Nagalim: NSCN (IM) Celebrate Republic Day As Talks Continue
Below is an article published by Asian Tribune :
The observance of the 30th Naga Republic Day Celebrations on March 21 in Nagaland by two NSCN factions is remarkable for the fact that the two celebrations organized in their respective Camps were addressed by their respective Prime Ministers.
Prime Minister of NSCN (IM) Th Muivah addressed the 30th Naga Republic Day Celebration at their Camp Hebron, while Prime Minister of NSCN (K) N Kitovi Zhimomi at their Camp Khehoi. The celebrations also assumed significance in view of New Delhi’s ongoing peace process with the NSCN (IM) and also its ongoing truce with NSCN (K).
Yet, if the speeches delivered by both the PMs of the two NSCNs are closely studied, things do not augur well. It appears that things aren’t going to the direction as expected, though there has been, no doubt, a marked progress in New Delhi’s talks with the NSCN (IM).
Because as per the statement made by NSCN (K) Prime Minister N Kitovi Zhimomi while addressing the 30th Naga Republic Day on March 21 at Camp Khehoi, the solution with one group would lead to another “bloodshed.” A veil threat indeed to New Delhi’s current talks with the NSCN (IM).
On the other hand, New Delhi’s talks with the NSCN (IM) have progressed to certain level and Muivah’s praising Indian leaders particularly Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh and Home Minister P Chidambaram is “unprecedented” this time.
As soon as he arrived at Delhi from Amsterdam, he held fresh rounds of talks with Indian top leaders at Delhi. The Government of India and the NSCN (IM) were committed to solving the Naga problem and the Indian leaders were more serious this time to resolve the issue, he said while addressing the gathering on the occasion of the 30th Naga Republic Day Celebration on March 21 at Camp Hebron.
His remarks have plainly shown that both sides have reached to certain but crucial level as far as solution to the Naga political issue is concerned. The biggest hurdle coming on the way is its rival group---the NSCN (K), whose top leaders’ agenda to Naga solution is nothing less than the “Naga sovereignty.” Zhimomi even said their organization (NSCN-K) would welcome the “other Naga group” holding talks with New Delhi, if they could bring “sovereignty” to the Nagas. This is something New Delhi has outrightly rejected.
Historically, the Naga political movement was started for a “Naga sovereign nation.” The past leaders including legendary Naga freedom fighter AZ Phizo put their best to resolve the issue. Today, the issue has really become a critically complex one.
The situation of the current political negotiation, though the Government of India announced that solution would be found within 12 to 24 months, is still fragile. Having seen the warning sounded by the NSCN (K) leader Zhimomi, New Delhi’s political negotiation with the NSCN (IM) leaderships would face many hurdles and may lose its path in the maze of complex situations if they fail to handle the fast developing situation carefully. They both need careful study before making another move.
Zhimomi had even gone further in cautioning the Naga civil societies that in the event of their supporting to one group for solution, “they will also be (held) responsible for any bloodshed that comes.” He cited examples of the past accords---like the 16-Point Agreement, The Shillong Accord, etc---that led to more mistrust and bloodsheds among the Nagas. “An accord was signed with India and bloodshed had flowed,” he recalled and asked, “Do we need another accord to start another round of bloodshed.”
In recent times, of course, New Delhi has categorically told that final solution to the vexed Naga political issue would only come about when they could talk to the entire Naga underground groups. And NSCN (K) asserts that unity amongst the Naga underground groups should precede the talk with New Delhi.
It is a gruesome reminder that many Naga underground cadres belonging to various factions lost their precious lives due to fierce factional fights. This madness had not only widened gaps between them but also inflicted badly to the psyche of the innocent civilians.
Today, over the last one year, a semblance of peace is seen throughout the length and breath of Nagaland. The general publics feel more secure. Factional killings has almost stopped and in fact on many occasions, functionaries from both factions formed a team and played football match against the team drawn up from civil societies.
The credit of creating such environment should go to the Forum for Naga Reconciliation (FNR). They have been playing a very important role in bring leaders of various Naga underground groups to come closer and even successfully constituted “Joint Working Group” of various underground groups.
However, the NSCN (K) leaderships are still asking the validity of the NSCN (IM)’s continuing talks with New Delhi, while searching for “Reconciliation.” They feel that real reconciliation can only come about if the other group withdraws from the talks with New Delhi.
It is still unpredictable as to where the talks will be heading to if one sees the hardening posture, contradicting to the agenda of the current talks. Unfortunately, nobody is around to menad their ways.