KOHIMA, April 5 (IANS): ‘Nagalim’, the land of Naga tribals, had been ‘invaded’ by India and Myanmar and the Nagas have neither been a part of either by consent or by conquest, NSCN-IM general secretary Thuingaleng Muivah has said, the group announced on Monday.
Addressing the General Assembly of Unrepresented Nations and People’s Organisations (UNPO) in Washington DC, he said that the Nagas had been living in their own free country till the British forces occupied a part of it in 1832 while the rest called the free Naga area remained as free as ever.
“On the eve of the departure of the British, the Nagas of the British-occupied Naga territory declared their independence on August 14, 1947 and joined with their brothers in the free Naga area. In 1950, the Indian Constituent Assembly invited the Nagas to join the Union of India, but it was rejected by the Naga people,” the Isak-Muivah faction of the National Socialist Council of Nagalim leader said.
He alleged that with a view to legalising its military occupation of ‘Nagalim’, the Indian government “imposed its will” upon the Nagas in the form of the so-called 16-point agreement in 1960. However, it was rejected outrightly by the Naga people.
Muivah reportedly delivered the address at the UNPO, a 44-member organisation, last week, but the speech was released to the media by the NSCN-IM on Monday.
The Naga leader said that realising that seeking a military solution to the political problem is a futile exercise, the Indian government invited the NSCN leadership for political talks leading to a cease-fire agreement between the government and the NSCN signed in August, 1997.
“After 22 years long intensive negotiations with the government involving six Prime Ministers, the historic Framework Agreement was signed on August 3, 2015 in the presence of the Prime Minister (Narendra Modi).”
Muivah claimed that the government also recognises the legitimate right of the Nagas to territorial integration of all Naga areas under one political roof.
“Since the unique history of the Nagas and the sovereign right of the Nagas are recognised, it is understood that the Naga flag and constitution are ingredients of their sovereignty,” he stated.
However, the former government interlocutor and then Nagaland Governor, RN Ravi, currently Tamil Nadu Governor, had, on a number of occasions, rejected the separate Naga flag and constitution.
On this, Muivah said that in spite of all facts, commitments and agreements, the Indian government has started misinterpreting what has been mutually agreed upon and going back on its word.
“In the event of breaking down the current negotiations, we foresee serious human rights violations again in Nagalim.”
Muivah also told the UNPO “to look into the fragile situation of the Indo-Naga political talks and take a positive role from your end so that the current peace process is brought to a logical conclusion”.