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The Economic Times

Govt determined to conclude Naga pact, endless negotiation under shadow of guns not acceptable: RN Ravi

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GUWAHATI: Interlocutor for the Naga peace talks, RN Ravi on Friday said that the NSCN (I-M) (The National Socialist Council of Nagaland) has adopted a procrastinating attitude to delay the settlement raising the contentious symbolic issues of separate Naga national flag and constitution on which they are fully aware of the Government of India’s position. They have dragged in the Framework Agreement and began adding to it.

Ravi - who is also the Governor of Nagaland - in a statement said that under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, he has been determined and diligent to honourably conclude the Naga Peace Process, which has been going for over 22 years.

He added that as a result the Naga Peace Process, in the last five years, has become truly inclusive and reached its final stages. All Naga armed groups are engaged with the Government of India’s Interlocutor and have worked out a draft of the final settlement. Primary stakeholders - tribal and civil society organisations from Nagaland, Manipur, Arunachal Pradesh and Assam - were involved in the Peace Process and made valuable contributions through regular consultations and insightful inputs.

He further said it is a matter of great satisfaction that agreements - with NSCN (I- M) on August 3, 2015 and with seven Naga armed groups under the banner of Working Committee (WC) of Naga National Political Groups (NNPGs) on November 17, 2017 – on the political parameters of the settlement were signed.

“A mutually agreed draft comprehensive settlement, including all the substantive issues and competencies, is ready for inking the final agreement.”

He added, “Some NSCN (I-M) leaders through various media platforms are misleading the people with absurd assumptions and presumptions over what they have already agreed with the Government of India”.

The statement added in view of such unfortunate attitude of some NSCN (I-M) leaders, Ravi held a detailed consultation meeting with the primary stakeholders of the Naga society on the October 18, 2019 in Kohima. The meeting was attended by the apex leadership of all the 14 Naga tribes of Nagaland, all the minority non-Naga tribes of Nagaland, the Nagaland GB (Goan Burah) Federation, the Nagaland Tribes Council, the Church leaders and Civil Society Organizations. The Framework Agreement with the (NSCN I-M) and the Agreed Position with the Working Committee of NNPGs were extensively shared with the leaders, pertinent issues discussed and doubts on competencies clarified.

The statement said that political maturity and wisdom of the Naga leaders who expressed their overwhelming support in favour of a settlement without any further delay is deeply appreciated. “Respecting the Naga people’s wishes, the Government of India is determined to conclude the Peace Process without delay."

Endless negotiation under the shadow of guns is not acceptable. The Government of India expect all negotiating parties to heed the will of the people, and facilitate conclusion of the Naga Peace Process within the stipulated time.”

While the government is looking to wrap up talks as soon as possible, NSCN-IM and Naga Hoho, the apex tribal body of Nagas, has categorically made it clear "any accord that does not honour the Nagas' legitimate rights for integration, separate Naga flag and constitution is neither honourable nor acceptable to the Nagas".

NSCN-IM in a statement on Thursday stated that Government of India and her agencies are at work sleeplessly to exploit vulnerabilities to pull away many Naga individuals or groups with monetary baits and other highly rated economic packages.

In a statement NSCN-IM stated, “Given the fact that Nagas are driven to the point where we have to decide which way to go - either we allow ourselves to be exploited because of our insanity or we decide ourselves by taking the right decision at the right time.”
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