Aug 21, 2007

Naga: Leaders Call for Integration as Solution to Conflict

In an interview with the Indian press, the Naga leadership has stated confederation within a wider Indian state is the best way forward.

In an interview with the Indian press, the Naga leadership has stated confederation within a wider Indian state is the best way forward.

Below is an article written by Sanjay Kumar and published by 

In an exclusive interaction with ANI after the recent extension of the Naga ceasefire for an indefinite period recently National Socialist Council of Nagaland or NSCN(IM) leaders Isak Chishi Swu, Chairman and Thuingaleng Muivah, General Secretary […] said the "ball is in the centre's court" and they have taken "necessary positive steps and we have done all we could do" to make the talks progress."

"Reality of Naga history has to be recognized. They have to recognize the uniqueness of the Naga history. Meaning Naga has never been part of Indian union in the past and present. This reality must be respected by India first," asserted Muivah. 

He further said that the Indian government should stop dividing Nagas.


During the 45-minute interview at the Hebron Camp on the outskirts of Dimapur, both Naga leaders expressed displeasure with the Central Government's approach. They said that the Government does not have "guts" to make any bold and positive move to solve the five decade long conflict. 

Elaborating his point, Muivah said: "We have given them bottom line and below that we can't go and important step for this is integration of Naga areas, Naga homeland."

"We want neither secession nor separation. We want to be there as two entities. We have our own constitution and they (India) have their own and there will be some arrangement .Things which can be written in our own constitution and things which can be written in their Constitution, said NSCN (IM) Chairman Isak Chishi Swu. 

Making the point more clear, Muivah underlined that "relations should be determined in such a way that a sort of federation of India and federation of Nagaland not the federation within the federal structure of India. The Federation of India on the one side and federation of Nagalaim on the other."

The Naga leaders accepted that the younger generation of the Nagas is not so passionate about the demand for Nagalim and the NSCN(IM) ideological position. 

"We all wishes to have consultations with people. But youngsters don't understand us because they are paying attention to their studies. But we have been talking to the public," asserted Swu.

Naga leaders were very upset with the Indian government for what they believe is the arms and material support to the rival Khaplang faction. 

"Giving arms and ammunition to them-keeping NSCN(K) cadres outside the Hebron Camp. They are attacking us. Where is the sincerity on the part of the government? Controlling them is in the hands of the Indian government", said Muivah in a choked voice.

The next round of Naga talks is expected to be held in the first week of September. 

Naga leader have been holding talks with the central government since 1997 when the ceasefire came into existence. So far many rounds of talks have been held in India and abroad.

In the previous round of talks, the NSCN-IM had submitted a charter of demands to the government, including creation of a separate Constitution for Nagaland, a "new and unique" relationship with New Delhi and unification of Naga- inhabitated areas of Manipur, Arunachal Pradesh and Assam. 

But these three states have rejected such demands.

In the Bangkok talks held last year, both sides had agreed on a broad framework to define a relationship that could end Naga insurgency. 

There was, however, confusion over the parameters of the broad framework.

Muivah arrived in India in December last year [2006], while Swu came to the country in the first week of January. Since then, they have been in Nagaland for discussions with NSCN-IM cadres and civil society and political leaders on the group's key demands.