TODAY -

Naga CM gets flak from NNPG for saying Naga talks 'deadlocked'

Nirendra Dev *



“Generalising Naga issue as deadlocked is uncalled for," the Working Committee of NNPG said in a statement on Dec 7, 2023 blasting Nagaland Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio for his remarks.

Joining the issue with NDPP stalwart Rio, who is in power since 2003 barring a small spell, the umbrella organisation of seven Naga militant groups said, "He (Rio) must ensure a legacy of straight talk, insist on practical, honourable and acceptable political solutions".

Taking strong exceptions to Chief Minister's statement recently that the Naga peace talks is 'deadlocked', the NNPG led by N Kitovi Zhimomi said, Rio and his cabinet colleagues had briefed the NNPG delegation in New Delhi on October 13, 2021, that first real achievement of Rio government was "removing RN Ravi" from gubernatorial role in Nagaland in order to ensure that the “Indo-Naga political issue could be resolved at the earliest”.

Asserting that Nagas are physically and mentally prepared for Indo-Naga political agreement to begin an enduring peaceful co-existence, the NNPG urged the Nagaland CM, who "having pledged to uphold and defend the Indian constitution, must avoid indulging in insensitive passive political innuendos which pleases only anti-Naga solution elements in the NSCN-IM from Manipur state".

The NNPG pointed out that Article 371(A) solely existed for Nagaland and, unless driven by extreme jealousy, it wondered “why would Manipur Nagas or other Nagas cry hoarse over it” when Nagas of Nagaland deemed it as having unique sovereign power over land and resources.

The WC also reminded that it had raised the bar during negotiations by expanding the same historical and political rights to Nagas in different states, and so demanded wanted to know who was fooling the Nagas.

“Was it this jealousy which drove an IM leader from Manipur to declare few years ago ‘Nagaland will cease to exist’? The term ‘deadlock’ is a poor substitute for the overwhelming cry for Naga solution,” the NNPG stated.

WC said there was a dire need for a political will on the part of the Central government to announce a political agreement with the Nagas, based on the official announcement of October 31, 2019 with negotiating entities.

While insisting that a new relationship and a fresh beginning must be initiated with the Nagas, WC also emphasised that a strong hope and dream of co-existence and enduring peace must be given to future Naga generations since that was what it had negotiated for.

The NNPG termed CM Rio's 'deadlocked' statement as “misleading and a disservice to the people of Nagaland” while pointing out that the then Governor, R N Ravi, the constitutional head, had announced on the floor of the Assembly in 2021, that political negotiations with all negotiators had concluded.

The WC-NNPGs upheld that the position of Government of India (GoI) is clear in its commitment “towards ushering in honorable and acceptable solutions to the Naga people at the earliest.”

And, “whether the GoI officially conveyed to the CM that the talks are deadlocked, is for him to clarify to the people as a facilitator,” it stated adding that a deadlock will result in one or all parties abrogating the ceasefire, abandon designated camps and resuming the struggle.

The WC-NNPGs also maintained that a solid foundation has been laid through Agreed Position on November 17, 2017 and all possible political and administrative realignments have been dealt through intense negotiations, entrenching Naga history and identity at the core. Former Speaker Lohe says "No leader is indispensable, and can be replaced"

Former Nagaland Speaker Z Lohe, also a former Parliamentary Affairs Minister and chief spokesman of the then SC Jamir Govt, wrote an article stating that ".....whatever might be the magnitude of misunderstanding, there was no dearth of rooms under NNC for resolution (of Naga issue) according to the democratic system of the Nagas.

"No leader is indispensable but replaceable when found wanted. With fortitude, the situation should have been handled by the segments for the sake of the common interest."

Weakening NNC brought tremendous boomerangs to the Nagas irrespective of claims and counter claims.

"Today, the Nagas have to inescapably eat the fruits of what seed of division was sown yesterday. As much as the unity, joy and laughter within a family living under one roof are natural and inevitable that much of the occasional discord, wrangle and clash are natural and unavoidable too.

'Yet, for a communication gap, if a member of the family resorts to burning down or dismantling the family house, it is nothing but treason. What a devastation and what a self-destruction,' Lohe lamented.


* Nirendra Dev wrote this article for e-pao.net
The writer is a New Delhi-based journalist.
and can be contacted at nirendev1(AT)gmail(DOT)com
This article was webcasted on December 09 2023 .



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