Nagaland CM Neiphiu Rio Hails Centre, NSCN(IM) Breakthrough in Negotiations Over Insurgency
The stalled talks between NSCN(IM) and Centre had created a fear psychosis among the general populace that the situation would return to the pre-ceasefire days if the NSCN(IM) does not agree to sign a formal accord with Delhi.
File photo of Nagaland Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio (Image : PTI)
Kohima: Nagaland Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio and people from different walks of life on Friday expressed happiness over the Union government and the NSCN (IM) making a breakthrough in the ongoing negotiations to find a lasting solution to the decades-old insurgency problem.
The stalled talks between National Socialist Council of Nagaland (IM) and the central government had created a fear psychosis among the general populace that the situation would return to the pre-ceasefire days if the NSCN(IM) does not agree to sign a formal accord with Delhi by October 31 demanding separate flag and constitution for Nagas.
The Centre on Thursday said it is yet to conclude talks with Naga insurgent groups and will consult all stakeholders including the states of Assam, Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh before finalisation of any settlement.
Appreciating both the negotiating parties agreeing to remain onboard for a final settlement, Nagaland Chief Minister, Neiphiu Rio, Deputy Chief Minister Y Patton and Opposition leader T R Zeliang expressed happiness.
Various Naga civil societies and Naga National Political Groups (NNPGs) have also voiced glee over the development.
NNPG, a conglomerate of seven organisations, is holding separate talks with the Centre on seven-decade-old Naga crisis.
They hoped that the final settlement would be done after thorough consultation with all stakeholders.
"It is a historic moment and an occasion of great joy for all Nagas and the nation as a whole. Peace will now pave the way for genuine progress and true nation-building," Rio said in a tweet.
Extending deepest appreciation to the negotiating parties of the peace talks for making the historic breakthrough, the CM thanked Prime Minister Narendra Mod and Home Minister Amit Shah "for the political will and concern for the Naga people".
He also congratulated centre's interlocutor and Governor R N Ravi, NSCN (IM) and NNPGs for the efforts and sacrifices while also lauding the civil societies, mass based organisations, NGOs, churches and the Naga people for the support and prayers.
"We pray god almighty & look forward to a new era for the Naga people," he said.
Deputy Chief Minister- Y Patton- expressed gratitude to everyone for "what weve achieved today after all the trying times.
"The inking of the solution, that respects our unique history, will bring a new and better dawn for the Naga future. The National Unity Day couldnt have been more special," he said in a tweet.
"Big day for us as Nagas," he said while congratulating Modi and Shah for taking the long-standing Naga issue towards a solution.
He also hailed Ravi, the leaderships of NSCN (IM), all the NNPGs, and Nagas as a whole.
Leader of Opposition- T R Zeliang- said the dream and desire of the Naga people for permanent peace and tranquility in Nagaland would soon become a reality after positive outcome of Thursday meeting. Once again big congratulation to all parties involved in bringing about understanding, he tweeted.
Zeliang also congratulated prime minister Modi and home minister Shah for having the resoluteness to solve the decades-long Naga crisis.
He also praised Ravi,the NSCN (IM) and NNPGs for arriving at a mutual understanding.
The Working Committee of NNPGs also joined the bandwagon in appreciating the understanding arrived at between the union government and NSCN (IM).
In a statement it said the NNPG believes that the NSCN (IM) leadership has opted for peace and adopted a practical and realistic approach in arriving at a conclusion of negotiations by acceptance the reality the time.
A press release issued by its media cell said in the course of negotiations between NNPG and the union government, the latter had also endorsed the usage of Naga emblem/flag specifically for cultural identity within Naga homeland.
"The Naga flag is a political symbol and cannot be confined to socio-cultural activities. Therefore, together in one voice, Nagas would pursue it politically and
democratically. The flag, since the dawn of Naga political consciousness, has ever been an expression of our political identity and aspirations," it stated.
The Naga Mothers Association president Abei-ii Meru "we were all praying for everyone to be on board and now we are glad that they have come".
Apex body of tribal organizations in the state - Naga Hoho - general secretary K Elu Ndang said "fear and uncertainty was looming very high among the Naga public, but when the information came that they have reached to a certain conclusion, we welcome the mutual understanding between the two negotiating parties".
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