Nagalim: Joint Legislators Forum Discusses Inclusion Of Other Groups
In a joint legislators forum with NSCN (I-M), JLF asked all Naga political groups to “join together” to become a strong united Naga nation.
Below is an article published by the Nagaland Post:
A marathon meeting, stretching over three hours, was held between the Joint Legislators Forum (JLF) and representatives of the NSCN (I-M) at the Rhododendron Hall at the Police Officers’ Mess, Chumukedima Monday for an early settlement of the Naga political issue.
According to ‘Lt.Gen’ (Retd) V.S. Atem NSCN(I-M) executive member of its steering committee, the legislators were told that inclusion of other groups in its political talk with Government of India did not arise at the moment.
Atem said that question of inclusion of other Naga political groups would only arise only after other groups first did their “homework”. He however, did not elaborate on what he meant by “homework”
According to Atem, the nature of the ongoing political talks with the government of India would be revealed to other political groups and Nagas only at an appropriate time.
He said while the JLF delegation had expressed the desire for “ a quick solution” to the political negotiations, for which the legislators had passed a resolution that they were prepared to pave way for any alternative arrangement, Atem said that NSCN (I-M) assured them (legislators) that it would try its “level best” to meet their expectations.
He however pointed out that as negotiation was between two parties and therefore, the NSCN (I-M) could not say more on the issue.
Describing the meeting as “share of hearts” between brothers in the family, Atem said that the NSCN (I-M) was happy that JLF members expressed their concern and expectations without any reservation and hesitation.
Meanwhile, talking to Nagaland Post over phone, NSCN (I-M) kilo kilonser T. T. Among pointed out that at the marathon meeting Monday the JLF members expressed the desire for Nagas to unite.
He said the NSCN (I-M) has made its stand clear that it was “always open” for reconciliation as the same was its agenda.
Among asserted that the main agenda of the joint meeting was for an “inclusive” nature of settlement and reiterated the NSCN (I-M) stand that its doors were always open for any suggestion, opinion or proposal that was good for the Nagas.
Nagaland Legislative Assembly Speaker Kiyanilie who heads the JLF, when probed for information, did not divulge much but only said the meeting discussed the Naga political issue and on law and peace process.
He also described Monday’s meeting as “fruitful” and that inclusion of all Naga groups was for the Naga political parties to decide. He reasserted that the JLF was only playing the role of a facilitator by asking all Naga political groups to “join together”.
JLF was represented by 46 legislators led by the Speaker and also included chief minister Neiphiu Rio, state home minister Imkong L. Imchen and opposition leader Tokheho Yepthomi. NSCN (I-M) team was led T.T. Among and steering committee convenor Qhevihe Chishi and 23 other representing kilonsers, steering committee members and secretaries.
It may be mentioned that on August 25, JLF had met NSCN (K) leaders in Mon. At that meeting, NSCN (K) asked JLF as to what basis did they (JLF) approach the centre for an early solution.
NSCN (K) kilonser Wangtin Konyak reportedly told the JLF delegation that NSCN (K) would not accept solution without “sovereignty of Nagas”.
He had also pointed out that the “ongoing talks” were only between the Government of India and NSCN (I-M) but that the latter had so far, not spelt out the contents of its “charter of demands to Nagas and other political parties.”
Wangtin had asserted that NSCN (K) would not be a part of the JLF approach as long as one single party was in talks with the government of India.
Earlier, on August 24, GPRN/NSCN asked JLF to clarify its position on what it meant by ‘alternative arrangement’ and adding that JLF owed it to people to explain its stand.
The GPRN/NSCN stand was conveyed to the JLF at the joint closed-door meeting at Chumukedima Police complex. GPRN/NSCN had also maintained that any solution or agreement arrived at, should be according to Naga Concordant signed by GPRN/NSCN, NSCN (I-M) and NNC/FGN and that any deviation that was “unacceptable”.
It may be recalled that on July 19, the JLF had resolved to pave way for any ‘Alternative Arrangement’ by stepping aside from its present position in the event of a logical conclusion to the ongoing Naga peace process.
The forum had also urged the Naga political groups to “rise above” all differences so that a collective effort was made to bring the political imbroglio to a logical end.
The decision was part of four-point resolutions adopted at the JLF meeting held in Kohima and was endorsed by the chief minister Neiphiu Rio, NPF president Dr. Shürhozelie, NLA speaker Keyanilie Peseyie, leader of opposition Tokheho Yepthomi and NPCC president S.I Jamir.