TODAY -

Peace process inching towards final solution: Ningkhan Shimray
Source: Chronicle News Service / R Lester Makang

Ukhrul, December 11 2023: Iterating that the ongoing Indo Naga political peace process is inch ing towards the final solution, GPRN/NSCN general Ningkhan Shimray (MC, VC), Longvibu Naga Army cum Coordinator Indo-Naga Peace Talk, has said that the two sides have come to an agreement known as 'Pan Naga Hoho' which will act as an umbrella statutory body to cover every Naga citizen irrespective of the existing boundaries.

"We have come to an agreement known as "Pan Naga Hoho" which is one of the competencies (under Framework Agreement)," the Naga leader stated, allaying the doubts among the Nagas living in the foothill areas during a public discourse on Indo-Naga Political Talk held at Sada Lungthar village under Kasom Khullen blbck in Kamjong district on Sunday.

He disclosed that Pan Naga Hoho will be an umbrella statutory body that would comprise about 130 representatives and would cover them (representatives) with executive power dealing with social, cultural, religion, language, customary laws, and the Naga laws.

"Until we come to a final solution, the Pan Naga Hoho will function without borders wherever there are Nagas.

Every Naga citizen as defined in the competency, regardless of where you are, will be covered by Pan Naga Hoho.

Consequently, every Naga in the foothill areas will have their right to sovereignty, identity, freedom, facilities as a Naga.

We will exist as equals under the Pan Naga Hoho," he said.

Further citing an example, Shimray said that any Naga whether they are in Burma or India can participate in the international Olympic events under the flag of Nagalim.

"We will have our own trade policy, separate visa.

We will have our embassies in different countries under the Naga flag.

Insignia, national anthem and separate flag are all mentioned in the competencies" .

The discourse with Longvibu of Naga Army was organised by the Tangkhul Naga Foothills Organisation (TNFO) to help the public keep abreast of the ongoing Indo-Naga peace talk and work out ways to address various issues affecting or concerning the Naga populace residing in the foothills.

Significantly, the event drew representatives from various Naga tribes including Tangkhul, Maring, Kharam, Rongmei, Chiru, Purum, Kom and others settling at the foothills.

Addressing the gathering, he continued that honourable solution is meant to cover the whole Naga areas promoting and upholding the sovereignty of the Nagas.

"We are all waiting for the final solution which without covering the whole Nagas would be meaningless.

It is a betrayal.

Therefore, integration of Nagas without an agreement, even if Government of India shows commitment, we cannot call it an honourable solution" .

According to the Naga leader, what is in the map is not important.

"What is important is the common ownership of our ancestral land.

If we share the ownership of our ancestral land, we are one.

There is no Greater or Smaller Nagalim but we have a piece of land that belongs to the Nagas" .

"I want to focus on what is important to the Nagas, that being, the Framework Agreement borne out of the competencies arising from our peace talks.

The Government of India has recognised the whole Naga areas meaning that the integration is not only an aspiration of the Nagas but legitimate right of the Nagas, and that in the principle of democracy, sovereignty lies with the people.

I am telling you this based on the Framework Agreement.

So, wherever the Nagas are, we are sovereign.

There is no demarcation of Naga sovereignty but we belong to a sovereignty coming from Nagas" ancestral land".

On the question of where Nagalim is, Shimray asserted that Nagalim is where the Nagas are.

Tn the ongoing peace talks, we are not negotiating for our sovereignty or political rights which are already recognised.

It is over and done with.

We are now looking for final solution," he noted.

Responding to some speculations if there is integration in the Framework Agreement, he said that if there wasn't, then, why should we be talking about integration of the whole Nagas, why not just the state of Nagaland.

"Let me point out here that there are two forms of integration: political integration and geographical integration.

Political integration will come in the form of RTC or NRTC (Naga Regional Territory Council).

Geographical integration comprises map integration, physical integration".

While admitting political difficulties in the process, he explained that this doesn't mean that GoI has not recognised the integration of the Nagas.

"But, the integration of whole Nagalim including the parts in Burma will happen only after a political process.

What is more important for us is political integration which is without border and it covers all the areas wherever the Nagas are".

According to Shimray, even in the absence of demarcation, integration would be covered by a political umbrella such as the NRTC.

"This NRTC would be small but it is not a Union Territory which is born out of the constitution of India.

The NRTC is born out of Framework Agreement, having its own sovereignty with its own government that would be subjected only to Pan Naga Hoho, to the government of Nagalim," he explained.

"What we must appreciate about integration is that, when even as neighbours, sometimes we don't want to compromise for a small piece of land, we are talking about 100,000 square km of land.

We have to be much more cautious for reaching an amicable solution taking into account the interest of the stake holders.

Otherwise, there could be bloodshed.

And we don't want that.

Once solution is reached, we can see integration.

But that doesn't mean that our integration is subject to the interest of the stake holders.

It is subjected to our ancestral political rights" .

On the Nagas' unique history, he asserted that it has long been recognised and added that no country can exist without its political or historical rights.

"We are witnessing a number of wars all over the world and they are partly due to the fact that their historical rights have not been recognised" .

He went on to state that the recognition of Nagas' Unique History in 2002 was equivalent to recognising and creating nationhood without really declaring independence or sovereignty.

"Recognition of Nagas' history and political rights means it legalises and legitimises Naga Freedom Movement.

This is what we have to keep in mind is that our sovereignty, our political rights, our identity are already recognised", he said.

Shimray also read out a portion of the Framework Agreement, viz.

the third stanza, which reads, "Both sides have understood each other's respective positions and cognizance of universal principle that in democracy sovereignty lies with the people.

Accordingly the Government of India and NSCN representing the whole Nagas, respecting people's wish for sharing sovereign power as defined, as enshrined in the competency, both agreed that within this Framework Agreement, exhibition for detail plans will be worked out and implemented shortly" .


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