‘Danger of heightened bloodbath looming’

Dimapur, July 18 (MExN): Naga civil society will be holding a convention on the Indo-Naga political dialogue on July 19 at Gandhi Peace Foundation, Delhi from 3pm onwards. An invitation was received from the Naga Hoho, Naga Mothers Association, Naga Students’ Federation and Naga Peoples’ Movement for Human Rights. 

“We are certain that you are aware, that the cease fire period is expiring on July 31, 2007. Another round of negotiation is likely to be initiated from 20th July 2007. Mass-based Naga Organizations like, the Naga Peoples’ Movement for Human Rights, the Naga Hoho, the Naga Mothers’ Association and the Naga Students’ Federation, feel that at this point of time, a public exchange of views is imperative” the invitation stated.  

It was observed that after periodical ceasefire extensions for the last ten years now, the ‘peace process’ has showed no signs of tangible progress. Rather, the process has been reduced to a mere cessation of hostilities, Naga civil society stated. Further there is an increasing and unprecedented military built-up in the Naga areas. “This is creating suspicion and insecurity in the minds of the people. The Government of India has questionably displayed lack of political will, courage and sincerity in their approach to the Indo-Naga Political Negotiations” the invitation stated. It asserted that the interference from the Indian state intelligence agencies and her Armed forces has severely hampered the progress of the Indo-Naga political negotiations.

“We are aware that the people of India and the Nagas together share and cherish freedom, fraternity, liberty and human dignity. Reflecting these values, the Nagas are convinced that the Government of India is deliberately bogging the dialogue down and is noticed to be shifting its responsibility to states” the invitation stated. If the Government of India does not render the political dialogue its due place and in earnest…the peace that has been observed for the last ten years would but spell a more dreary and tragic phase to come for both the parties, it added. 

It also warned that renewed armed confrontation with heightened vigour and intensity will ensue. The Nagas, committed to the peace, do not resort to violence but also do not yield to subjugation, the Naga frontals stated.  

The Government of India and the National Socialist Council of Nagaland had jointly announced a three-month Ceasefire Agreement and a cessation from armed confrontation on July 25, 1997 with effect from August 1, 1997 on the principles that the talks would be unconditional; at the highest level, i.e. at the Prime Ministerial level and that the talks would be held in a third neutral country.