No breakthrough in GoI, NSCN-IM talks

DIMAPUR, 15th Oct: Government of India (GoI) and NSCN (I-M) failed to break the deadlock over the latter’s insistence that solution include a separate Naga national flag and constitution, despite have held two meetings within a week. On Monday, Centre’s representative and Interlocutor to Naga Peace Talks, R.N. Ravi and NSCN/GPRN leaders led by its ato kilonser and chief negotiator, Th. Muivah held the second meeting which was inconclusive. Reliable sources from NSCN (I-M) informed Nagaland Post that both sides could not agree on the two demands.
Sources also said both parties were trying to resolve the issues but an agreement eluded them. On October 13, NSCN (I-M) accused Centre of trying to twist and backtrack on their commitments and words so that the hard-earned Framework was nullified on any pretext.
Meanwhile, NNPGs source informed that the WC of NNPGs will be holding a formal meeting with the Interlocutor on Tuesday.
As per a senior NSCN (IM) leader, Monday’s dialogue lasted around 3-4 hours and was relatively cordial. “There were venting of frustrations and arguments but all in all it was a cordial meeting unlike the previous ones.”
The leader, on condition of anonymity, said that there are other issues, “which both sides may be having but not brought to fore” but the topic over flag and Constitution occupied the entirety of the day’s talks. According to him, India and the Nagas mutually agreed on a “Framework,” which includes the coexistence of two sovereign entities.
“Our stand has been on letting the ‘Framework’ settle the dispute. The question is how can Nagas come under the Indian Constitution and flag when the negotiating parties have already agreed to exist as two sovereign entities?” While stating that the GoI’s stand points to deferring the issue of flag and constitution to a later date after coming to a final settlement, he added, “We will not compromise on the demand for a separate Naga flag and constitution.”
He said that it will be “suicidal” for the GoI to ink a deal with the rival Working Committee (WC) of the 7 Naga National Political Groups (NNPG). “Ravi won’t openly admit to this but he is well aware of the fallout (of coming to a settlement with one group only).”
The next rounds of talks will take place after Interlocutor Ravi’s scheduled meeting with Naga civil society organisations in Kohima on October 18.
(Courtesy: Nagaland dailies)

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