NSCN (IM) sticks to Naga integration stand : Ravi's recent statement strongly rebuffed
Source: The Sangai Express / Newmai News Network

Dimapur, March 02 2020: The NSCN-IM has termed the recent comment of RN Ravi, the Government of India's interlocutor for Naga peace talks who is also the Governor of Nagaland, as irresponsible and misleading.

"In his interview, the Representative of the Government of India (GoI) in an intentional and calculated move misinterpreted the 3rd August, 2015 Framework Agreement (FA) and squarely blamed the NSCN by giving shocking and unwarranted statements," said the NSCN-IM on Monday in a press statement.

The "shocking and unwarranted statements" of RN Ravi according to the NSCN-IM are "'the NSCN (I-M) is trying to imagine things which are not in the Framework Agreement and misleading the people'; 'new and mischievous interpretation'; 'The delay is entirely on the part of NSCN (I-M); it appears that they are not prepared for a settlement'; 'They are now changing their positions from what they have already agreed.

This is not acceptable'; 'No single entity has franchise over it.

We must be honest with the Naga people'; 'There is no mention of shared sovereignty in it.

There is no mention of integration.

There is no mention of Nagas as a separate entity'; so on and so forth".

Hence, the NSCN-IM said that it was compelled to issue this press release to shed light on the "immature and malicious statement of the Representative of the Government of India, RN Ravi and to remove any doubt in the minds of the Naga people and others in the larger interest of peace and resolution of the Indo-Naga political conflict".

The NSCN-IM said that it does not consider the Framework Agreement contentious and there is no ambiguity about it.

The NSCN-IM further said that it "recognizes that it is a broad framework whereby a foundation was laid towards resolving the decade's old Indo-Naga conflict through mutual respect of each other's history and sharing of sovereignty or sovereign powers between the two entities".

The NSCN-IM also said that it is firm in its commitment to resolve the decade's old Indo-Naga issue based on the Framework Agreement which was witnessed by the leaders of India including the Home Minister, the Chief of Army and the Prime Minister of India.

"Both parties have mutually agreed that within this Framework Agreement the details and execution plan will be worked out and implemented", the press release added.

The NSCN-IM then stated that the Framework Agreement "recognizes that the Naga issue is political and therefore implying that it is not the internal law and order issue of India".

It reaffirmed and recognized their "Unique history and situation" which entails that Nagas were never a part of India either by conquest or by consent, it also said.

Acknowledging contemporary realties and future vision both the parties concluded that violent confrontation must end to usher in comprehensive progress, the NSCN-IM further stated.

The two parties recognized that according to the universal principle in a democracy sovereignty lies with the people, it added.

"And since sovereignty reflects a people's identity, the flag and constitution are inherent and inalienable," it further added.

The Framework Agreement acknowledged that there will be a sharing of sovereign power/shared sovereignty for the realization of an enduring inclusive peaceful co-existence of the two entities.

The solution shall be a Naga solution, of and for the Naga people, and therefore it shall be inclusive of all Nagas.

The peaceful co-existence of the two entities shall only be through the sharing of sovereign power, the NSCN-IM also said.

According to the NSCN-IM, in 2010 the first ever comprehensive official response proposal from the Government of India was submitted to the NSCN-IM during the time of RS.Pandey, Representative of the Government of India.

The proposal of the Government of India significantly included a political solution based on "Shared Sovereignty" and also amongst others included the establishment of "a statutory Pan Naga Supra state body" to represent Naga identity and their interest and which will cover Nagas, wherever they are, and separate fund.

His proposal also included the necessity of respect for the integration of Naga areas.

During the period of the present Representative of the Government of India it was finalized that in appreciation of the unique History and situation of the Nagas the GoI agreed that the statutory Pan Naga Hoho (PNH) shall be part of the political agreement and recognised that integration of all Naga areas as the "legitimate rights" of the Naga people, added the NSCN-IM press note.

In a nutshell, the Pan Naga Hoho shall be statutory body, represented by Nagas, wherever they are, from respective tribes or regions democratically, said the NSCN-IM.

It will safeguard and promote Naga identity, integrity and interests including social, cultural and customary practices, language and dialects of various "Naga tribes", it also said.

It will play an advisory role in the field of promoting education and development.

There will be proper representation eminent Naga personalities, women and minorities.

The Chairman and its Executive members shall be in the rank of Cabinet and an eminent Naga person shall be nominated to the Rajya Sabha, the NSCN-IM added.

According to the NSCN-IM, the integration of Naga areas and the statutory Pan Naga Hoho with its features mentioned above have been mutually agreed upon and therefore we are surprised and taken aback that the issues are projected as "contentious" in the negotiation by the current Representative of the Government of India.

"It must also be mentioned that both the parties have mutually agreed and concluded that the political power of a government including, Legislative, Executive and Judiciary, shall be with the Naga Government," it said.

The agreement shall cover all Naga areas, it also said.

The Naga government shall exercise its powers on the mutually agreed competencies and amongst others the Naga Government shall have a separate budget, responsible for internal security.

The contentious issue is the "Naga National Flag" .

The Anthem, Emblem and Insignia are already agreed by the Government of India, the NSCN-IM added.

The press release then said that the Government of India and the NSCN-IM have negotiated for 22 years with several rounds of talks being held outside India in countries like France, The Netherlands, Switzerland, Austria, Thailand, The USA, Japan and Malaysia and since 2010 we have been staying in India in order to finalise the political agreement.

The NSCN-IM also said, "As mentioned the first ever comprehensive proposal of the Government of India came after 13 years in 2010 during the time of RS.Pandey which proposed for a solution based on 'Shared Sovereignty" .

"In the eighties the Government of India officially declared that military solution was not possible and started approaching the NSCN for political dialogue.

Consequently, for the initiation of political negotiations under the following proposal of the NSCN leadership was agreed by the Government of India that the talks shall be: 1) At the highest level, i.e.Prime Minister level; 2) Without pre-condition; 3) Outside India in a third country," the NSCN-IM pointed out.

According to the press release, the NSCN-IM Chief negotiator had frequently stated that, "Nagas are not lost people and if India respects the history of the Nagas, we will respect India ten times more".

He also concluded that if the political negotiation must move forward realistically than the Government of India must "officially" recognized the unique history and situation of the Nagas, said the NSCN-IM.

Subsequently, with the signing of the Amsterdam joint Communiqu� of July 11, 2002 the "Unique and situation of the Nagas" was officially recognised and signed, the press note also said.

"The NSCN and the Nagas appreciated the decision of the Government of India and the statesmanship of the PM, Shri.

Atal Behari Vajpayee," it added.

It then said that the NSCN-IM is ready for an acceptable and honourable political solution based on the Framework Agreement.

"The issue of flag and constitution is not a deviation from the Framework Agreement and the Pan Naga Hoho is the official proposal of the Government of India, it claimed.

According to the press release, on several occasions during the political talks the Representative of the Government of India had proposed that the Naga flag be used in the Pan Naga Hoho, but the NSCN-IM had turned it down stating the Naga national flag should be with the Naga Government and not a social or cultural body.

The NSCN-IM also said it had proposed that Naga national flag must be recognized based within the principle of sharing sovereign power / shared sovereignty as mutually agreed upon in the Framework Agreement.

"It had also proposed that the constitution shall be the 'mutually agreed competencies' of the two entities; therefore, 'This Agreement shall constitute a constitution which shall be called Yehzabo (Naga constitution), covering the areas of its own competencies'.

We have left no stone unturned to explore and conclude an acceptable and honourable political solution for a peaceful co-existence of the two entities," the NSCN-IM added.

The NSCN-IM then said it had stated that the political solution shall be a Naga solution.

"We shall honour the mandate given to us by the Naga people and uphold the 1951 national plebiscite decision of the Naga people.

Contemporary realities does not mean a solution under the Union of India as that is a deviation from the historic national decision of the Naga people.

The final acceptable and honourable political solution must uphold the sovereign national identity of the Nagas which includes the Naga National Flag and Constitution.

This position of the NSCN is not a misinterpretation or dilution of the Framework Agreement", the NSCN-IM added.

According to the NSCN-IM, the 22 years of an enduring and patient political negotiation of the NSCN-IM and its leadership with the Government of India being branded as, "mischievous interpretations" and "misleading the people" by the Representative of the Government of India is deceptive and harmful.

"We have upheld the sanctity of the Framework Agreement as it was agreed by both the parties that it should be part of the final political agreement.

However, in view of the misinterpretation of the Framework Agreement and accusation against the NSCN by the Representative of the Government of India the Framework Agreement can be published in the public domain for a realistic assessment and conclusion of the issue," it also said.

The Representative of the Government of India after his appointment as the Governor of Nagaland is visibly dealing the Indo-Naga political talks within India's law and order subject, added the outfit.

The NSCN-IM then alleged that the Ministry of Home affairs (MHA) and its agencies including the NIA and the Assam Rifles have become extremely active after his arrival to Nagaland as the Governor.

"His policy of scheming and conniving with the so called NNPGs and mobilizing some tribes from so called Nagaland state and excluding the main stakeholders of the Naga society including the Naga Hoho (NH), Naga Mothers Association (NMA), Naga Student Federation (NSF) and Naga People's Movement for Human Rights (NPMHR) is clearly against the spirit of a Naga solution which the NSCN and the Naga people are striving for.

His misinterpretation of the already agreed competencies including the PNH and integration has come as a shock to the NSCN and the Naga people," the NSCN-IM added.

The press note then said the "surreptitious" activities of the Representative of the Government of Indisa with the "so called NNPGs" and his intention of signing an agreement with these factions will surely undermine the sanctity of the Framework Agreement "which was witnessed by the leaders of the Government of India including the PM of India.

The NSCN-IM added that most of the contents in the Government of India's proposal which was submitted during RS.Pandey's time was per se not acceptable to the NSCN-IM, however, the NSCN-IM and its leadership decided to expand the proposal for an acceptable and honourable political settlement of the two entities based on the principle of "Shared Sovereignty".

It was high point in the statesmanship of both the parties that the Framework Agreement was signed.

The NSCN-IM then said it values "the fact that the political dialogue had started in 1997 at the highest level, without precondition and outside India in a third country".

The political negotiation has taken 22 years but in spite of this extended period of political negotiation the NSCN-IM considers it realistic and pragmatic that during this period the Government of India recognized of the unique history and situation of the Nagas and subsequently signed the Framework Agreement, the NSCN-IM added.

The NSCN-IM also said it is patient and "we have not deviated from the Framework Agreement neither is there any change in our position nor have we changed the "goalposts" as stated by the Representative of the Government of India" .

According to the NSCN-IM, the Naga people and the NSCN-IM are ready if the final political solution is acceptable and honourable to the Naga people.

"However, observing the activities of the Representative of the Government of India and the MHA the political dialogue can be derailed if he is allowed to act recklessly and if the latter is made to function with impunity"," the NSCN-IM cautioned.

"It may be mentioned that the directive of the MHA to the Nagaland Government questioning the presence of our leadership in Dimapur, Nagaland (MHA Letter No.9/1/2007-1 dated Feb, 11 2020) is a serious insult to the Naga people as the NSCN leadership is in India on the official invitation of the Government of India which was amongst others officially mentioned in the July 11, 2002 Amsterdam Joint communiqu� and the Memorandum Of Understanding Dated: 18 November 2002, Milan, Italy.

Those are but only few incidences of the Government of India showing its hypocrisy and double standards.

The other glaring examples includes the past handiwork of the Government of India and its agencies in arresting and imprisoning our Chief Negotiator in Thailand and putting in jail one of our go-between after accusing him as 'terrorist'", the NSCN-IM added.

It then asked, "History is being repeated, but at what cost will it be"? According to the NSCN-IM, twenty two years of political negotiation is not a sign of weakness, neither is it a politics of delay.

"The NSCN considering contemporary realities and to end the decades old violent confrontation, a situation created by India through its militarization policy in Naga areas, decided to respond to the proposal and we have been very patient.

However, patience has its limit.

In the face of all this uncalled-for provocation by the Government of India, its representative, the MHA and its agencies the NSCN and its leadership have been patient and as always shall strive for an acceptable and honourable political Naga solution," it asserted.

The NSCN-IM then said that the Government of India must be bold enough to take a wise political decision to conclude an acceptable and honourable political settlement based on the Framework Agreement and respecting the national identity of the Naga people instead of delaying the peace talks and misinterpreting the Framework Agreement.

"We have given this statement to inform the Government of India and its leadership in New Delhi to sincerely update itself on the ground realities and the progress of the political dialogue and strife to direct the Indo-Naga political talks towards its logical conclusion," it added.

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