Nagalim: No Dates yet for Talks with Naga Rebels
Two weeks have elapsed since exiled Naga separatist leader Thuingaleng Muivah arrived in New Delhi from Amsterdam, but there is no sign yet of peace talks between the government and the rebel leadership.
'No dates have been so far been fixed for talks,' Phunthing Shimrang, a senior leader of the Isak-Muivah faction of the National Socialist Council of Nagaland (NSCN-IM), told IANS.
Muivah is currently in
But despite no formal dates fixed for talks, the mood in Nagaland is not despondent.
'We are not disheartened at all and we take this silence as some sort of a quiet expectation of something positive to happen,' N. Krome, president of the Naga Hoho, the apex tribal council in Nagaland, said.
The delay in setting a date for talks by the central government seems deliberate with Manipur going to the polls in February.
'The Naga issue is inter-linked with Manipur as the NSCN-IM is demanding integration of Naga inhabited areas in the northeast. Any wrong move could spark angry protests and could spoil the chances of the ruling Congress party in Manipur in the upcoming elections and hence an intentional delay in holding talks,' a Naga church leader said.
The NSCN-IM has been struggling for nearly six decades to create a 'Greater Nagaland' by slicing off parts of three neighboring states to unite 1.2 million Nagas.
The demand is strongly opposed by the states of
'There cannot be any compromise on our demand. It is the historical rights of the Nagas residing in the northeast to stay under one administrative set up,' another senior NSCN-IM leader said.
Despite the optimism expressed by some of the Naga leaders, there is an undercurrent of tension with factional fights over territorial supremacy between the two rival NSCN factions that claimed more than 200 lives in the past five years.
'Differences between two groups are unavoidable considering the nature of the conflict,' the Naga Hoho leader said.
'But there has to be a meeting point where the two groups have to come together for the largest interest of the people and their aspirations.'
The rival NSCN faction led by guerrilla leader S.S. Khaplang had threatened to assassinate Muivah if he visits Nagaland.
But despite the threat, Muivah is expected to arrive in
'Our leader is coming to Nagaland shortly although a formal date is yet to be worked out,' Shimrang said.The violent insurgency in Nagaland has claimed around 25,000 lives since the country's independence in 1947.