Memorandum to PMO of India

To
Shri. Narendra Modi
The Hon’ble Prime Minster
Government of India

Subject: Memorandum

Hon’ble Sir,

We bring Warm Greetings from the Office of Naga Students’ Federation

*1) About Naga Students’ Federation:*
The Naga Students Federation (NSF) was formed in 1947 founded on the vision and sacrifices of educated Naga youths of that time, who felt the need to have an organized body through which collective aspiration could be articulated and at the same time respond to issues confronting the students in particular and Nagas in general. It came to being at a time when there were only few Nagas who could apprehend futuristic possibilities with clear political and social acumen.
Since then, the Naga Students’ Federation has been striving for the larger interest of the Nagas-unwavering in its stand and persevering in promoting the rights of the Nagas. NSF has been standing firm without compromising on any issues, according to their correct perspectives, which are a matter of concern for the Nagas as a people, irrespective of tribes or divisive elements that may prevail from time to time.
It has always been the standpoint of the federation that Nagas in general would live under one administrative umbrella under a sovereign government and that the stand of the federation has always been integration of all Naga homeland and sovereignty in line with our motto ‘For Unified Lim and Glory of Nagas’.

*2) Brief Background of the Ongoing Peace process:*
The journey of Naga Struggle has never been an easy road. However, after a prolong military confrontation, the NSCN and GOI entered into second ceasefire on 1st August, 1997; with the initiatives for a peaceful resolution to the indo-Naga conflict. The basis of present political dialogues between the Government of India and NSCN representing the Naga people are a) without any pre-condition b) at the highest level and c) in third countries.
On June 14, 2001 in Bangkok it was re-affirmed that the ceasefire agreement is between the Government of India and NSCN as two entities without territorial limits. The process was further strengthened on 11th July, 2002, the then Prime Minister of India Atal Bihari Vajpayee declared recognition of the ‘unique history and situation of the Nagas’ by the GOI. This agreement is land mark in the historical and political journey of the Nagas as India accepted for the first time that Nagas were never a part of India either by conquest or by consent of the Naga people. In addition, it recognizes that, the prevailing situation in Nagalim is political in nature and not that of law and order problem of India, thus, requiring political solution. Hectic negotiations for eighteen (18) years culminated to the historic signing of Framework Agreement between the GOI and NSCN on August 3rd, 2015. Thereafter, the seven (7) NNPGs were joined the talk for an inclusive peace process on September 27th 2017.

*3) Resentment against R N Ravi’s dual role and his conduct thereafter*
R N Ravi in his dual role as the GOI interlocutor as well as the Governor of Nagaland was viewed with skepticism by the Naga people at large. However, the federation refrained from making our disagreement public hoping that he would discharge his dual duty with the highest degree of integrity which, to our utter dismay, was not to be.
R N Ravi has been indulging in rhetoric words and practices which has resulted in much chaos and confusion in the Naga society. Though his cunningly concocted attempt to divide the Naga society into ‘primary stakeholders’ and ‘secondary stakeholders’ was an utter failure, he has gone about painting a glossy picture of the same through print and electronic media.
It has come to light through various sources and media houses that the Indian interlocutor has been adopting the practice of twisting and misinterpreting the words enshrined in the historic framework agreement against agreed terms and principles to suit his political overlords. Such a practice is inimical to the unique history and legitimate rights of the Naga people. It has also become crystal clear to the Naga people that GOI is approaching the peace process from a bureaucratic lens which is leading to the misinterpretation of compentencies that has been mutually worked out so far between the entities.

*4) Deadline in the negotiation process*
The Indo-Naga peace process has been ongoing since the last 22 years making much progress. However, the recent development wherein the GOI interlocutor has been resorting to imposing a uniteral deadline of 31st October’ 19 upon the Naga negotiating team is against the universally accepted principle of a peaceful and mutually agreed negotiation. No honorable solution can be brought about if one of the teams to the negotiation starts to throw their weight around and tries to impose the same upon the opposite party. More so, the projected deadline has been responsible for much pain and has thrown the Naga society into further chaos which is totally the opposite of what the peace process seeks to achieve, i.e. permanent peace and tranquility in the Naga homeland.
The federation therefore seeks the intervention of your good office in advising the interlocutor to refrain from holding the hard earn peace process to the ransom of time.

*5) NSF and other civil organizations sidelined in the present consultative process*
It is an undeniable fact that the NSF is the oldest pan Naga civil society organization formed to represent the voice of the Naga people. It is also the fact that the federation is older than even the Union of India. However, in the recent series of consultative meets, the federation has been left out as an uninvited guest thereby depriving the Naga students and youths of the opportunity to express their aspirations and desires from the impending solution to the protracted Indo-Naga political issue. We must admit that our sentiments have been deeply hurt by the non-invitation by Shri. R N Ravi, the GOI interlocutor to the Peace talk and current Governor of Nagaland. NSF is not against any organization or individuals invited for consultation, however, as the main stakeholder representing the voices of those who will inherit ‘the solution, it is unimaginable for the consultation process to be a mandated one without the NSF.

*6) Economic packages alone is no solution at all*
The sacrifices of many Nagas whether they are dead or still alive, is not a struggle for Naga identity alone; it is also a struggle for self determination, a struggle against the imposition of alien culture and values upon us, a struggle against the ‘divide and rule’ policy of the forces determined to keep us subjugated.
It is in this background that the NSF made its standpoint crystal clear that Economic packages or monetary assistance cannot purchase the rights of the Naga people. Rather, the GOI should not hesitate from allowing the Naga people to retain their legitimate rights.
Further, the Naga people have come a long way by denouncing the 16th Point Agreement or the Shillong Accord and that any sort of agreement that is going to be signed between the GOI and Naga negotiators should not be mere reaffirmation or expansion of 16 Point Agreements.

*7) Conclusion*
In the backdrop of the above given history and position, the Naga Students’ Federation (NSF) hereby demands your good office that:
1) The Unique Naga Identity be recognized through the Naga National flag which is dear to the hearts and minds of the Naga people.
2) The Government of India (GOI) to honor the 3rd August Framework Agreement both in letter and in spirit as it was signed by both the entities in the presence of the Hon’ble Prime Minister of India.
3) Solution to the protracted indo-Naga political issue should be inclusive, honorable and acceptable basing on the uniqueness of Naga History.
4) GOI should focus on ‘mutually negotiated solution’ instead of ‘imposed solution’.
5) GOI should desist from provoking the situation by sending Indian Armies to Naga homeland and issuing statement of threat.

The Naga Students Federation takes our stand to make it succinctly and explicitly clear that the federation for all times to come continue to pursue the Pan Naga youth aspiration of integration and sovereignty through a democratic process. The Federation shall continue to stand by its own identity and principles laid down by its founding fathers in the larger interest of the Nagas.
We pray that the right wisdom will prevail and will bring lasting peace and progress to the Naga people.

Copy to:
1) Eno. Antonio Guterres Secretary General, United Nations (UN), New York
2) Ralph Bunche, Secretary General, Unrepresented Nations and Peoples’ Organization (UNPO), Brussells, Belgium
3) Dr. Frans Welman, Secretary, Naga International Support Centre (NISC) Amsterdam
4) Guard File
Sd/- President, Naga Students’ Federation
Sd/- President, Anal Lenruwl Tangpi (ALT)
Sd/- President, Angami Students’ Union (ASU)
Sd/- President, Ao Kaketshir Mungdang (AKM)
Sd/- President, All Zeliangrong Students’ Union (AZSU)
Sd/- President, Chakhesang Students’ Union (CSU)
Sd/- President, Lotha Students’ Union (LSU)
Sd/- President, Lamkang Kurchuknao Kunpun (LKK)
Sd/- President, Mao Students’ Union (MSU)
Sd/- President, Maram Students’ Union (MKS)
Sd/- President, Maring Students’ Union (MSU)
Sd/- President, Mongsang Naga Students’ Union (STS)
Sd/- President, Moyon Naga Students’ Union (TTBR)
Sd/- President, Poumai Naga Tsiidoumai Me (PNTM)
Sd/- President, Pochury Students’ Union (PSU)
Sd/- President, Rengma Students’ Union (RSU)
Sd/- President, Sumi Kiphimi kuqhakulu (SKK)
Sd/- President, Tangkhul Katamnao Saklong (TKS)
Sd/- President, All Naga Students’ Association Manipur (ANSAM)
Sd/- President, All Nagaland College Students’ Union

Treading cautiously on the final Naga peace agreement

 

*The Hindu*

M.P. Nathanael
OCTOBER 24, 2019 00:05 IST

The Centre should not be rigid in its stance
Around the time that the Centre announced the abrogation of special status for Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) under Article 370, there was a flutter of anxiety, bordering on panic, in the North-Eastern States, particularly in Nagaland, which enjoys certain special privileges under Article 371(A) of the Constitution. The State’s Governor, R.N. Ravi, assuaged the angst through assurances that there would be no tampering with Article 371(A).
Given that J&K Governor Satya Pal Malik had given a similar assurance to the denizens of that State when former Chief Minister Omar Abdullah met him two days before the constitutional change was announced, the Naga people are justifiably sceptical about the statements of their Governor that Article 371(A) is a “solemn commitment to the people of Nagaland…” and that they “don’t have to worry at all.”

Separate flag, Constitution
For reasons best known to the concerned officials in the government and the signatories on behalf of the National Socialist Council of Nagaland (Isak-Muivah), the Framework Agreement, which was signed with much fanfare in the presence of the Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2015, has remained under wraps. Was there something in the agreement that was hindering its disclosure? Perhaps it was a clause regarding a separate flag and Constitution for Nagaland? Could the Centre have strategised that the final agreement for Nagaland would only be announced after the decision on J&K, so that the latter could serve as a precedent event and render reversal of any aspects of the Naga agreement — including clauses on its flag and Constitution — impossible?

Herein lies the crux of the matter. While the Nagas maintain that “the Naga national flag is the symbol of the recognised Naga entity… the Constitution of the Nagas is the book form of the recognised sovereignty,” the Centre has conveyed its firm stand that the matter stands rejected.
Meanwhile, akin to actions taken in J&K, leaves of all government officials including police personnel have been cancelled and the State put on alert. While the Naga National Political Groups (NNPG), an umbrella organisation of seven insurgent groups, has consented to be a signatory to the agreement for the time being, it has asserted that the Naga Constitution, must be drafted by a committee of distinguished personalities from every Naga tribe. Though the NNPG does not distance itself from the final agreement, it holds the view that such a Constitution could be drafted subsequently. Currently, to meet the deadline of October 31, the agreement seems to be getting pushed forward, with the Centre hopeful that the talks slated for October 24 will be decisive and final.

However, with the NSCN (I-M) obdurate in its stand of having a separate flag and Constitution, the situation could take a turn for the worse. In a reference to the armed outfit of NSCN (I-M), the Centre has categorically stated that talks at gunpoint are not acceptable and has directed all armed outfits including the NSCN (I-M) to decide upon a date for surrender of all arms in their possession. While the other outfits like NSCN (Khaplang), NSCN (Unification) and NSCN (Reformation) may readily agree to surrender their arms, the NSCN (I-M) may not give up as easily, unless of course the prospect of governmental berths being offered in the Nagaland Assembly might be allurement enough for it to do so.

The Centre also could do well to step back from its rigid position of forcing an agreement that a major political stakeholder is not willing to ink. The government will have to tread cautiously in tackling the situation lest a variant of the pre-1997 militancy returns to the State. That would be a retrograde development, especially given the last 22 years of hard-fought peace.

M.P. Nathanael is a retired Inspector General of Police, CRPF

NMA objects to ‘policy of exclusion’

 

DIMAPUR, OCT 23
Affirming its commitment towards an ‘inclusive and just peace’ that respects Naga aspirations and long years of struggle, the Naga Mothers’ Association (NMA) has raised objection to what it described as “the policy of exclusion” of civil society organisations like Naga Hoho, NMA, NSF and NPMHR by the State agencies and the Interlocutor for the Naga Peace talks. In a press release, NMA asserted that as women and mothers they have suffered as victims of the conflict, but also made their contributions to peace making and peace building.

As regards, NMA has appealed to Naga leaders and brothers from different Naga political groups to come together in peace and speak for a solution that brings sustainable peace to the Nagas and their children. Naga mothers also appealed to the state government to “impartially” play its role of facilitators for peace by taking all Nagas forward. Further, NMA urged the Interlocutor to “abstain from selective division” of Nagas. It reminded that Naga women’s voices must also be counted in the process of peace building. NMA maintained that Nagas cannot afford another period of violence. “Let there be no more bloodshed and peace be brought through mutual respect and understanding,” NMA underscored.

Source from Nagaland Post.