Naga Accord Soon, Says Ravi, But How Soon !

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ANTHONY CHAKESANG |

A proposed accord with Naga armed groups is expected to be concluded soon, Deputy National Security Adviser RN Ravi has said, just before he was named the next governor of Nagaland.

Question is how soon is soon for Mr Ravi, because he had made a similar statement just before the Lok Sabha polls this summer.

■ NSA Ajit Doval KC with his 2–i–C Ravi | Archive

“It’s nearing conclusion with all. In fact, there is nobody left out. Everyone is part of it. “There are eight armed groups which are now talking to Government of India. NSCN(IM) plus seven others, they are all part of it. There is no one left out,” Ravi, who has been involved in the process, told reporters both in Delhi and Kohima. The efforts to conclude the accord are expected to fructify “soon”, he said.

 

There are eight armed groups which are now talking to Government of India. NSCN(IM) plus seven others, they are all part of it. There is no one left out,” Ravi, who has been involved in the process, told reporters both in Delhi and Kohima

 

A proposed accord with Naga armed groups is expected to be concluded soon, India’s Deputy NSA RN Ravi said. “It’s nearing conclusion with all. In fact, there is nobody left out. Everyone is part of it. “There are eight armed groups which are now talking to Government of India. NSCN(IM) plus seven others, they are all part of it. There is no one left out,” Ravi, who has been involved in the process, told reporters in Delhi  “The efforts to conclude the accord are expected to fructify “soon”, he said.

The latest public statement from Delhi’s Interlocutor for the Naga Peace Talks is significant with the return to power of the Narendra Modi government that had signed the framework agreement with the NSCN(IM) in August 2015 to pave the way for a final settlement.

■ Khango Konyak | Kangla online

Now with RN Ravi making an important public declaration of an accord soon, it will be interesting to wait and watch how the Modi government will push through an agreement amid speculation that the Nagas will get their own flag and currency as part of a deal based on ‘shared sovereignity.’

 

RN Ravi making an important public declaration of an accord soon, it will be interesting to wait and watch how the Modi government will push through an agreement amid speculation that the Nagas will get their own flag and currency as part of a deal based on ‘shared sovereignity.’

 

The long silence of the Government of India and also conflicting media reports have also not helped in bringing clarity about the Naga Peace Process.

Even after four years of the signing of the historic framework agreement with the NSCN(IM) and separate talks with the other Naga National Political Groups (NNPGs), the Narendra Modi government has not been able to conclude negotiations due to a tough position taken by the Nagas on some of the ‘symbolic’ issues”.

Media reports that the talks have not seen any progress for almost a year as the Naga groups have refused to change their views on ‘Church’ and ‘Separate Flag’.

According to the report, the current logjam was largely due to the Church which is at the forefront in articulating the political position of the Nagas.

 

WC said it believed that political and historical rights and aspiration of Nagas residing in Nagaland, Manipur, Arunachal Pradesh and Assam would be honoured and fulfilled. It also solicited prayer support from all Nagas, irrespective of domicile status or political, religious and tribal affiliations

 

The Forum for Naga Reconciliation (FNR) on the other hand talked about a ‘deadlock’ in the peace parleys and called on the need “to re–imagine the Indo—Naga Peace Process with one that encompasses and compliments the political exchanges in Delhi between the Government of India and the Naga political groups by raising Naga peoples’ voices through inclusive participation and transparency”.

Meanwhile, echoing the latest statement of Delhi’s Interlocutor RN Ravi, the Working Committee (WC), Naga National Political Groups (NNPGs) has claimed that there were continuity, clarity and progress in negotiations with Government of India (GoI).

In a recent statement issued by its media cell, WC clarified that there was no stalemate or deadlock in the peace talks, and that “it was not indulging in a political monologue”.

“A clear approach was laid on the ground allowing collective wisdom to seep through in consonance with our history, supported by logic, reasoning and practical reality of the day.”

Mentioning that every issue was processed jointly and transparently, proactive argument and healthy debate preceded each round of negotiations, the committee asserted that this was a “tectonic shift” from the usual Indo–Naga political dialogue.

 

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WC said it believed that political and historical rights and aspiration of Nagas residing in Nagaland, Manipur, Arunachal Pradesh and Assam would be honoured and fulfilled. It also solicited prayer support from all Nagas, irrespective of domicile status or political, religious and tribal affiliations.

Later Ravi had revealed in an interview that the only issues which are delaying a final agreement are about a flag and a constitution. He said these were ‘symbolic‘ issues and insisted that the substantive ones had been sorted out.

RN Ravi had held an informal meeting with Khango–led NSCN(K) on January 10, 2019, bringing the faction into the peace process.

Ravi had told Nagaland Post newspaper that NSCN(K) will participate in the peace process along with Working Committee of the NNPGs”.

Khango joining the talks after being weaned away from the anti–India Khaplang group of the NSCN marked a victory for Indian intelligence — a gain followed up by the Indian army which got the Burmese troops to launch effective operations against Khaplang group’s bases and of other northeastern rebel groups in the Taga area.

Following these operations, there has been a huge spate of desertions from the ULFA.

But so long as the Indian government does not come clear on the future of the Indo–Naga peace talks and how soon could one expect a final settlement, the haze in battle–scarred Northeast will not lift.

Just before the Lok Sabha polls, Ravi had said that a broad consensus have been reached but some ‘symbolic issues’ were delaying the Naga peace agreement. ■

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