Kohima: A day ahead of one of the most crucial meetings on the Naga peace process between the NSCN-IM and the Union goverment in New Delhi on October 24, the Naga Students’ Federation (NSF) on Wednesday wrote a memorandum to Prime Minister Narendra Modi demanding a ‘mutually negotiated solution’ instead of a ‘imposed’ one.
Saying that the sacrifices made by the Nagas is beyond the struggle for Naga identity as it includes the struggle for self-determination, struggle against imposition of alien culture and values upon, a struggle against the ‘divide and rule’ policy, the memorandum, dated October 23, read: “The economic packages or monetary assistance cannot purchase the rights of the Naga people.”
“Further, the Naga people have come a long way by denouncing the 16 Point Agreement or the Shillong Accord and that any sort of agreement that is going to be signed between the GOI and Naga negotiators should not be mere reaffirmation or expansion of 16 Point Agreement,” it said.
Highlighting that NSF is the oldest pan Naga civil society organisation and is older than the Union of India itself, the student body expressed its disappointment of being “left out” in the recent consultative meets “depriving the Naga students and youths of the opportunity to express their aspirations and desires from the impending solution to the protracted Indo-Naga political issue”.
“We must admit that our sentiments have been deeply hurt by the non-invitation by Shri R N Ravi, the GOI interlocutor to the peace talks and current governor of Nagaland. NSF is not against any organisation or individual invited for consultation. However, as the main stakeholder representing the voices of those who will inherit “the solution, it is unimaginable for the consultation process to be a mandated one without the NSF”, the memorandum said.
It also alleged that the “projected deadline” imposed by the interlocutor “has thrown the Naga society into further chaos which is totally the opposite of what the peace process seeks to achieve, i.e. permanent peace and tranquility in the Naga homeland”.
Resenting the dual role of RN Ravi as interlocutor for Naga peace talks and as governor of Nagaland, the NSF accused him of making an “attempt to divide the Naga society into primary stakeholders and secondary stakeholders”, which it termed is “an utter failure”.
The memorandum further demanded that “the Unique Naga identity be recognised through the Naga national flag”. It demanded the Centre “to honour the 3rd August Framework Agreement both in letter and in spirit as it was signed” and that the solution to the protracted indo-Naga political issue be “inclusive, honorable and acceptable”. It further warned the Centre from “provoking the situation by sending Indian Armies to Naga homeland and issuing statement of threat”.
Copies of the memorandum were marked to Antonio Guterres, secretary general, United Nations (UN), New York; Ralph Bunche, secretary general, Unrepresented Nations and Peoples’ Organization (UNPO), Brussells, Belgium; and Dr Frans Welman, Secretary, Naga International Support Centre (NISC) Amsterdam.