GOI-NSCN (IM) talks held at Kohima; Muivah blames Manipur Govt for the crisis
Source: Oken Jeet Sandham (NEPS) *

Kohima, June 01 2010: The Government of India has created history by holding a historic political talk for the first time with the representatives of the NSCN (IM) here at The Heritage, Old DC Bungalow on Tuesday.

The representatives of the Government of India were headed by interlocutor RS Pandey, former Chief Secretary of Nagaland, and the 12-Member NSCN (IM) team by their General Secretary Thuingaleng Muivah.

Both sides have agreed to address the problems facing them while trying to find solution to the protracted Naga issue.

The Kohima talks assumed significance in view of the current crisis that erupted in Manipur following Manipur Government's banning of Muivah from visiting his native village, Somdal in Manipur.

NSCN (IM) General Secretary Th Muivah (left) and Center's Interlocutor RS Pandey (right) seen coming out after talks to address Joint Press Conference at The Heritage, Old DC Bungalow, Kohima on June 1, 2010
Pix by Oken Jeet Sandham

The NSCN (IM) General Secretary Th Muivah has been camping at Viswema village, few kilometers away from Manipur border, Mao since May 5.But the situation became volatile following the killing of two students by Manipur armed forces at Mao Gate on May 6 last.

And Naga civil societies, Nagaland Government and Central leaders including PMO have since requested Muivah to postpone his proposed visit to Somdal till the situation returned to normalcy.

By he refused their requests.

The Kohima talks are seen to break the stalemate.

Addressing a joint press conference here at The Heritage, Old DC Bungalow, after holding talks between them, Pandey admitted that the current problem facing them as "sensitive" but disclosed that both sides agreed to address them.

They would continue pursuing negotiations to make all possible efforts for an early solution and would not allow distraction to come in, Pandey said.

Pandey also disclosed that there would be no imposition on either side while trying to find solution to the issue.

"We would find solution to the Naga issue that is honorable and acceptable on the basis of the uniqueness of the Naga history," the Government of India interlocutor said.

Making the Government of India stand very clear, Pandey said Naga sovereignty was out of question while also stating that "without political consensus, boundaries of Northeast (States) cannot be changed" .

"The sovereignty and unity of India has to be maintained," he said.

"Yet all possible efforts to meet the aspiration of the Nagas would be explored" .

Muivah, however, pointed out that they did not rule out the Naga sovereignty and integration issues.

"The sovereignty of the Naga people lies with the Naga people and not with others," he stated.

With regard to the Naga integration, he explained that it was quite natural for the Nagas not to be divided, while also agreeing that the Government of India had lot of difficulties to come over.

The aspiration of the Naga people to live together should be respected, he added.

With regard to the current crisis after Manipur Government's banning of his entry to his native village Somdal in Manipur's Ukhrul district, The NSCN (IM) supremo said the problem was created by the Manipur Government and it should be solved by them with the Government of India.

But it was very unfortunate the armed forces of Manipur smashed the Naga peace procession, killing two students and injuring about 100 at Mao Gate on May 6 last.

It would take time to heal it, he stated.

Surprisingly, the Center's interlocutor has not mentioned anything as to how the ongoing economic blockades on the Manipur's National Highways 39 and 53 would be resolved.

The Kohima talk is the 4th one after Muivah arrived at Delhi this time and they would soon be having for the 5th one at Delhi and for which, the Government of India has invited Muivah to come to Delhi, Pandey disclosed.

Confirming the invitation for the next round of talks at Delhi, Muivah, however, stated he needed more consultative meetings with the Naga publics before holding for the next round of talks at Delhi.

The NSCN (IM) General Secretary called Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh as "sincere and serious this time" to the protracted Naga issue.

* The sender of this news can be contacted at nepsonline(at)yahoo(dot)com .