One More Piece In The Indo-Naga Jigsaw? - Eastern Mirror
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One more piece in the Indo-Naga jigsaw?

By Our Correspondent Updated: Aug 11, 2020 11:50 pm

Reports say Centre will retain Ravi as interlocutor but bring in ‘new facilitators’; NSCN (IM) says meeting point with Ravi is unthinkable  

Our Correspondent

Kohima, Aug. 11 (EMN): To keep the pot boiling—as recently described by the NSCN (IM) while referring to the Indo-Naga political issue—some new ingredients could be added, according to reports.

On Monday, the NSCN (IM) delegation led by its chief negotiator Th Muivah had ‘informal talks’ with representatives of the government of India, in New Delhi. As per reports, the Centre’s interlocutor and governor of Nagaland, RN Ravi was not present.

For some time now, the Naga group has been vocal about its dissatisfaction with the functioning of Ravi, especially after the latter had called the Naga groups ‘armed gangs’. The NSCN (IM) has stated that a meeting point between the group and Ravi “is something unthinkable”.

According to a report in The Wire news portal, prompted by the NSCN (IM)’s demand for a change of interlocutor, the Union Ministry of Home Affairs is looking at the possibility of bringing in a set of new “facilitators” to break the deadlock.

The Home ministry, however, intends to “keep the present interlocutor in place”.

“The ministry may look at the possibility of bringing in a few more facilitators, though, nothing is final yet”, the report quoted a Home ministry source as saying. 

A highly placed source in the NSCN (IM) told Eastern Mirror on Tuesday that even though the ongoing talks have been called informal, the discussions are “serious”.

While neither denying nor confirming the possible entry of ‘facilitators’ in the negotiation process, the source said that it cannot be said ‘how many would be brought in’.

Ravi’s misdoings

Meanwhile, a visibly miffed NSCN (IM) issued a statement on Tuesday saying that the Indo-Naga political talks is now in a state of simmering tension and reaching the tipping point “all because of Mr. RN Ravi’s vitriolic attack on Naga issue”.

In a no-holds-barred attack on the Centre’s interlocutor, the NSCN (IM) stated: “All the hard work of 23 years of Indo-Naga political talks having passed through six successive prime ministers is coming to nauseating end because of the mischief that keeps boiling in the hands of this interlocutor who has become more a liability than anything.”

The group also released the texts of what it stated was Ravi’s “modified framework agreement (FA) by removing ‘new’, a single word, to suit his interpretation”.

“Catastrophic as it is, FA is now undergoing castration at the hands of the very person who co-authored it with NSCN chairman Mr. Isak Chishi Swu and NSCN general secretary Mr. Th. Muivah. This is the crux of the Indo-Naga political talks now. The issue is now in the court of the government of India that should come out with an undertaking that FA is still alive in its original form and to be handled by somebody other than RN Ravi, who is sensitive enough to understand and respect what has been achieved during the past 23 years,” the NSCN (IM) asserted.

It accused Ravi of ‘craftily deleting’ the word ‘new’ from the original text “to justify his own narrative and circulated to the 14 tribe leaders, NNPGs, NTC and Nagaland GB Federation”.

“These people are simply carried away by his manoeurable talkings and made to believe him and portrayed the NSCN on the wrong side. Today, this misplaced interpretation of ‘it will provide for an enduring inclusive new relationship of peaceful co-existence of the two entities’ has become the point of conflict that delayed the process for solution.

“Significantly, the word ‘new’ is politically sensitive as it goes to define the meaning of peaceful co-existence of the two entities (two sovereign powers). Further, ‘new relationship’ strongly indicates outside the purview of Indian Constitution. When ‘new’ is removed there is room for misinterpreting it as under Indian Constitution,” read the statement.

According to the NSCN (IM), it had refrained from publishing the framework agreement respecting the tacit understanding reached between the two sides not to release the content in public domain for security reasons of India.

However, it stated, Ravi took undue advantage and started modifying and manipulating the FA to mislead the Nagas as well as the government of India.

Tellingly, the NSCN (IM) stated that Ravi has “set the bridge on fire and the meeting point is something unthinkable”.

The group asserted that it is grateful to Prime Minister Narendra Modi “who guided and supervised the signing of the historic framework agreement by giving the ceremony a high profile status”.

“But the very doings of his representative Ravi has cast a huge trust deficit as his role has come to be seen as nothing short of disowning the framework agreement. NSCN, has, however, gracefully and patiently tolerated Ravi despite his act of profanity,” it sated.

By Our Correspondent Updated: Aug 11, 2020 11:50:29 pm
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