, Andrew McAuley Group Captain Naval and Air adviser. Around ten Kohima war veterans also attended the programme including the oldest man who is 101 years Khakou Charüma and others between 80 to 100 years old. The visiting team received Guard of Honour from the 19 Assam Rifles.

On the sidelines of the programme, Brig K K Roy Choudhury, Secretary Rajya Sainik Board and Director Service Welfare Nagaland informed that around 600 Naga people (mostly Assam Regiment) took part in the battle of Kohima war and at present 90 of them are still surviving, sources said.

(Posted on 05-04-2014)