Jun 20, 2004

Naga: India - Naga negotiations continue next month

A high-level Indian government team held talks with senior Naga leaders Isak Chisi Swu and Thuingaleng Muivah in Amsterdam from June 23 to 25. The NSCN leaders agreed to carry on the dialogue next month in Bangkok
NEW DELHI, JUNE 28: The Government today said the peace process with the NSCN(I-M) was on track and the two sides will meet again in a month for the next round of talks in Bangkok.

The Centre’s emissary, K. Padmanabhaiah, returned last week from Amsterdam after talks spread over three days with NSCN(I-M) leaders Isak Chisi Swu and Thuingaleng Muivah. Director, IB, K.P. Singh had accompanied him. After submitting his report on the parleys to Home Minister Shivraj Patil today, Padmanabhaiah said both sides had decided to continue talks.

Sources said all issues — including the insurgent group’s contentious demand for Greater Nagaland — were discussed in detail. Though the NSCN leaders agreed to carry on the dialogue, for now, they have refused to come to India. The NSCN leaders had visited New Delhi in January and met then PM A.B. Vajpayee and his deputy, L.K. Advani.

Source: Indian Express


New Delhi, June 21 (IANS) - A high-level Indian government team will leave here Tuesday for the Netherlands to hold peace talks with Naga rebels, the first contact between the two sides since a new government assumed office here last month.

Sources in the home ministry said the team, led by former home secretary K. Padmanabhaiah, would hold talks with senior leaders of the Isak-Muivah faction of the National Socialist Council of Nagaland (NSCN-IM) in Amsterdam June 23-25.

Both Isak Chisi Swu and Thuingaleng Muivah, the NSCN-IM's senior-most leaders, are expected to join the talks, which will focus on extending the ceasefire with the rebel group that is valid till July 31, the sources said.

The Indian government agreed to a truce with the NSCN-IM in July 1997. Since then, the two sides have held several rounds of talks both within and outside the country.

Home Minister Shivraj Patil reviewed the Naga peace process and the law and order situation in the northeastern state of Nagaland at a meeting held here Saturday.

That meeting also decided to continue the negotiations with the rebels.

The talks have, however, run into problems due to the NSCN-IM's demand for the creation of a "Greater Nagaland" comprising parts of Assam, Arunachal Pradesh and Manipur.

The new Congress-led coalition government of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, in its common minimum programme for governance, has said it is committed to maintaining the territorial integrity of the northeastern states, thereby ruling out the creation of a "Greater Nagaland".

This issue and the new government's stance on the peace talks are expected to figure in the discussions at Amsterdam, the sources said.

The talks will also focus on NSCN-IM's other demands, such as a separate flag for the state, they said.

Several Naga civil society groups, like the Naga Hoho or apex tribal council and the Naga Mothers Association, have recently met government leaders here over the past few weeks to press for the creation of a "Greater Nagaland".

Source: NewKerala