Jun 01, 2004

Naga: Phased settlement likely

Naga Leaders Thuingaleng Muivah and Isak Chisi Swu said the NSCN (IM) was clearly opposed to the idea of inclusion of other groups in the talks on the ground that it would rather magnify than solve the problem
Dimapur, May 30: Senior NSCN (IM) leader and newly inducted Kilo Kilonser Rh Raising has said that political settlement requires a formula and has indicated the possibility of a “Phase-wise formula” for a settlement of the Naga political issue.

“It can be a probable option and depending on the objective condition we may go to that extent”, Raising said during an informal interaction with this reporter recently but he refused to divulge the specifics of the formula.

Raising, a key figure of the NSCN (IM) delegation involved in the dialogue process with the Government of India has also dismissed reports that the group was making concessions on the sovereignty and integration issue. “We are working for a solution without betraying the principles that Naga political issue is based on”, he said and reiterated that both sovereignty and integration were part of the solution.

When specifically asked on whether there had been any discussion or proposal for a settlement within the Indian Union but outside of the constitution, Raising replied that a “series of discussion touching on some important issues” were held which were yet to be concretized. “Everybody is fond of talking of independence and sovereignty of Nagalim, but no one talks of the strategy or formula of how it is to be materialized”, Raising said while reiterating that based on the will of the people the NSCN, was trying to explore any possible formula to bring a lasting solution.

Pointing out that the NSCN (IM) had opted for a solution through mutual consent of the two contending parties in bilateral talks, Raising hinted at the possibility of bringing in an ‘external guarantor’ in later stages of the ongoing peace talks. “This is a global practice while signing political accords that you bring in a third party to safeguard the agreement in order to guarantee that the accord arrived at between the two parties is implemented fully and without any hindrance” the Kilo Kilonser said.

Raising, who is considered to be a possible successor to the mantle of the NSCN stalwarts, Thuingaleng Muivah and Isak Chisi Swu when asked about the suggestion from certain quarters that the ambit of talks be extended to cover all insurgent Naga groups, said the NSCN (IM) was clearly opposed to the idea of inclusion of other groups in the talks on the ground that it would rather magnify than solve the problem. “It is a fact that NNC has accepted the Indian constitution and the Khaplang’s group is the surrogate child of the Indian intelligent wing. And Mr SC Jamir is the strong advocate of the two groups who have fallen from grace,” he said.

When asked why the NSCN (IM) did not call for boycott of the recent Assembly and Parliamentary elections, Raising replied that it was political “expediency” which went into the decision not to give a boycott call this time. He however said that the NSCN (IM) still stood by the principle, solution not election. “But one should understand the difference between the principle and the expediency”
When queried on the recent controversy over the 16-Point Agreement, Raising said Nagas had to take a stand based on principles without which all talk of ‘political salvation’ would be meaningless and described the accord signed in 1960 as a betrayal. “The 16-Point-Agreement was purchased at the cost of Naga principle”, he said describing it as a mere economic package which had ignored the political aspirations of the Naga people.

Raising also dismissed the claims made by the former Congress chief minister for the ceasefire initiative and said the proposal had come from the Government of India. “The ceasefire never came through Jamir”.

Source: Free Imphal Press