Nagalim: NSCN-IM and Indian Government Had `Serious Discussions`
Below is an article published by Zee News:
After the two-day talks between the centre`s representatives, led by Labour Minister Oscar Fernandes, and a NSCN-IM team headed by chairman Isaac Chisi Swu and general secretary Thuingaleng Muivah, both sides agreed to meet again early next year to carry forward the peace process in the northeastern state, sources said.
"Both sides had serious discussions during this round of talks," a source said.
The talks, which started in 1997, had entered a "critical" stage despite differences on several key issues including unification of all Naga-inhabited areas of the northeast, the sources said.
The rebels are understood to have raised the issue of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh`s recent statement in Imphal, where he reportedly said New Delhi would not do anything "which will harm the sentiments of the people of Manipur".
NSCN-IM`s vision of an integrated Naga homeland includes parts of Manipur, Arunachal Pradesh and Assam.
Both sides are understood to have discussed the limits of flexibility within the constitution and whether a "sub- national constitution" could be accommodated within it.
This has become a thorny issue as the NSCN-IM has proposed a federal relationship with the Indian union, they said.
Reports of major clashes between cadres of the NSCN-IM and its rival NSCN-Khaplang, which resulted in the death of several people in the recent past, also figured in the talks.
The meeting reviewed progress made since the NSCN-IM submitted a 20-point charter of demands to the centre.
In this charter, the NSCN-IM had sought the unification of all Naga-inhabited areas of the northeast, separate representation at the un and greater rights over natural resources, finance, defence and policing.
The NSCN-IM agreed to a ceasefire with the centre in august 1997 and the two sides have held numerous rounds of talks within