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The History of Naga National Movement

What is the history of the Naga movement?

The British, who annexed Assam in 1826, constituted the Naga Hills district in 1866 and followed a policy of non-interference towards the hill tribes. As British paramountcy in India ended, A Z Phizo, president of the Naga National Council (NNC) declared independence on August 14, 1947. Since then the Naga Hills have been in turmoil, and despite creation of a separate Nagaland state in 1963, the movement has continued.

What is the NSCN?

The National Socialist Council of Nagaland (NSCN) was formed on January 31, 1980 by Isak Chisi Swu, Thuingaleng Muivah and SS Khaplang, who were all opposed to the NNC signing the Shillong Accord in 1975. But as differences cropped up, Khaplang moved out to form the NSCN(K) on April 30, 1988, with the original group coming to be known as NSCN (IM).

The NSCN(IM) has a strong international network. In 1993, it was admitted to the Unrepresented Peoples & Nations Organisation (UNPO). In Amsterdam, it has the Naga International Support Centre, intended at making known to the world the Nagas and their struggle. The UK-based Naga Vigil is yet another organisation providing vital support.

The NSCN(IM) movement, often called the “mother of all insurgencies”, is also held responsible for rise of insurgent groups in other states of the Northeast. Its ‘Greater Nagalim’ demand has created problems, with Assam and Manipur refusing to give even an inch of land.

What is the objective of the NSCN?

The primary aim is a Greater Nagalim comprising all Naga-inhabited areas, irrespective of whether they are in India or Myanmar. The NSCN-IM’s manifesto is based on the principle of socialism for economic development and a spiritual outlook — ‘Nagalim for Christ.’

Incidentally, the Nagaland Assembly passed a resolution back in 1964 supporting inclusion of all Naga-inhabited areas under one umbrella. Since then it has adopted the same resolution four more times, provoking a counter-resolution in Assam and Manipur each time.

Who are the NSCN leaders?

The NSCN (IM) leadership has a dominance of Tangkhuls — a Naga tribe inhabiting Senapati, Ukhrul, Chandel and Tamenglong districts of adjoining Manipur. Thuingaleng Muivah, a Masters from Gauhati University, is general secretary and ‘prime minister’ of the Government of People’s Republic of Nagalim (GPRN). Isak Chisi Swu is chairman. It has a full-fledged nine-member ministry, the four major ministries being home, defence, finance and foreign affairs.

Where does the NSCN get funds from?

NSCN (IM), like similar insurgent outfits in the area, collects “taxes” from the people in Nagaland and other “Naga-inhabited areas” on a regular basis. The GPRN has an annual budget of Rs 200-Rs 250 million. Intelligence reports also say that it collects portions of extorted funds of other outfits of the region in lieu of training, arms supply and shelter. Intelligence reports also say it earns money through narcotics trade. With an army of about 4,500 men, top NSCN(IM) leaders live outside India, mostly in Southeast Asian countries like Thailand. It also had camps in Bangladesh and Myanmar, but most cadres have shifted to designated camps in Nagaland after it signed a ceasefire agreement with the Government of India on August 1, 1997. Leaders and supporters are said to have business interests in Myanmar, Thailand, Bangladesh and other countries. Its headquarters have also shifted to Camp Hebron in Nagaland.

Has the Centre held talks with the NSCN leadership in the past?

In 1992, the then Governor, M M Thomas, a clergyman from Kerala, made the first successful move to get in touch with the NSCN. On June 15, 1995, then prime minister P V Narasimha Rao first met Muivah and Swu in Paris. A ceasefire was agreed upon with the Government of India with effect from August 1997. Subsequently, former prime ministers H D Deve Gowda (February 1997), A B Vajpayee (September 1998) and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh (December 2004) also met them. At least 50 rounds of talks have been held between the two sides at various levels.

Courtesy: Samudra Gupta Kashyap (Indian Express) on 12th Feb. 2010

NSCN (I-M) submits 30-pt demands

2March:  In a fresh bid to solve the vexed Naga issue, NSCN-IM today held the first round of talks with the government’s newly appointed pointsman R S Pandey during which the group submitted a list of 30 demands that includes sovereignty for Nagaland.

The meeting, held at undisclosed location, lasted for about 90 minutes during which a NSCN-IM delegation led by its general secretary Thuingaleng Muivah submitted their 30-point demands, sources said.
The meeting which was seen more as an “informal type”, as pointed out by a delegate at the meeting, was held to know the new interlocutor who had helped Muivah in renewing his expired passport, they said, adding another round will be held tomorrow.

Pandey, while giving a patient hearing to the Naga leaders, conveyed to them that there was no possibility of sovereignty for Nagaland and the talks could be held around granting more autonomy.

More autonomy
The Centre, which held a fresh round of talks with NSCN (I-M) leaders in New Delhi on Tuesday, has offered more autonomy for Nagaland but won’t integrate Naga-inhabited parts of Arunachal to Nagaland.
Government is willing to give more autonomy, perhaps even a flag to the Naga’s under Article 371 (A), reported NDTV.
The Centre has prepared a 29-point counter proposal for the discussions this time, which includes financial sops and greater autonomy. The Naga leaders met prime minister Dr. Manmohan Singh and home minister P Chidambaram in New Delhi.

NSCN (I-M) general secretary, Thuingaleng Muivah during his meet with prime minister Manmohan Singh is understood to have conveyed the seriousness of his outfit to find a lasting solution to the Naga issue.
Muivah later met union home minister P Chidambaram during which the two sides had a comprehensive discussion on finding a lasting solution to the six-decade old vexed issue which includes boundary dispute with neighbouring Manipur and Assam.

“The government hasn’t given us any counter proposal, we have had comprehensive discussion, we will continue with the talks,” Muivah told reporters after the meeting. “If the Centre is serious then we will talk,” he said.
While the Centre said this time there would be no discussion on sovereignty Muivah has said the NSCN (I-M) would not compromise on sovereignty. Besides Chidambaram, others present at the hour-long meeting were Home Secretary G K Pillai and Special Secretary (Internal Security) U K Bansal.

Sources say the government has formalised a peace formula to break the deadlock with Naga rebels who are holding the first round of talks with the government in the New Delhi. Sources say the government is proposing the setting up of a Naga body without territorial jurisdiction but one that would have Constitutional sanction, according to Times Now. This government proposal would be in exchange for the NSCN (I-M) withdrawing its demand for sovereignty. So far, the NSCN (I-M) has been demanding sovereignty for Nagaland.

But, the Naga rebel leader who has been invited for talks to India by the prime minister has made his stand clear more than once that there will be no compromise on the issue of sovereignty.

PM reassures
DIMAPUR, MAR 2 (NPN): Prime minister, Manmohan Singh has reassured the NSCN (I-M) about the sincerity of the government to find an honorable political settlement to the Naga issue which would be acceptable to both the parties at the earliest.
According to NSCN (I-M) chief principal secretary, Samson Jajo, the delegation led by general secretary, Th. Muivah along with speaker ‘Tatar’ Hoho, Qhevihe Chishi Swu and member steering committee, Tongmeth Wangnao on Tuesday met the prime minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh at 11 a.m in New Delhi.
The meeting lasted for 40 minutes.

Later in the afternoon, the NSCN (I-M) delegation met the home minister, P. Chidambaram along with a host of high officials at 1:00 pm.
“It was categorically made known to the Indian Home Minister that Nagas will not accept any imposition on the Nagas but only through negotiated settlement. Any insult to the Nagas will only drive the Nagas further away from the Indians,” Jajo said in a statement. He said the Naga delegation made the stand of the NSCN (I-M) very clear to the home minister, despite the ‘betrayal’ of the government of India one after another in the past more than one decade of political talks. Jajo said Chidambaram expressed keenness and sincerity to settle the issue as early as possible. The meeting with the home minister lasted for more than an hour.

Jajo informed that the formal meeting with the newly appointed interlocutor R.S. Pandey representative of the government of India would begin on March 3. He said both sides have agreed to hold the talks with utmost sincerity for an early negotiated political settlement. “The news media report about Muivah being not happy with the interlocutor is bogus,” he added.

Nagaland Post

Without all groups, no solution: “GPRN/NSCN”

Dimapur, March 2 (MExN): The “GPRN/NSCN” today said that the matter of ‘sovereignty’ cannot be negotiated and that unless all the Naga groups are involved, there would be no permanent acceptable solution. It stated that “a time has come to redefine Naga political struggle through common vision and approach.”
The group’s MIP issued a statement saying that the bi-lateral talks between the Indian Government and the NSCN (IM) has been going on for over a decade. More than ever, it stated “the true intent of the so-called political talks is revealing itself.”

According to the “GPRN/NSCN,” the coming of Th. Muivah to Delhi to “resurrect the deadlocked talks will mean very little to even his close associates who have witnessed the wind of change in the socio-political corridors of Nagaland. Unless all the Naga groups are involved, the MIP note said, there would be no permanent acceptable solution.

“Th. Muivah says that sovereignty cannot be negotiated whereas the GOI repeatedly declared that sovereignty and integration will not be discussed as it is not feasible at this juncture. That then, is the true intention of Th. Muivah coming to the Indian capital?” the note queried.

The “GPRN/NSCN” asserted that in the last sixty years it has “never once substituted” ‘sovereignty’ with “integration issue.” Conceding to arrangements such as autonomy or economic packages is unacceptable, the organization said. “That a section of people gave their support to IM to push the sovereignty issue but instead, a thirty two point charter of demand was made to GOI and not an iota of sovereignty issue is found mentioned,” it stated.

The note further said that “Th. Muivah declared that except IM, all other Naga political groups are unmandated and therefore to include them would dilute his achievements. Thirteen years of fruitless political dialogue is never an achievement by any stretch of imagination.” Calling this a ‘problem’ which Th. Muivah “fails to identify” the “GPRN/NSCN” said the “mandate of the Naga people belongs to those who unite the Nagas and pursue political solution.”
The GPRN/NSCN suggested that “Mr. Muivah head back to Nagaland and reassess his so-called mandate and then pursue the Naga political right in commonality and in equal measure with the rest of the Nagas. Then, neither will the GoI drag on the talks for thirteen years nor will the question of who has the Naga people’s mandate shall matter.”

Morung Express

NSCN (I-M) responds to GPRN/NSCN

DIMAPUR, FEB 27 (NPN):Slamming the recent statement by the GPRN/NSCN on the proposed Dr Manmohan-Muivah talks by those which it described as “Khehoi campers” (‘so called NSCN united’), the NSCN (I-M) has dismissed it as “unwarranted and misleading.”
The Ministry of Information and Publicity (MIP) of the NSCN (I-M) asserted it was never “discouraged or buffed up” by such statements made by “some disgruntled people” in the name of “Naga freedom fighters” at the behest of their “pay masters, the adversaries of the Naga people.”
The NSCN (I-M) said such write ups only exhibited their “silliness and ignorance” and clearly explained who they were and what their motives were.

In spite of their “misleading and confused write-ups,” the NSCN (I-M) said the Naga people “undoubtedly know who is who and who hold the issue.”
It asserted that the NSCN under the leadership of Isak Chishi Swu, Th. Muivah and Khodao Yanthan was not a confused political organization.

“The NSCN once again reminds them of the fact that the political dialogue between the GoI and the NSCN representing the entire Nagas is going on from 1997 till today as two separate entities,” the statement added.
In this connection, the NSCN (I-M) said it had already conducted four – five Naga consultation meetings. During the consultation meeting held at Hebron in January 2005, NSCN (I-M) said, the Naga people gave “unequivocal mandate” to NSCN leadership to carry on the political dialogue with the government of India more actively to clinch an honorable settlement for all the Nagas and the Nagalim at the earliest.
It said more than 8000 (eight thousand) people representing different sections of Naga people including Naga Hoho, apex tribal Hohos and frontal Naga public forums attended the meet.

It was stated that the NSCN leadership has been negotiating with the government of India with such mandate of the people.
On the ongoing reconciliation and unity process, the NSCN (I-M) said it was a domestic problem and an internal issue of the Nagas, which has been made amply clear. Under no circumstances, the NSCN (I-M) said, the reconciliation and unity process could condition the political dialogue between the government of India and the Nagas led by NSCN.

The NSCN (I-M) said that the mentioning of Th. Muivah’s name several times in the write-ups of “Kehoi campers” clearly showed their “immature political mindset with vested interest, biased and hatred towards a particular leader and tribe.”
The NSCN (I-M) said Muivah was not talking with India for him or for his tribe but has been shouldering the rare noble responsibility on behalf of all the Nagas. “The GoI through its notorious agencies and some Naga idiots who have no future political vision can never undo the working of the NSCN at any cost,” it added.
The NSCN (I-M) said it was firm and determined for the righteous and sacred cause of all the Nagas.

Nagaland Post

‘Any settlement without consent of Nagas is futile’

Dimapur | February 26 : In the backdrop of the impending talks between the Government of India and the NSCN/GPRN scheduled in first week of March, the GPRN/NSCN today maintained that any settlement without the consent of the Nagas as a whole would be another futile exercise.
Addressing a meeting of the GPRN/NSCN with western Sumi NGOs at Kohuxu village near Niuland, GPRN/NSCN leaders including special envoy to the collective leadership of the group, Kughalu Mulatonu, kilo kilonser Hothrong Yimchungrü and ‘chaplee’ kilonser C Singson said that political solution to the Naga problem belongs to the “Naga people.”

Mulatonu said that the rival NSCN can talk about “integration” with India as long as they wanted that the issue of integration is simply a “domestic” problem of India that can be solved within the Constitution of India. He said the GPRN/NSCN has no objection to such talks. On the other hand, the envoy said that solution to the Naga political problem belongs to the “Naga people” and that it would be solved at an appropriate time “by” the Naga people. He also said that Naga history and the political struggle are two different things and one has to know the distinction between the two. Dwelling on the contribution of Sumis to the Naga national cause since 1918-19, Mulatonu said that Sumis have been the pillars of the Naga movement.

Hothrong in his address also said that political solution should precede integration and claimed that the talks between the “NSCN (IM) and GoI” were deadlocked due to the integration issue. “Let political solution come first, after that integration will come about slowly in a phased manner,” he said. Stating that the main reason behind the rise in Naga political groups or factions was due to the Shillong Accord, the kilo kilonser said that Nagas have been shouting for unification since then. He however said that after the ‘Unification’ move began two years back, majority of the tribes remained silent except for the Sumis and ENPO, which backed the move.

Referring to the move for reconciliation and unity among Nagas, kilonser Singson said, “you (public) all are the best judge of yesterday’s politics and you all are the best witness of today’s situation.” He also said that Nagas cannot proceed for talks at the present juncture because Nagas are a divided house and that any group that goes for talks would return empty-handed. Expressing regret that the Naga political movement has degenerated into a “blame game”, Singson said, “If we say that Nagas are one, then we must also prove to the world that Nagas are one.”

On the “Naga reconciliation: A journey of common hope” undertaken by the Forum for Naga Reconciliation along with the joint working group of the Naga political groups, he said that reconciliation as a process had come a long way. “Today, I can call Hebron people my friends. Earlier, I treated them as my enemies,” he admitted. Both Hothrong and Singson also acknowledged the role played by Sumi frontal organizations in their effort to bring about reconciliation and unity among the Nagas. Later in the second session, the GPRN/NSCN members had an interactive session with leaders of various western Sumi frontal organizations.

Morung Express

Naga integration not feasible: GK Pillai

IMPHAL, Feb 26: Visiting Union Home Secretary GK Pillai has announced that coordinated operations would be launched against North East rebel groups who have opened camps in Myanmar. GK Pillai also categorical-ly stated that NSCN-IM’s demands for sovereignty and Naga integration are not feasible. Addressing a press meet at the 1st Bn MR compound this evening, GK Pillai said that his visit to Yangon and talks with Myanmarese officials was highly positive.

The Indian authority also gave the Myanmarese authority maps and locations of Indian rebel groups taking shelter in Myanmar. Home Secretary GK Pillai held a meeting with his Myanmarese counterpart Brig Gen Phon Swe at Yan-gon on February 18. There are numerous camps of North East rebel groups in Myanmar including UNLF, PLA, NSCN-IM and NSCN-K.

A coordinated operation would be launched against these UG groups. However, the Home Secretary ruled out possibility of a joint operation. Refusing to divulge exact date on which the coor- dinated operation may be launched, the Home Secretary said Myanmar army are suffering from several limitations. The Indian army would extend necessary assistan-ce, said Pillai adding that the response of the Banglade-shi Government on similar joint initiative was overwhelmingly positive.

On being asked about the next round of talk between NSCN-IM and the Government of India scheduled for next month, Pillai said that New Delhi’s proposal for the dialogue would have been already given to interlocutor RS Pandey but the points of the proposal cannot be disclosed. Categorically stating that demands for sovereignty and integration are not feasible, Pillai said other demands can be accommodated within the process of dialogue. He also hailed the Government of India’s app- roach as pragmatic. To another query whe-ther New Delhi can accede to a Bhutan-type sovereig-nty or autonomy, the Home Secretary negated any possibility of either of the two.

He affirmed that Bhutan is a foreign country. Stating that proposal for amendment of the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act has been submitted to the Union Cabinet, Pillai said the amendment bill would be tabled during the ongoing Parliament session. On being asked about New Delhi’s response to the UNLF’s proposal for plebiscite under the supervision of the UN and RPF’s demand for withdrawal of troops and recognition of sovereignty question before starting political dia- logue, GK Pillai said that all forms of violence should be stopped and there should not be any pre-condition. “Dialogue can find a solution, violence cannot bring anything positive”, GK Pillai said.

Commenting on violation of ground rules by UG groups under ceasefire agreement and SoO pact, Pillai said that efforts are on to complete construction of designated camps and also to give training of various sorts so that they can earn their livelihood. Instructions have also been given not to allow encashment of cheques iss- ued for construction of integrated check post at Moreh. The State Government’s decision to appoint a security advisor is to seek se- cond opinion in security related issues. This was deci- ded during a meeting between the Union Home Minister and Chief Minister of Manipur, Pillai said.

The Centre has also suggested the State Govern- ment to reduce security personnel now guarding/escorting State VIPs and to deploy them at police stations. Pillai said his visit to Ma-nipur is for reviewing the law and order and security situation in the backdrop of the recent surrender and arrest of ULFA functionaries. The Union Home Secretary also had separate meetings with the Govenor and the Chief Minister earlier today. He would leave Imphal for Dimapur at 8.30 am tomorrow.  Sangai Express