Tuesday, June 6, 2023

All NPGs should come together for solution: Niki

Staff Reporter

Amidst clamour for securing solution to the Naga political issue spanning over several decades that has gained momentum following clear signals from Delhi that the government of India is serious about concluding an agreement, NSCN/GPRN-K president ‘gen.’ (retd) Niki Sumi on Saturday categorically asserted that solution is possible if all Naga Political Groups (NPGs) could come together with a “common draft” for all Nagas.
Niki said this at an exclusive interview to Nagaland Post at his residence here Saturday.
Niki said early solution depended on whether it would be based on Framework Agreement or Agreed Position. He reiterated that the desired solution could be possible if all three entities- NSCN (I-M), WC, NNPGs including his group- come together and come up with a common draft for solution that would be inclusive.
Niki said if all the entities were “really fighting for the betterment of Nagas” then they should come together with a common draft to usher the required solution for Nagas, be it small or big.
He also asserted that unless Nagas’ voice out their desire for all entities to come together, the government of India was unlikely to take steps in this regard.
He also opined that if some sections do not accept solution there was likely to be a return to uncertainty and conflict as happened when Nagaland was created as a state or the signing of the Shillong Accord.
Niki also said Naga tribal leaders were ignoring certain aspects of unifying all sections. He said, instead of trying to unify Framework Agreement and Agreed Position, the leaders neglected the agreements half way, without taking into consideration the opinions, demands and favour of general Nagas.
Asked if he felt the government of India was sincere, Niki said he did not wish to comment on it as his group was focussed on finalising the “cease fire mechanism” signed with the government of India on September 8,2021. He said sincerity of government of India would only be known after the finalizing the cease fire mechanism.
When asked if his group was also involved in negotiation with the government of India, Niki reiterated that this will come up only after completion of the cease fire mechanism.
It may be recalled that the Government of India and NSCN (K) led by Niki Sumi signed a ceasefire agreement on September 8, 2021 for a period of one year. Among other clauses, the agreement stated that during the course of ceasefire, all weapons and ammunition of armed cadres of NSCN (K) Niki, except those permitted for camp security and those in possession of the special ceasefire ID card will be kept under the joint supervision of chairman CFSB and NSCN(K) Nikki.
The agreement further stated that during the ceasefire period, the group will keep its cadres confined to the designated camps. The modalities of monitoring and locating the camps would be the same as being presently followed and shall be strictly adhered to.
Further speaking on the charter of demands by his group, Niki said he met Government of India’s representative for Naga talks AK Mishra last October, whereby the latter informed him to submit the group’s Charter of Demand (CoD) at the earliest.
He noted that NSCN (K)’s CoD was ready, asserting that the interest of peoples demands which were not included either in Framework Agreement or Agreed Position, would be added in his demands.
When asked on his views on Naga nationalism in general, Niki said that during the initial stage, Naga movement began in Naga inhabited areas.
Citing the example of Nagas in Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh, and even including Nagas in Myanmar, who he said, were treated as second class citizens, Niki said Naga Political issue is for the benefit of Nagas in all areas and this should not be ignored.
He also said even if sovereignty could not be achieved for Nagas in Myanmar due to international border, Niki claimed that “We should not leave them behind. Naga nationalism should be for Nagas of all areas”.
Drawing attention on criticisms against former chief minister SC Jamir for his statement after meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Niki said since Jamir was not elected by Nagas to represent the entire Nagas, his statements were personal and so there was no need to criticise or support his statements.
He pointed Nagas should have in fact studied Jamir’s statements and that if they were in the interest of Nagas then the people should try to cooperate. On the other hand, he said if it was not in the interest of Nagas then Jamir’s statement should be ignored.
When asked how and why he got involved in the Naga movement, Niki said it was propelled by his dream to work for Naga movement since his younger days. He said in 1986, when he was with Chairman, late Isak, the latter praised him for his zeal for Naga nation, and also regarded it as God’s will, and urged him to work with full dedication. “I am a Naga and it would not be good if I don’t work for Nagas. I don’t know how Nagas have judged on my works, but I have always worked with full determination in serving the Naga nation”, Niki added.


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