Mar 14, 2005

Nagalim: Leaders Meet Indian MP's

Isak-Muivah met eight parliamentarians from the North-Eastern states of India
The National Socialist Council of Nagalim (Isak-Muivah) yesterday made its dinner-diplomacy debut by hosting a gathering of eight parliamentarians from the northeastern states and Goa, all of whom extended support to the Naga peace process.

A source in the NSCN (I-M) said the MPs from Meghalaya, Mizoram, Manipur, Nagaland and Goa informally interacted with the outfit’s general secretary, Thuingaleng Muivah, and other leaders.

Former Lok Sabha Speaker Purno A. Sangma and Goa MP Eduardo Faleiro made short speeches on the Naga issue.

The outfit had invited nearly 20 Christian MPs from across the country to the meeting. “All of them were very positive about the ongoing peace process,” the NSCN (I-M) source said over phone from New Delhi, where the outfit has set up an office.

The parliamentarians, both from the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha, were briefed on the “historical background of the Nagas”.

The NSCN (I-M) is hoping these MPs will “spread the word”, which, in turn, could influence Parliament’s decision on the issue

“Faleiro is of the view that peace talks may be held within the purview of the Constitution till an agreement is arrived at. The relevant clauses can be amended later,” Nagaland’s lone Rajya Sabha member T.R.Zeliang said.

Muivah and his aides raised the contentious subject of integrating Naga-inhabited areas, too. “They gave us a lecture on their vision of ‘Nagalim’. But it will be inappropriate for us to comment on it because the peace talks are in progress,” Lalmingliana, the Rajya Sabha MP from Mizoram, said over phone.

The Mizo parliamentarian said a political consensus on the Naga issue would depend largely on the outfit’s efforts.

Lalmingliana assisted the Mizo National Front leader Laldenga when the erstwhile insurgent group was engaged in a dialogue with Delhi.

Several of the 20 MPs invited to last evening’s programme, including Union minister Oscar Fernandez and former defence minister George Fernandes, could not turn up because Parliament proceedings continued late into the evening.

The NSCN (I-M), however, appears to be happy with the beginning of the diplomatic exercise it has initiated. Over the last two years, the outfit’s top guns have met leaders across the political spectrum. More such meetings are being planned.


Source: The Telegraph