GoI rules out sovereignty, offers more autonomy
DIMAPUR, MAR 2 (EMN): The Government of India has reportedly ruled out possibility of sovereignty for Nagaland and offered to work around granting more autonomy on day one of the resumption of political dialogue with the NSCN-IM at New Delhi today.
The political dialogue between the GoI and the NSCN-IM, to find a permanent amicable solution to the long-drawn Indo-Naga issue, resumed today with NSCN-IM general secretary Thuingaleng Muivah meeting with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in the early part of the day. This was the second such meeting in the past five years. Muivah along with the NSCN-IM chairman Isak Chisi Swu had met Singh earlier during their visit in 2006.
The NSCN-IM leader later met with Home Minister Chidambaram before sitting out for the first time with newly appointed interlocutor RS Pandey.
Various sections of the national media quoting government sources reported that the GoI has offered 'wide autonomy' to Nagas while ruling out demand of sovereignty.
Most sections of the media reported that the Government has formalized, what they called 'a new peace formula' to break the deadlock with NSCN-IM. Quoting undisclosed Government sources, a leading national news website reported that the GoI 'has a proposal to counter the Naga demands which would include a Naga body without territorial jurisdiction but with a Constitutional sanction.'
Talking to media persons after his meeting with Chidambaram, Muivah said "We had a comprehensive discussion and the NSCN-IM will continue the negotiation with the Government of India," Muivah told reporters after the meeting.
"If the Centre is serious then we will talk," he said.
Chidambaram reportedly expressed his keenness and sincerity to settle the issue as early as possible.
Besides Chidambaram, others present at the hour-long meeting were Home Secretary G K Pillai and Special Secretary (Internal Security) U K Bansal.
A press communiqué issued here by Samson Jajo, Chief Principal Secretary, NSCN-IM informed that the meeting with the Prime Minister lasted for 40 minutes during which the
Manmohan Singh has reassured the Naga delegation the sincerity of the GoI to find an honorable political settlement acceptable to both the parties at the earliest.
In its meeting with the Home Minister at 1 pm, the 'Naga delegation made the stand of the NSCN very clear that, 'despite the betrayal of the GOI one after another in the past more than one decade of political talks, the communiqué stated.
'It was categorically made known to the Indian Home Minister that Nagas will not accept any imposition on the Nagas but only through negotiated settlement. Any insult to the Nagas will only drive the Nagas further away from the Indians', the NSCN-IM Chief Principal Secretary informed.
The NSCN-IM also rubbished media reports about Muivah being not happy with the interlocutor RS Pandey.
Ato Kilonser Th. Muivah is being accompanied by Qhevihe Chishi Swu, Speaker Tatar Hoho and Tongmeth Wangnao, member Steering Committee.
NSCN holds talks with new govt pointsman
PTI adds: In a fresh bid to solve the vexed Naga issue, NSCN-IM today held the first round of talks with the government's newly appointed pointsman R S Pandey during which the group submitted a list of 30 demands that includes sovereignty for Nagaland.
The meeting, held at undisclosed location, lasted for about 90 minutes during which a NSCN-IM delegation led by its general secretary Thuingaleng Muivah submitted their 30-point demands, sources said.
The meeting which was seen more as an "informal type", as pointed out by a delegate at the meeting, was held to know the new interlocutor who had helped Muivah in renewing his expired passport, they said, adding another round will be held tomorrow.
Pandey, while giving a patient hearing to the Naga leaders, conveyed to them that there was no possibility of sovereignty for Nagaland and the talks could be held around granting more autonomy.
Pandey, a former Petroleum Secretary, was appointed as the new pointsman on Naga talks on February 12 to succeed former Home Secretary K Padmanabhaiah who was the interlocutor for nearly a decade.
Among other issues in the charter demand, the NSCN-IM pointed out certain taxation matters and preservation of cultural heritage, the sources said.