TODAY -

Pan Naga Development Council likely to be final settlement
Ceasefire pact successful, says Lt Gen (Retd) Kulkarni, Naga civil society meet in Delhi
Source: The Sangai Express / Ninglun Hanghal

Imphal/Delhi, January 12 2013 : Close on the heels of former Chairperson of the Ceasefire Monitoring Group, Lt Gen (Rtd) Kulkarni, dubbing the ceasefire pact between the NSCN (IM) and the Government of India a success, a reliable source informed The Sangai Express today that the formation of a Pan Naga Development Council is likely to be the final settlement.

Speaking to The Sangai Express, the source said that the proposed Pan Naga Development Council is above the 6th Schedule and added that it will cover the Naga inhabited areas of Arunachal Pradesh, Assam and Manipur.

The new development is significant in the light of the stand adopted by the Government of Manipur that it would oppose any proposal to grant administrative autonomy to any region in the State.

On the other hand, the United Naga Council has been spearheading the demand for an Alternative Arrangement, outside the Government of Manipur and pending a final settlement to the Indo-Naga political dialogue.

During the Cabinet meeting held on January 9, on the eve of the Chief Minister's departure for New Delhi on January 10, all the possible proposals which the Centre is likely to place before the State Government were minutely discussed.

The Cabinet had also studied and considered the answers which the State Government should give to the Centre to any proposal which may have the potential to trigger a chain reaction.



Chief Minister O Ibobi, PM Dr Manmohan Singh, HM Shushil Kumar Shinde and UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi
Chief Minister O Ibobi, PM Dr Manmohan Singh, HM Shushil Kumar Shinde and UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi


It was against this background that Chief Minister O Ibobi met a slew of political leaders at New Delhi on January 11 .

Apart from the Prime Minister and UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi, Ibobi met the Union Home Minister Shushil Kumar Shinde, Finance Minister P Chidambaram, Defence Minister AK Antony and the political advisor to Sonia Gandhi, Ahmed Patel.

The Chief Minister also met Home Ministry Officials today.

The Union Home Minister is reportedly out of Delhi on an official visit to Dhaka.

Sources said that the Chief minister and the Union Home Secretary deliberated on the proposed final process of the Naga Peace talks.

Details of the meeting however are not available.

Earlier in the day, former Chairperson of the Ceasefire Monitoring Group, Lt General Kulkarni (Retd) said that the ceasefire pact between the NSCN (IM) and the Government is a success.

Speaking at a consultation on "Naga Peace Process and possible outcome" in New Delhi today today, Kulkarni said "History , geography, cannot be recreated, the future lies in the wisdom and not emotions of the Nagas and it is for the Nagas to decide, not anyone else" said Kulkarni.

The retired General who was the chairman of the Ceasefire Monitoring Group from 2001 till 2008 and also had a long stint in Nagaland during his service said that the ceasefire is unique, incomparable to other ceasefires either in the UN or other parts of the world.

Kulkarni mentioned the limitations of military movement and use of military forces to counter the same.

He said "the issue in Nagaland is not war , it is conflict" .

On the unwillingness of the Naga Hoho to be part of the peace talks, president of the HoHo Kevilutou Kiewhuo said, "We want to be part of the political dialogue and not military dialogue" .

Addressing the gathering the Hoho leader said "After more than 15 years there is no more space for negotiation," and asserted that the NSCN (IM) has the mandate of the people � the Church, the Students.

The NSCN (IM) in consultation with the Interlocutor has placed its demands before the GoI in July last year.

There is no question of who represent the Nagas, he reasserted.

Till today there has been no official response from the GoI over the demand submitted said the Naga leader.

Moreover , the Naga Hoho leader strongly hinted that at this point in time there is no reason for the NSCN (IM) and the interlocutor to have any further dialogue with the GoI.

On asked what will be the turn of events in the coming crucial months, with the countdown of March end as deadline for a "solution" as proposed by the GoI as well as with the announcement of the election dates for Nagaland, Kiewhuo said, "We cannot say anything" .

On being probed further, the Naga leader did not rule out the possibility of the NSCN ( IM) "taking up arms again" .

There is a possibility of war, said the leader, but the biggest casualties will be the civilians, he told reporters at the sideline of the consultation.

United Naga Council leader Adani, who also took part in the deliberations told The Sangai Express that the Alternative Arrangement is applicable to all the tribals in Manipur, given the commonality of the issue.

On asked whether there is a consultation of all tribals in Manipur the UNC leader stated that a platform is yet to evolve.

"What we demand is a political empowerment to decide" said Adani.

We have set out our demand for an alternative arrangement it is for the GoI to respond and then we can proceed for further discussions.

On asked about the centre's proposals for 6th schedule the UNC leader said " we are way past 6th schedule.

It is no longer relevant" .


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