Friday, December 2, 2022

Modi urged not to delay further outcome of negotiations

In a significant development, the conference of eight Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) of Nagaland have appealed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi not to delay any further, the outcome of Naga political negotiations and rather ask negotiators to respond either to take it or leave it.
In a representation addressed to the prime minister, signed by Nagaland People’s Action Committee (NPAC) convenor Theja Therieh; NPAC co-convenor Imsumongba Pongen; NPAC secretary Akhu Naga; Nagaland GB Federation (NGBF) president Shalem Konyak; Peace Committee NGBF convenor Shikuto Zalipu; Nagaland Tribes Council (NTC) president Toniho Yeptho; NTC general secretary Nribemo Ngullie; Central Nagaland Tribes Council (CNTC) president T Lanu Imchen; ACAUT convener Tia Longchar; Ex-Parliamentarian Association (ExPAN) president Joshua Sumi; Confederation of Nagaland Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CNCCI) president Dr Khekugha and Senior Citizens’ Association Nagaland (SCAN) president Dr Khanlo Magh.
Pointing out that 25 years of political negotiation was a long period of time, the CSOs said “Government of India or Naga negotiators should not take the people for a ride.”
The CSOs stressed that there could never be a better opportunity for the Centre to resolve the decades-old Naga political issue than what was now at the disposal of Naga negotiators. They said if 25 years investment on peace process could not bring out any solution, they saw no reason why it could not be recalled and let the people decide their own destiny.
The signatories maintained that the ceasefire and political negotiations were but a means and not an end. The very end of these exercises was the political solution and that it was imperative to note that the 25 years of negotiations had taken an immense toll on the people of Nagaland, they said.
They said: “By any standard, be it physical developments or be it the wellbeing of the citizens, Nagaland has retrogressed by decades under the weight of elongated negotiations.”
The signatories therefore, cautioned that should the negotiations end in a fiasco, despite the sacrifices of general public of Nagaland, it will be only like rubbing salt to injury.
The CSOs said people of Nagaland believe that the process of negotiations during the last quarter of a century had bridged the gaps, levelled the contours of contentions and left nothing unturned except the signing of the agreement.
The CSOs mentioned that the conference of CSOs at Dimapur on November 18, 2022 had unanimously resolved to submit the representation to the Prime Minister on the issue of the pending Naga political solution.
They said the conference had resolved to acknowledge Modi’s initiatives, that could bring the political negotiations between government of India and the two Naga negotiating groups to the level of inclusiveness and its dynamical completion of formal talks on October 31, 2019.
While representing the Naga public and their voice, the 12 CSOs assured the Prime Minister that they were ever ready to welcome the solution which was in the interest of both India and Nagas.
The CSOs, however said that if any Naga political group is given further extension of ceasefire, “the Government of India (GoI) has to provide fund for its maintenance as the public of Nagaland are no longer capable to bear the brunt of inordinate negotiations indefinitely.”

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