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Naga civil groups: What do they bring to the table?

By Our Reporter Updated: Jul 08, 2017 12:02 am

Staff Reporter
Dimapur, July 7 (EMN): Of the multitude of Naga civil organisations who has had ‘consultations’ with the government of India’s interlocutor for the Naga peace talks, RN Ravi thus far, none of them has managed to offer him with any “concrete solution or suggestion” towards achieving the much-discussed ‘final solution’.
This striking observation was said to have been delivered by RN Ravi himself to members of Against Corruption and Unabated Taxation (ACAUT) on Friday here at police complex, Chumukedima. Coincidentally, Ravi and the ACAUT members were also having a ‘consultation’.
“Of all the issues (that we discussed today), one thing that really strike (sic) us was when he said none of the NGOs had come with a concrete suggestion. Everyone is like generalising the issue and meeting him”, an ACAUT member told reporters after the meeting with Ravi.
None of the civil organisations have told Ravi to ‘do this or do that, if you do this we will oppose it or if you bring this we will accept this’. Ravi, according to the ACAUT members, felt that ‘this has to be worked out’.
Most civil organisations who had met Ravi on Friday refused to talk to reporters stationed outside the hall where the talks were held. They turned down requests from reporters for comments saying the newspapers will receive a press statement in the evening – which usually means sanitised news.
ACAUT was the third group of the day to meet Ravi, and the first to discuss the meeting with reporters. “We told him that ACAUT was the first movement in Nagaland, when framework agreement was signed, to come out openly to congratulate Narendra Modi and Mr Ravi and we welcomed the framework agreement.
“However from day one of signing of the framework agreement, we have our position stating that any solution that is arrived at has to be inclusive, and when we say inclusive it includes all the Naga political groups as well all tribal leaders taken on board”, an ACAUT member said.
Ravi, in response, was said to have stated that the peace talks with NSCN (IM) would go on. “But he also shared the opinion of ACAUT – that any permanent acceptable solution to be arrived at has to be inclusive. That’s what he exactly said. And therefore he is also working how best it can be inclusive and the final settlement can be arrived at”, the ACAUT member informed.
According to the ACAUT members, Ravi “used the word NNPGs” while talking about inclusiveness. “We also apprised him of working out the best on how to bring the NSCN (K) to the negotiation board”, another member of ACAUT informed.
Ravi was reported to have said that he was ‘working on’ bringing the NSCN (K) to the negotiating table. “But the fact is he also said that Nagas need to know our reality”. The ACAUT members also demanded immediate removal of AFSPA.
“We told him, now that we are talking about solution, why can’t the government of India trust Naga people and remove AFSPA. When we are talking about negotiating and when we are talking about coming into agreement, then the government of India should trust us”.
Representatives of Naga Council Dimapur, who were given appointment for 2.20 pm, left without meeting Ravi after he reportedly went out to attend a wedding at 4th Mile Dimapur.
The Central Nagaland Tribes Council (CNTC) sent a press release informing of its meeting with Ravi. “The CNTC has asserted its stand loud and clear that any solution should be inclusive of all groups and all stakeholders taken into account”.
The CNTC maintained its stand that for any permanent peace and settlement all factions/groups should be taken into consideration without which it will be only a futile exercise as in the past, it stated. “Any quick-fix solution will bring only bigger problems like in the past which history has taught us very well”.
Members of United Naga tribes Association on Border Areas (UNTABA) reiterated the demand for restoration of traditional and historical Naga lands that are still under Assam administration.
“The team explained to RN Ravi that the inordinate delay in transferring back these lands to its rightful owner has been the major cause of the Naga national movement in the late 40s and early 50s, and therefore, the team elaborately emphasized to the interlocutor that all these Naga lands should be brought back to Nagaland at the time of political settlement and that political settlement without boundary settlement on the historical basis of erstwhile Ahom kingdom and Naga people would be meaningless”, a press release informed.
Other civil groups to meet Ravi today included United Naga Council, Kachari Tribal Council, Naga Women Hoho Dimapur, Naga Hoho, GB Association of Nagaland and Tirap-Changlang-Longdin Peoples’ Forum. Aside from Naga Council Dimapur, an organisation called Civil Human Rights Protection Committee also missed its appointment with Ravi.
A significant absence from the list of Ravi’s consultation with Naga civil organisations this time is the Eastern Nagaland Peoples’ Organisation (ENPO) leaving room for much speculation.
However on Friday the president of ENPO Khowang Konyak told Eastern Mirror that the ENPO decided not to participate in the consultative meeting with RN Ravi this time because they will be going to Delhi this month and meet central leaders.
“We will also be meeting Ravi then. That time only, we will have a hard round of talks”, he said.
Also, the Nagaland Tribes Council (NTC) was also reported to have met Ravi late Thursday night at Kohima. While NTC president, Lendinokdang said that he did not attend the meeting, other NTC officials did not respond to repeated calls made by this newspaper for information.

By Our Reporter Updated: Jul 08, 2017 12:02:01 am