Naga Leaders Demand Referendum on Nagalim
Naga separatist leaders of the NSCN(IM) have threatened to continue their agitation for 50 more years if their demands are not met.
NSCN(IM) chief Thuingaleng Muivah raised the tenor of his speech on Nagalim. One of his demands is integration of the Naga inhabited areas of the neighbouring states of Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur and Assam.
The Government says Nagalim is possible only through consensus but Muivah is demanding a referendum in Naga-majority areas.
"If it's to be done for the right of the land then a referendum should be held. Yes we raised this, we have made this point very clear," said Th Muivah, General Secretary, NSCN (IM).
It's an aggressive stance, but the government says it's not a cause for concern.
"This thing has been going on for a long time, so the road to final peace settlement can't be easy or just cannot be on the platter. We've had several rounds of talks with the IM and I would say on balance the talks were quite constructive. They have expressed a view which has come on the newspapers also, we have heard that view but we are not giving up on anything like peace cannot be achieved," said R K Duggal, Union Home Secretary.
Seven years of peace talks seems a long time to resolve any problem, but for now both sides appear willing to wait.
Muivah's announcement that the NSCN(IM) is ready to fight for another fifty years if its demands are not met may have been a strident one.
But it's clearly a cosmetic gesture meant to retain the role of champion in the eyes of the Nagas.