M-GoI gear up for crucial 3rd round talk
Both parties rule out involvement of third party in peace parleys

Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal, January 09: With the ceasefire between Government of India and NSCN (I-M) due to expire on January 31, the two parties will be holding the next round of talks to decide the fate of the current peace process in the third week of this month at Bangkok.

Contrary to speculations doing the round, the two parties have also ruled out involvement of any third party during the talks.

In a telephonic conversation with The Sangai Express, deputy kilonser (home) of the outfit, V Horam informed that though a definite date has not been finalised, the next round of talks between the NSCN (I-M) and the Government of India to find a solution to the age old Naga political problem and to see if the current ceasefire can be extended or not would be held at Bangkok in the third week of this month.

The talk this time would be a crucial one and the main focus would be on the ceasefire, he said, adding that there has been no official intimation as to who would be taking part in the talks from the side of the Government of India.

It would be too early to say what would be the outcome of the talks, he said, adding that what the NSCN (I-M) wants is to bring about an early solution to the Naga political issue.

Replying to a question on the remarks made by general secretary of the outfit Thuingaleng Muivah on the uncertainty of extending ceasefire, Horam asserted that NSCN (I-M) had agreed to sign the ceasefire pact with the main purpose of creating a conducive atmosphere towards bringing about a solution to the vexed Naga issue and India is taking more time to consider the matter.

Nonetheless, both the sides have agreed to work out a solution, he added.

He further said the opinions of the International experts are taken into account in the ongoing peace talks.

However, there has been no suggestion of including a third party in the talks nor has the outfit proposed such a move to the Indian Government, he clarified.

To another question, the deputy kilonser said the final judgement on James Kuki, the main accused in the Lungnila Elizabeth murder case, who is on parole of the outfit, is yet to be delivered.

The third round of talk assumes great significance in the backdrop of the recent ultimatum served by the NSCN (IM) general secretary that the current ceasefire will not be extended if a tangible solution is not worked out within January 31, the date the cease fire period ends.

The main demand of the NSCN (IM) is the integration of all Naga inhabited areas under one political unit.

This has been strongly opposed by the neighbouring States of Assam, Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh.