Naga cease-fire is in crisis, says Muivah

November 14th, 2007 - 3:02 am ICT by admin  
New Delhi, Oct 29 (ANI): National Socialist Council of Nagaland (Isak-Muivah) or NSCN(IM) General Secreatry,Thuingaleng Muivah, has accepted for the first time, that ten years of Indo-Naga peace talks are in crisis.

In an exclusive interview with ANI, Muivah said the Central Government should not have any “miscalculation about our patience”, and added that if it can’t maintain “sincerity” in talks, it’s no use “talking”.

To a specific question whether the peace talks are at a precarious stage, he replied “I think you are right…it’s not easy to expect better chances, it’s better to try”.

He said in the eventuality of a breakdown in talks, the NSCN (IM) cadres would be forced to go back into the jungles. Blaming the government for testing the patience of the Naga people, the veteran insurgent leader questioned the “guts” of the Indian leadership to solve the six-decade-old problem.

“We have given our commitment, and for the last ten years, we have been talking and talking, how are they behaving. They are giving arms and ammunition to the K group and K is fighting with us. Where is the sincerity and where is the standard…you can’t ask us to behave with the kind of policy. We will be compelled .We won’t accept any imposition on us. Naturally, we will have to decide what is best for us. If the jungle is better, we have to go. You can’t afford to be seen to be bearing with the Indian insult. We have had enough patience…cease-fire is in crisis,” said an agitated Muivah.

Muivah justified the sudden disappearance of NSCN(IM) Chairman Isac Chisi Swu from India on the ground of the Naga leader’s frustration with the pace and progress of talks.

“We have to know that when the Government of India is not respecting at all. They are just holding talks in name to buy time, you can’t be expected to be happy with that kind of policy. If the Indian Government does not care about any one, Chairman Isac Chisi Swu should not be expected to care for India,” Muivah said.

He also revealed his plan to go to Europe if there is no progress in the talks.

“Yes, if nothing positive happens, I need to go off for sometime, and whenever necessary, we can come back,” the Naga leader reasoned.

Narrating the “bold steps” taken and the flexibility shown by the NSCN(IM) in the last ten years since the beginning of the cease-fire to solve the Naga problem, Muivah said the Nagas don’t want to be a threat to India .

He talked about a “federation which will bind India and Nagaland in such a way that neither side is a detriment to the interest of the other.

“That means almost becoming one,” he added.

According to Muivah, among the bold steps taken by his outfit to solve the vexed problems were giving India the right to defend Nagalim, complete right of the central government to determine foreign policy vis-a-vis Nagalim, the Nagas’ willingness to accept Indian currency, the Nagas right to preserve their identity and the Nagas acceptance of dual citizenship-citizen of India and Nagalim both.

“The relationship should be of a special type - a federation of India and Nagalim to be bound. So, problems of India’s apprehensions are all solved. This is what we want and what we can do. But instead of appreciating us, they ( Government) have their own calculations that the Nagas would come around…that would be a terrible mistake in their calculations”, warned Muivah.

During the hour-long interview, Muivah appeared quite bitter with the Indian Government’s response on Nagalim or what is more popularly known as “Greater Nagaland”.

He said that by dividing Naga contiguous areas into different states, the government has heaped insult on the peace loving people of Nagaland.

This is for the first time NSCN(IM) leader has spoken so openly on the status of the Naga talks.

The two sides recently concluded talks on the ninth of this month. A glimmer of hope, however, seems to be there with both parties deciding to form committees to discuss core issues. The discussion in the committees will decide the contour of the next round of talks.

When the ceasefire was extended for the indefinite period on July 31, it was hailed as a landmark development.In the previous round of talks held abroad and in New Delhi, the NSCN-IM had submitted a charter of demands to the Government that included the creation of a separate Constitution for Nagaland, a “new and unique” relationship with New Delhi and unification of Naga-inhabited areas of Manipur, Arunachal Pradesh and Assam.

But these three states have rejected the demand.

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, 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. (ANI)

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