In a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi in February, National Socialist Council of Nagaland (IM) general secretary and a key negotiator in the peace process Thingaleng Muivah had asked for the Naga peace talks to be shifted to “a third country”.
The Isak-Muivah faction of the NSCN (IM) wants its peace talks to be restarted at the level of the PM without any precondition and in a third country.
These were the conditions the outfit, which now prefers to be called National Socialist Council of Nagalim, had set before declaring a ceasefire with the armed forces in mid-1997. The first few rounds of talks were held abroad.
Muivah’s group released the eight-page letter to the media on Monday for the sake of “accountability to the Nagas” and to inform them about the delay because of the lack of response from the office of the “Indian Prime Minister”.
Muivah is the Ato Kilonser, meaning Prime Minister, in the ‘government’ run by the NSCN (IM). A PM-level dialogue indicates talks between him and Modi.
“On the official invitation of the GoI [government of India], we first arrived in India in 2002 and after our subsequent visits, we have since 2010 patiently stayed in India to conclude an acceptable and honourable political settlement. As mentioned, several rounds of talks with the Prime Ministers of India and the representatives of the GoI have already been completed and the unique outcome was the signing of the Framework Agreement (FA) on August 3, 2015…
“However, in the given circumstances and to save the political dialogue, the talks should resume at the PM level without pre-condition and outside India. And if our stay in India is no more welcome, all necessary arrangements must be made for us to leave India and the political talks be resumed in a third country,” the letter said.
Stating that most of the important issues, except for the Naga flag and constitution, have been resolved, Muivah brought to Modi’s notice “some matters of serious concern” regarding the activities of the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), the National Investigation Agency and the Assam Rifles.
“As you are well aware, 22 years of political negotiation had started at the PM’s level without pre-condition and outside India. We had come to India on the invitation of the Gol. However, we are totally shocked and surprised that even after more than two decades of political negotiation, the MHA and its agencies have become obnoxious,” Muivah wrote.
He said it was “shocking and surprising” that the Centre has started branding the NSCN (IM) members as ‘terrorists’ with impunity and arresting them through its agencies.
“The activities of the MHA are deliberate and calculated policies of the GoI to downgrade the political negotiation to India’s internal law and order issue. The Nagas are observing a repeat of the militarisation and a consciously carried out state terrorism in the Naga areas and against the Naga people through a show of force, arrest and allegation against NSCN members for terror funding, imposing check gates, frequent raids. The design and intent of the MHA and its agencies are unjustifiable and a serious provocation that goes against the principle and spirit of the political negotiation and the FA,” Muivah wrote.
Centre’s representative as Governor of Nagaland a “matter of great concern”
Muivah said that the activities of the Centre’s representative RN Ravi, after his appointment as Nagaland governor became “a matter of great concern as he is consciously functioning within the law and order purview of the Constitution of India” and that “it is a deliberate deviation” from his appointment representative for “Indo-Naga” peace talks.
“The activities of the Representative of the Gol is polarizing the Naga society instead of uniting the Nagas for an honourable political solution” said Muivah. He claimed that Ravi has been “segregating the Naga civil society and meeting only a certain section of the Naga society who are not committed to genuine political solution and who do not represent the genuine aspiration of the Naga people”. He added “It has come to our knowledge that the Representative of the Gol has been hobnobbing with the so called NNPG’s to make an agreement”.
Muivah said that Ravi “acted very irresponsible and disrespectful” to the Naga talk team during the talks on January 30 this year, referring to the NSCN-IM’s January 18 proposal “stupid and contaminated”. Later, Ravi served an “ultimatum” to the NSCN-IM through an Intelligence Bureau (IB) officer saying that the next meeting will be fixed after NSCN submits its draft proposal. “This calls for an official clarification from the Gol as to whether it is the individual action of the Representative of the Gol or it has been done under the directive of the Gol”, Muivah said.
“The behavior of the Representative of the Gol towards the Nagas is totally unacceptable. History has shown that Nagas have not taken lightly with any insults hit on them which has led to the decade’s old Indo-Naga conflict that is yet to be resolved. The “politics of fear” against the Naga people which the Gol and MHA have sanctioned on the Nagas is having a serious ramification that is undermining the ongoing political dialogue,” a section of Muivah’s letter said
In the past, the Naga dialogue has taken place in Paris, Zurich, Geneva, Vienna, Milan, Hague, New York, Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur and Osaka.