Government of India Interlocutor for Naga Peace Talks, RN Ravi and the NSCN (IM) delegation led by its chief negotiator Ato Kilonser Th Muivah prior to their fourth consecutive meet in New Delhi on Thursday.
Stalemate’s still on technically
Morung Express News
Dimapur | October 31
Reports that emerged in the evening on October 31 hinted at the GoI reportedly agreeing to the NSCN (IM) demand for a separate flag.
However, there were no official announcements from any of the two sides.
Sources in the NSCN (IM) leadership said that the matter of flag and constitution came up as usual in the day’s discussions spread over two sessions.
On the GoI’s reported concession, a senior NSCN (IM) leader said that there exists an “in principle” understanding with regard to the use of the Naga flag as a cultural emblem. For the Nagas and the NSCN (IM), he said that it is more than just a cultural symbol.
Contrary to reports suggesting conclusion of the talks, he maintained that the day’s meeting and the supposed concession on flag should not be interpreted as two sides making a final agreement.
“The first session lasted from 11:00am till 1:30pm before taking a break,” he said and added that the Interlocutor and Nagaland Governor RN Ravi went over to the Ato Kilonser Th Muivah’s quarters for the afternoon sitting where the “in principle” understanding on the issue of flag was further discussed.
On Ravi’s standpoint on the matter, he said that the Interlocutor has always maintained that it would be difficult for the GoI to accept separate Naga flag and constitution.
“There are many other matters to be taken into consideration before inking a final deal,” he said. Technically, the deadlock is still on as according to him, the talks will continue.
On the likelihood of the WC of the 7 Naga National Political Groups and the NSCN (IM) coming together, he said that it is easier said than done. According him, the WC’s terms of negotiations are limited to Nagaland state, whereas the latter’s encompasses a single pan-Naga identity.
Meanwhile, Nagaland Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio has expressed appreciation to the negotiating parties of the peace talks for making the “historic breakthrough.”
“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,” he wrote on his official twitter handle in the evening when the news of a possible settlement was doing rounds.
He lauded Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Home Minister Amit Shah and PMO while NSCN (IM), NNPGs and Interlocutor RN Ravi were congratulated for their “efforts & sacrifices.” The civil societies, mass-based organisations, NGOs, churches & the Naga people were also noted for their support and prayers in his Tweet. Earlier, Leader of Opposition, TR Zeliang also took to Twitter to congratulate all parties involved in bringing about understanding.