Apr 10, 2012

Nagalim: Delhi Considers ‘Supra State’ As Solution To Naga Conflict

The Indian Government is considering the creation of a ‘Supra State’ including ‘maximum autonomy and administrative and financial control’ as a potential solution for the Indo-Naga conflict. 

Below is an article published by Zolenghte:

The Centre is reportedly toying with the idea of offering the collective leadership of NSCN (IM) “maximum autonomy with administrative and financial control” over Nagas living outside the existing Nagaland as an alternative to the demand for creation of a greater Nagalim.

The demand for greater Nagalim includes incorporation of Naga-inhabited areas of Manipur, Arunachal Pradesh and Assam.

However, the subject of law and order will remain with the respective state governments.

This is exactly the supra-state model as reported by the Seven Sisters Post in November last year [2011].

Although this time there may be a new nomenclature, the tone and tenor remains the same.

NSCN (IM) general secretary Th Muivah and chairman Isak Chishi Swu, who are here in the national capital to have another round of peace talks with interlocutor RS Pandey, are scheduled to make a courtesy call to Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh and home minister P Chidambaram.

They are also believed to be toying with the idea of meeting some other political leaders and “friends of the Nagas” in the capital during their stay at the 61 Lodhi estate official bungalow.

The Centre has already made it clear to the NSCN (IM) bosses that there would be no redrawing of the existing boundaries of Nagaland and other neighbouring states.

But at the same time, the Union government is ready to amend the Constitution to “accommodate most of their demands” to hammer out an amicable solution.

Sources indicated that as per the proposed offer, the Nagas in the four hill districts of Manipur – Tamenglong, Chandel, Senapati and Ukhrul – will have one administrative unit, and this autonomous council will be responsible for the overall development of the entire Naga areas of Manipur.

The administrative body will get direct funding from the Centre besides government aid to promote art, culture and festivals.

Sources also added that the Eastern Nagaland People’s Organisation (ENPO) that has been demanding a separate Naga state covering four districts of Eastern Nagaland – Mon, Tuensang, Longleng and Kiphire – and two Naga-inhabited districts of Arunachal Pradesh – Changlang and Tirap – may be given the same model of autonomous council as a sol ution to their grievances.

ENPO general secretary Toshi Wongtung, along with other members, has already met the Prime Minister and the home minister and submitted its memorandum, demanding a separate state of “Frontier Nagaland” .

Talking to Seven Sisters Post, Wongtung claimed that “about 45% of the total Naga population live in Eastern Nagaland comprising the four districts of Mon, Tuensang, Longleng and Kiphire” .

“These four districts will be included in the proposed new state and we have the s upport of all the six Naga t ribes – Konyak, Chang, Sangtam, Phom, Yimc hunger and Khiamniungan – living in these four dist ricts.

We also want to incorporate the two Naga-inhabited districts of Arunachal Pradesh – Changlang and Tirap -to the proposed Frontier Nagaland.

They are our brothers and sisters and we want to live together,” said Wongtung.

However, it remains to be seen how the governments of Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh and Assam react to the new proposal.

In fact, the United Naga Council of Manipur, which had organised over 100 days of economic blockade last year demanding an ‘alternative arrangement’ for the Nagas in Manipur, is believed to be ready to accept the Centre’s offer for a separate autonomous council for the Nagas in Manipur.

Once the NSCN (IM) leadership agree to the proposed “autonomous council with full administrative and financial control” as an alternative to Greater Nagalim demand, the Centre is expected to engage all three Congress ruled states of Assam, Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh to explain and convince the state government leaderships for an amicable solution to the six decade-old Naga political problem.

Meanwhile, the NSCN leadership is believed to have intensified its campaign for the formation of an underground GPRN set up involving NNC, NSCN (IM) and the NSCN (Kholey) faction.

The Forum for Naga Reconciliation is also working for this purpose.

If the three factions come together, it will be an advantage for the Nagas to negotiate with the Centre from the position of strength.

This will also allow NSCN bosses to smoothly execute any agreement they sign with the Government of India.