TODAY -

Indo - Naga & other peace (Accord) talks
- Part 1 -

BD Behring *



The global or universal Peace is observed in every year on Sept. 21st. The observance of this was adopted by the United Nations under its resolution No. 36/37 on September 21st, 1981. In fact, it is the solemn declaration and call of the UNO for World Peace and Co-existence amongst the Nations. It is no doubt that the National Conflicts or war-like attitude of the sovereign Countries instead of bringing any tangible benefit, unaccountable havoc is wrought with no gain or benefit to both warring Nations.

The world Peace council was formed in 1950 to advocate for Universal disarmament, recognition of the Sovereignty and Independence of each nation. It further undertakes a campaign against imperialism, disengagement or ban of weapons of mass destruction and all forms of discrimination against humanity.

In the subsequent events, many other world organisations formed or convened in this regards as under:
1. The world Congress on disarmament and International Corporation was held in 1958 at Stockholm and world conference for general disarmament and peace was held at Moscow in 1962.
2. In 1915 the World Congress for Peace, National Independence and general disarmament was held at Helsinkin along with another Assembly at Budapest in 1971.
3. World Congress of Peace Forces in 1973 at Moscow. World Parliament of People for Peace in 1980 at Sofia.
4. World Assembly for Peace and Life against Nuclear war, 1983 at Praque.
5. World Congress for International year of Peace 1986 at Copenhagen in 1990 at Athen, in 1996 at Mexico, in 2000 and 2004 at Athens, in 2005 at Seoul, in 2008 at Canacas, in 2009 at New York, in 2012 at Kathmandu/Nepal in 2016 at Warsaw.

All these later on expands further and further.

Towards the Government-Naga Peace accord: Everything you need to know

Here is the story of the long-running Naga insurgency - and the peace moves that picked up pace with the efforts of Prime Ministers from P V NarasimhaRao to Narendra Modi. How old is the Naga political issue? The British annexed Assam in 1826, and in 1881, the Naga Hills too became part of British India. The first sign of Naga resistance was seen in the formation of the Naga Club in 1918, which told the Simon Commission in 1929 "to leave us alone to determine for ourselves as in ancient times". In 1946 came the Naga National Council (NNC), which, under the leadership of AngamiZapuPhizo, declared Nagaland an independent state on August 14, 1947. The NNC resolved to establish a "sovereign Naga state" and conducted a "referendum" in 1951, in which "99 per cent" supported in "independent" Nagaland.

When did the armed movement begin?

On March 22, 1952, Phizo formed the underground Naga Federal Government (NFG) and the Naga Federal Army (NFA). The Government of India sent the Army to crush the insurgency and, in 1958, enacted the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act. When did the peace efforts starts? Almost simultaneously with the resistance. On June 29, 1947, Assam Governor Sir Akbar Hyderi signed a 9-point agreement with moderates T Sakhrie and AlibaImti, which was almost immediately rejected by Phizo. The Naga Hills, a district of Assam, was upgraded to a state in 1963, by also adding the Tuensang tract that was then part of NEFA.

In April the next year, Jai PrakashNarain, Assam Chief Minister Bimala Prasad Chaliha and Rev. Michael Scott formed a Peace Mission, and got the government and NNC to sign an agreement to suspend operations that September. But the NNC/ NFG/NFA continued to indulge in violence, and after six rounds of talks, the Peace Mission was abandoned in 1967, and a massive counter-insurgency operation launched.

16 Point agreement signed on:
In 1962 September 4, Nagaland attained statehood with 33 No's of Points/Chapters and Indian Constitution special provision Article 271 "A" was guaranteed. 1st Ceasefire agreement signed on 6-9-1964 and framed peace mission comprising of Jai Prakash Narayan, B.P Chaliha and Rev. Michael Scott and Insurgents. On 11-11-1975 Shillong Accord was signed in between Central Government and Naga National Council.

When did the NSCN come into being ?
On November 11, 1975, the government got a section of NNC leaders to sign the Shillong Accord under which this section of NNC and NFG agreed to give up arms. A group of about 140 members led byThuingalengMuivah, who were at that time in China, refused to accept the Shillong Accord, and formed the National Socialist Council of Nagaland in 1980. Muivah also had IsakChisiSwu and S SKhaplang with him. In 1988, the NSCN split into NSCN (IM) and NSCN (K) after a violent clash. While the NNC began to fade away, and Phizo died in London in 1991, the NSCN (IM) came to be seen as the "mother of all insurgencies" in the region.

June 15, 1995: P.V. NarasimhaRao meets Muivah and Isak Swu in Paris. Then MOS (Home) Rajesh Pilot meet them at Bangkok.
February 3, 1997: DeveGowda meets NSCN(IM) leader -ship in Zurich, Switzerland.
July 25, 1997: India and NSCN(IM) signed ceasefire agreement, which comes into effect on August 1.
September 20, 1998: AtalBihari Vajpayee and Brajesh Mishra meet NSCN(IM) leaders in Paris. The Government of India signed a ceasefire agreement with NSCN (IM) on July 25, 1997 which came into effect on August 1, 1997.

BANGKOK FIVE POINT AGREEMENT:

The ceasefire process has become the most controversial issues in Northeast states of India that has alarmed the entire Northeast region. Most diplomatically, no clear-cut geographical boundary of the ceasefire ground rules and its coverage was mentioned in the initial stage. After several years of debate and buying times, GoI had accepted the geographical boundary of the ceasefire ground rules "without territorial limits" by the Bangkok Agreement of 14 June, 2001. The Bangkok Agreement was signed between the GoI and NSCN (IM) in Bangkok.

The following five-points Agreement are the mutually agreed upon:
a) The ceasefire agreement is between the Government of India and the NSCN (IM) as two entities "without territorial limits".
b) Both parties would abide by the ground rules revised on 13 January, 2001 both in letter and spirit.
c) It is agreed to further extend the ceasefire for a period of 1 year with effect from 1st August, 2001.
d) The Government of India and the NSCN (IM) agree to proceed with the peace process on the substantive issues to bring political solution to the issue. It is recognized that there is a need for mutual trust and respect.
e) The next round of talks would be held in the last week of August, 2001.

This ceasefire extended agreement was overwhelmingly received by the people of Nagaland. Besides, many organizations such as the Naga Hoho, the NNC-F and NSCN (K) welcomed the development. However, the move was seriously objected by the neighbouring states of Manipur, Assam and Arunachal Pradesh, which was seen to be intruding upon the territorial integrity of their states. On the consequent objection raised by the Meitei people of Manipur, the Bangkok Agreement was revised deleting three words "without territorial limits" and this has created further misunderstanding between various communities of the Northeast states.

What did the NSCN (IM) want?

A "Greater Nagalim" comprising "all contiguous Naga- inhabited areas", along with Nagaland. That included several districts of Assam, Arunachal and Manipur, as also a large tract of Myanmar. The map of "Greater Nagalim" has about 1,20,000sq km, while the state of Nagaland consists of 16,527 sq km. The claims have always kept Assam, Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh wary of a peace settlement that might affect their territories. The Nagaland Assembly has endorsed the "Greater Nagalim" demand "Integrated of all Naga- inhabited contiguous areas under one administrative umbrella" as many as five times: in December 1964, August 1970, September 1994, December 2003 and as recently as on July 27, 2015.

When did NSCN (IM) join peace talks?

Muivah, Swu and other top NSCN (IM) leaders escaped to Thailand in the early 1990s. While Nagaland Governor M M Thomas, a Church leader from Kerala, extracted the first positive response from the NSCN (IM), Prime Minister P V NarasimhaRao met Muivah, Swu and others in Paris on June 15, 1995. In November 1995, then MoS (Home) Rajesh Pilot met them in Bangkok. Subsequently, Prime Minister H D DeveGowda met them in Zurich on February 3, 1997, which was followed by meetings with officers in Geneva and Bangkok.

Prime Minister AtalBihari Vajpayee met them in Paris on September 30, 1998. The Government of India signed a cease-fire agreement with NSCN (IM) on July 25, 1997, which came into effect on August 1, 1997. Over 80 rounds of talks between the two sides were held subsequently.

How did Prime Minister Modi travel the last mile?

For the NSCN (IM), the Modi government continues from where Vajpayee left. The RSS's Northeast veteran P V Acharya is currently Nagaland Governor, and Joint Intelligence Committee chairman R N Rave, with his IB background, is an old Northeast hand. The state's political scenario has changed, with T R Zeliang's Naga People's Front, and NDA ally, persuading all groups in the Assembly, including the Congress, to become partners in an all-party government.

How have Manipur, Assam and Arunachal Pradesh reacted?

Leaders cutting across party lines have preferred to wait and watch. Nobody in these three states would allow even an inch of their land to be added to a "Greater Nagalim", if at all that term is part of the accord.

What about S S Khaplang?

In March this year, he abrogated the ceasefire he had signed in 2001, and is sure to oppose the accord. Security forces have been already alerted across Nagaland, Assam, Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh.

ROAD TO PEACE

o August 1874: Naga National Council led by AnganiZapuPhizo revolts, NNC subsequently resolves to establish a sovereign Naga state.
o May 1951: After "referendum" NNC claims 99% of Naga people support independence. NNC boycotts first general election of 1952, launches violent secessionist movement.
o March 22, 1956:Phizo creates underground Naga Federal Government (NFG) and a Naga Federal Army (NFA).
o April 1965: New Delhi sends Army to crush insurgency in the (then) Naga Hills District of Assam; Phizo escapes to (then) East Pakistan in December and , subsequently, in June 1960, to London.
o 1958: Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act enacted for Naga Hills District.
o December 1, 1963: Nagaland attained statehood.
o 1964: Peace Mission of Jai Prakash Narayan, B P Chaliha and Rev. Michael Scott to Nagaland, an Agreement for Suspension of Operation is signed with insurgents.
o November 11, 1975: Shillong Accord signed between Cen- tre and NNC.
o 1980 : Thuingaleng Muivah, Isak Chisi Swu, S S Khaplang from NSCN.
o 1988: NSCN splits, KholeKonyak and Khaplang from NSCN (K)

FRAMEWORK AGREEMENT

International Framework Agreement:


In international law, such an agreement between countries or groups can acknowledge that they cannot reach full agreement on all issues, but are willing to memorialize a structure by which some disagreements can be resolved.

In describing the effort to reach an agreement between Israel and Palestine, Senator George J. Mitchell explained. A framework agreement is not an interim agreement. It's more detailed than a declaration of principles, but i s less than a full-fledged treaty.

Its purpose is to establish the fundamental compromises necessary to enable the parties to then flesh out and complete a comprehensive agreement that will end the conflict and establish a lasting peace.

Entering into a framework agreement can shift the law-making power from the states to a plenary body, and can shift the basis for forming consent to new norms and standards reached through their negotiations. The practice of entering into framework agreements originated in the 1950s with an agreement regarding asylum between Colombia and Peru.

Naga Framework Agreement

The Framework Agreement of August 3, 2015 between the Government of India and the National Socialist Council of Nagaland (Issak-Muivah) NSCN(I-M) is a catalytic moment promising a more flexible template of peace-making. The agreement, signed on August 3, 2015, has established the broad principles that would guide the future deliberations between the Government of India and the National Socialist Council of Nagalim-IM.

The content of the agreement has not been disclosed. The NSCN-IM also did not give any inkling to the Naga people about what was included in the agreement. Two aspects of the Framework Agreement have been made public acceptance of the "uniqueness of Naga history and culture" by the Indian Government and the acceptance of the primacy of the Indian Constitution by the NSCN-IM. While AtalBihari Vajpayee had acknowledged the "unique history of the Nagas" in 2003, the NSCN-IM accepting the "primacy of the Indian Constitution" is a new development.

It puts at rest the earlier ambiguities about the NSCN-IM's position on the Indian Constitution. This also signifies that the NSCN-IM has abandoned the objective of establishing an independent sovereign state for the Naga people. (Initially about sovereignty, the demand is now for a Greater Nagalim by integrating the Naga-Inhabited areas of Manipur, Arunachal Pradesh and Assam). Although the NSCN-IM has walked a long way from its previous position, the Govrnment of India remains reluctant to make any clear commitment on the issue of integration on the Naga-inhabited areas within India.

None of these States, which have Naga population, is likely to accept the NSCN-IM's demand. The past 18 years' experience shows that the Indian Government is unlikely to cede the territories of other States claimed by the Nagas. It is not clear whether Nagalim would be governed by its own Constitution within the Indian Union and what would be the nature and terms for the sharing of sovereignty. This would require an amendment to Indian Constitution.

There is also no clarity on the issue of a separate flag for Nagalim, a separate judicial system and local police, according to http://www.mainstreamweekly.net.KASHMIR


To be continued .....


* BD Behring wrote this article for The Sangai Express
The writer is Former Parliamentarian, Former Legislature Convener of Naga Political Leaders Forum, Manipur
The writer can be reached at bdbehring1953(AT)gmail(DOT)com
This article was webcasted on April 17, 2019.



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