Naga Talks Set to Continue outside India
The NSCN-I-M led by Isak Chishi Swu and Thuingaleng Muivah, has been engaged in peace talks after entering into a cease-fire with the government in 1997. The cease-fire ends July 31.
“Talks with Indian government representatives are likely to be held soon outside India although the date or venue has not yet been fixed,” senior NSCN-I-M leader, R H Raising told IANS over telephone.
“There is no reason why we should not extend the cease-fire by another year as we are committed to finding an acceptable political solution,” he added.
NSCN-I-M leaders have held several rounds of talks with the government emissaries although nothing concrete has emerged.
Muivah left for Amsterdam last week. Both Swu and Muivah have been living in self-imposed exile in South-East Asian cities for the past 37 years although the duo came to India for talks in December at the invitation of the Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh.
“The ball is now in New Delhi’s court as we have already made our point very clear to the Indian government. The progress of the talks has been rather slow, but we are still hopeful of a solution,” Rasing said.
The negotiations reached a deadlock with the government virtually turning down the rebel group’s demand for redrawing the map of the North-East.
The NSCN-I-M, the oldest and considered the most powerful of around 30 rebel groups in the northeastern states, wants the creation of a ‘Greater Nagaland’ by slicing off parts of neighbouring Assam, Manipur, and Arunachal Pradesh that has a sizeable Naga tribal population.
The governments of Assam, Manipur, and Arunachal Pradesh have rejected the NSCN-I-M demand for unification of the Naga-dominated areas.
“There cannot be any solution without unification of the Naga-inhabited areas as the Nagas have the right to live under one umbrella,” Rasing said.
More than 25,000 people have lost their lives to insurgency in Nagaland since 1947.
Source: Navhind Times