Delay in NSCN-K truce talks

Kohima, April 27: The extension of the ceasefire between the Khaplang faction of the NSCN and the Centre has been delayed because of disagreements, an insider in the outfit said.

The yearlong ceasefire between the Centre and the outfit expired today but further talks on its extension have stalled because of some hiccups, the source said.

The talks were scheduled for Tuesday.

Khaplang Photo by Rajeev Bhattacharyya

Photo by Rajeev Bhattacharyya

However, sources in the group said the outfit’s chairman, S.S. Khaplang, has deputed a few of his functionaries, including spokesman P. Tikhak and Wangtin Naga, to meet representatives of the Centre to sign the truce extension. Nagaland-based functionaries of the outfit have recently returned from Myanmar after meeting Khaplang, sources said. The delegation will leave for the national capital tomorrow via Dibrugarh in Assam.

The Centre and the NSCN (K) had signed a ceasefire agreement on April 27, 2001, and since then they have been extending the truce every year.

Other outfits in Nagaland have been insisting on talks with the Centre but the government has said it will not engage in dialogue with other groups till there is resolution of the talks with the NSCN (Isak-Muivah).

NSCN (I-M) chairman Isak Chishi Swu and general secretary Thuingaleng Muivah have threatened to pull out of the peace process if the Centre initiates an inclusive dialogue. The duo do not recognise other outfits and have branded them “anti-Naga”.

Prior to signing of the ceasefire with the NSCN (I-M) in July 31, 1997, the Centre had assured the outfit that it would not engage in dialogue with other Naga outfits and stated that the NSCN (I-M) was the only legitimate Naga group.

The NSCN (I-M), which was engaged in reconciliation process with other outfits, ruled out taking other groups on board for the peace process.

Shambu Singh, joint secretary (Northeast) in the home ministry, said the Centre would not hold talks with other groups till the talks with the NSCN (I-M) reach a conclusion. The statement was likely to have ramifications in the reconciliation process and in the efforts being made by the Forum for Naga Reconciliation (FNR) to form a united Naga government comprising all major outfits. The forum has the support of various Naga, national and international organisations.

The NSCN (K) has been arguing taht it is the only legitimate outfit which can represent Nagas living in India and Myanmar but the Centre was not willing to engage in dialogue with Khaplang, who is a Burmese national. The outfit has two designated camps in India — at Suruhoto in Zunheboto district and in Mon district. – Telegraph, Kolkata


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