Sincerity without political will . . . is meaningless

He is a Leader, Friend, and Uncle to many of us, a well-known political figure and yet who remains a humble man. Ladies and Gentlemen, we bring you Mr. Mani Charenamei, former Member of Parliament (Lok Sabha) representing the Outer Manipur Constituency. Here are his insights shared with NagalimTimes (NT) members.

NT: Good Evening! Sir  

Charenamei: Good evening everyone

NT: How often do you visit NT group and how do you like it?

Charenamei: I do visit NT regularly and I like it.

NT: What do you think of all those issues and topics we discuss in a social networking sites or groups like ours? Do they have any impact outside the virtual world?

Charenamei: The topics and Issues discussed in Nagalim Times are highly educative and enlightening. Topics pertaining to Naga Political issue are quite relevant to our present society and the divergent opinions expressed by various learned members has been very helpful in making many visitors to understand the Naga issue in perspective.

NT: You were a high ranked Forest Officer before coming into active politic, what prompted you to join politics?

Charenamei: I truly love my forester job, it has been my passion to work in the Forest department and I like to take up the challenges of protecting the rich biodiversity of our forest and I still consider myself as a forester till today.

In my life’s journey as a student activist and as a forester I came across different kinds of untold hardships and sufferings the Naga people in particular and tribal people in general were facing while trying to cope with the meagre needs of their daily lives. On top of innumerable sufferings and abject poverty the Naga people have been suffering from untold hardships and humiliation in the hands of the insensitive administrators and the unruly Security forces.  I also had a strong desire to help the government to solve insurgency in the North Eastern Region by highlighting the genuine grievances of various ethnic groups of the state in the Parliament and in other appropriate places to draw the attention of the concerned authorities for speedy redressal of their problems. I also strongly felt that Naga political leaders should not alienate the Naga Underground Workers just because they rebel against the Nation but should have a heart to understand them otherwise our leadership can be questioned by the people. My passion to help the poor and the weak had actually prompted me to join politics

NT: Do you think the Naga Youths needs to involve more into politics?

Charenamei: I think sincere and committed youths should join politics however they should be aware that there will be temptations, hardships, insult and humiliations galore as they take up political struggles. However there is no greater sacrifice than working for the people who are in need of justice and protection.

NT: We have discussed and deliberated much about the Naga political issues in this group (NT) yet we are without any substantial clue or information in most cases. Can you update us about the ongoing Indo-Naga talks?

Charenamei: Nagas are living in a sophisticated age and the number of intellectuals has increased many folds. Therefore, when we discuss, analyse and debate on issues pertaining to social, political or economic issues concerning Naga people vis-à-vis ever changing surrounding scenario, it is always better to substantiate and contextualise our issues with facts and figures.

As I am not a party to any of the Negotiating teams, I am not in a position to throw much light on the status and progress of the ongoing Indo- Naga Peace Talks. However, as per statements issued by both the Indian Leadership and the NSCN (IM) from time to time, I can safely say that Peace Talk is heading towards an honourable solution.

NT: What kind of solution do you foresee and when?

Charenamei: It is difficult to predict anything on the outcome of the Peace Talk and likely date of Signing Peace Accord now. But, I am hopeful that if settlement is brought to the decades old political problems, Nagas will be able live with dignity and honour as an individual and as a people.

NT: Do you think the GOI is sincerely working on bringing about a solution to the decades old Naga Political issue?

Charenamei: I believe that Govt. of India has been sincere and is sincere till today. But sincerity without political will to solve the Naga issue is meaningless.

NT: Don’t you think the frequent shuffle in the Ministry of Home Affairs for GOI is affecting the flow of talks?

Charenamei: Frequent change of Home Minister should not hamper the Peace Talk but what matter is, we need a Minister who can take political decision and who can take responsibility.

NT: We still vividly remember you spearheading and taking part in the rallies for Naga Integration. How much have we achieved on that?

Charenamei: The desire to live as a people by integrating our lands which is the common aspiration of the Naga people upheld by the Naga Hoho, UNC, Nagaland State Assembly and all the national and regional political parties functioning in the state.  I, on my part as a Naga, always felt that it is my bounden duty to support the Naga cause. My main mission as a member of parliament was to sensitise the Indian Parliament about the legitimate aspiration of our people to live under one administration and to highlight pertinent issues concerning the political, economic and social rights of the Naga people.

The demand for Naga Integration is not negotiable and the right to live together is the highest goal of the Naga people. The essence of our political struggle lies in the integration of our land and people. The fight for integration of our land and people has to continue with much vigour and must be pursued by the Naga public themselves till it is achieved. If our Land and People are integrated we will gain many political dividends.

The issue has been brought to the knowledge of the parliament in the form of parliamentary question and by raising the issue during discussions under various rules, by way of submitting memorandums to all the Ministers, MPs of both the houses both in English and Hindi version to sensitise the Naga Integration issue. The leader of the house of the ruling Congress party was forced to withdraw the infamous clause of the Common Minimum Program which said that the territorial boundary of the North Eastern state will not be changed. I think our issue is very genuine and legitimate in the context of the Indian Constitution and in the context of the criteria taken into account while creating several states under Indian union since Independence.

NT: Please tell us, what is Alternative Arrangement (AA) as demand by United Naga Council (UNC)?

Charenamei: The demand for Alternative Arrangement by the UNC, apex Naga body in Manipur, as I understand is a demand to the Central Government to make alternative arrangement for the Nagas of Manipur outside the control of Manipur govt. even as final solution is being hammered out, because the Chief Minister and his council of ministers has failed to recognise the existence and the sufferings of the Naga people. The Chief Minister of Manipur has acted in contravention to the Constitution of India by deliberately dishonouring the provision of the article no.3 and 4 of the Indian Constitution. The Govt. of Manipur deliberately undermined the Peace Settlement initiated by Govt. of India for bringing about lasting peace in the insurgency affected Naga areas of North East Region of India. In 1964 the then Chief Minister of Manipur, Mr. M. Koireng Singh welcomed the extension of Cease fire operation to 4 Naga dominated districts of Manipur though it was opposed by the then State Congress President. But Govt. of Manipur, under the influence of the Valley people blocked the peaceful visit of Mr Th. Muivah, Gen. Secretary, NSCN (IM) to his native village by using the state security forces resulting in the death of two innocent students. Having seen and experienced the undemocratic, immature, arrogant and high handed attitude of Manipur Government and the lack of political will on the part of Govt. of India to right the wrong, Nagas have been compelled to say ‘Enough is Enough’ and started the movement for Alternative Arrangement for the Nagas of Manipur till final solution to the Naga political problem is found.

NT: What do you say about the demand for Frontier Nagaland by the Eastern Naga People Organization (ENPO)?

Charenamei: Underdevelopment of any region or area due to deliberate negligence of the state is wrong. All out effort should be given to bring the neglected region at par with the developed areas by providing additional funds. We Nagas should remember that the Nagas of Naga Hills district and Mon -Tuensang  area of erstwhile NEFA were integrated to form the present Nagaland state with the sole aim to empower the Naga people with political power so that they can take decision on their own for their betterment and development. As we are one people, our State Executives should be sensitive to the needs and aspirations of all the tribal communities of the state and they (Authorities) should not withhold or delay justice to the most genuine need of the people. And I think, our developmental issues should not be the main basis for demanding a separate state because it will weaken the process to form a stronger and consolidated federal political unit. Therefore my humble appeal to the leaders of ENPO is to have a second thought on their demand for a separate state because the Naga people under the aegis of Naga Hoho have decided to work for an integrated Naga homeland. The aspiration of the Naga people has been upheld by four successive historic resolutions of Nagaland State Assembly to bring the contiguous Naga Area under one administrative umbrella. And we should be also reminded that creation of Nagaland state in the sixties was a classic case of partial Naga Integration.

NT: Sir, your loss in the last election was unfortunate and it’s considered a major drawback in solving the Naga political issues by many. Any comment?

Charenamei: If every Naga is thinking on that line it is good. Here, I wanted to add that my main role as Member of Parliament was to sensitise the parliament about the seriousness of the Naga problems and to pressurise the Govt of India through the Parliament to find amicable solution to the vexed Naga issue so that hostilities against one another will be brought to an end and so that the Naga people may be able to live in peace, with dignity and honour like other people in rest of the country. I also considered myself as an ambassador of Peace to the Parliament of India. In fact, sending a Naga MP to the Indian parliament with people’s mandate itself is a clear message that the Nagas want to live in peace.

If we seriously think that we should have an MP to highlight our various problems in the Parliament we should not repeat the same mistake again because we cannot afford to put our people’s future at stake.

NT: Your advice or suggestion to the bloggers and also to the group.

Charenamei: My humble advice to the NT group and bloggers is not to use the social networking sites for venting personal feelings against friends and to criticise your opponents by using un-parliamentary words. But use the site for disseminating important information and for spreading awareness among the bloggers and other visitors. Always post only authentic information and avoid spreading unconfirmed news.

NT: Thank you very much for your time, Sir.  We look forward to hear more from you.

Charenamei: My sincere thanks to the Admins of NT and all the readers.

Courtesy: Nagalim Times.

Muivah warns Delhi on Khaplang – It could be China or Myanmar using rival group

By: NISHIT DHOLABHAI, Telegraph India 

New Delhi, Oct. 30: The National Socialist Council of Nagalim (Isak-Muivah) has warned the Centre that helping its rival group would mean that it is playing with fire in a region which is closer to Southeast Asia than India.

In an interview to The Telegraph, NSCN (I-M) general secretary Thuingaleng Muivah said if the NSCN (Khaplang) can be used by Indian intelligence agencies, it could very well be used by China, the US or Myanmar. NSCN (K)’s elusive leader S.S. Khaplang resides in Myanmar.

Intelligence agencies have been helping NSCN (K) not only with arms and ammunition but also giving them money through the state government, Muivah said.

The NSCN, formed in 1980 after the failure of the Shillong Accord of 1975, split into the Khaplang and Isak-Muivah groups in 1988. Since then, the two factions have been fighting continuously. This infighting is going on only because Indian intelligence is helping one particular section, Muivah alleged. The septuagenarian rebel leader, who steered clear of the media ever since he arrived in India last December, harped on how geopolitics of the Northeast makes it closer to China and Southeast Asia and that is precisely why the government should be careful. Significantly, the utterances come when the Centre is hardselling its Look East policy in the region’s eight states.

Muivah said during his talks with the Centre last month, he reminded them of a conference in Colombo during the tenure of Jawaharlal Nehru as Prime Minister where every nation was against India. “Everyone was with China.”

Following a public outburst against the NSCN (K) in August 2003 when its leaders had to escape Mokokchung town in Nagaland, the outfit had allegedly lost a lot of cash. The Centre even “compensated” Khaplang, Muivah claimed, saying he had evidence of this. “That money was compensated through Nagaland by the government of India. How many crores, we do not know, but the transaction was done in Calcutta.”

This is the first time that the outfit has directly indicted the ruling Democratic Alliance of Nagaland government for helping the rival group. Chief minister Neiphiu Rio usually sides with the NSCN (I-M). Asked about the forthcoming Assembly elections scheduled to be held sometime in February, Muivah said his group would help those who support him.

Interview by Frans Welman on Secretary Gen. Marino B.

UNPO Interview with Secretary General Marino Busdachin Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization by Frans Welman Naga International Support Center (on videotape) 7 September 2007

FW: Could you explain the objectives of UNPO in relations to what the United Nations covering regarding the Covenants article 1 concerning the right to self determination for all Peoples?

MB: Okay, UNPO has been founded 15 years ago in order to raise the voice of the oppressed Peoples and Nations and the Unrepresented. Mostly to subsidize on an international level issues that are not covered by the United Nations Instead of having one chapter in the United Nations regarding self determination the United Nations never put into force the right of Peoples to for their own best interests.

FW: Is this because of themselves, although they ratified that Covenant and that article because the countries have no interest in the……

MB: They not only have no interests, they are totally against the right to self determination.

FW: Is that not an anachronism then? They ratified it, yet they are against it!

MB It is not the first example in the history where a constitution….. I can say for example a constitution written by Bucharin and adopted by Stalin during the most dark times under Stalin it was just a piece of paper. Unfortunately for the UN they are part of the Magna Carta of the UN and they are still just words on paper. The beginning of the activity is to defend the right of the nation on their sovereignty and obviously there is no chance for anyone in any state in any part of the world to exercise the right to self determination. When a state or an association of states is counterposing the right of their sovereignty… I can mention an example, there is a committee of states, twenty members of the UN which are evaluating awaiting admission of non-governmental organizations. Many non-governmental organizations have not been admitted as NGO on the ECOSOC of the UN because of the reason of the accusation by the member state to try and disrupt the sovereignty of a state, which obviously has nothing to do on the activities on humanitarian, or human rights or educational activity of NGO’s. This is the practice. Differently it seems to me that it is correct for peoples, nations, minorities around the world calling on the UN with respect to the principle of the Magna Carta of the United Nations and the principles of the constitutions of many states, but the reality is pretty bitter and different and today never like today the possibility to exercise the right to self determination has been so largely denied. After 9/11 you can simply say it does not exist anymore this possibility UNPO is always acting in representation of instances of its own members but it is not always recommending to have strategy and tactics that will consent to acting of the old and just request but to enlarge to widen the perspective, because if not the risk is that simply calling for the right to self determination is something amazing, something unrealistic. It is something which does not leave you with any possibility to dialogue, to discuss this with a member. We recommend a member always to be patient and reach tools in order to promote their just rights. But I should say, the times are really not favorable.

FW: Considering the situation of patience the Naga Peoples are in, also a member of UNPO, in what way can the UNPO encourage them to have that patience and to enable them to come to some sort of settlement which is conducive to both parties?

MB: I would like to recall something that has been said by the Dalai Lama regarding the Tibetans who are kindly hosting

FW: The founders of UNPO

MB: One of the founders yes of the UNPO and the question is, in a world which is becoming quickly and aggressively more interdependent

FW: Aggressively? MB: Aggressively because, I don’t want to become now about the global economy and so on, but it means that there is aggression in front of local populations in front of local economies in front of local interest. On this situation the question of independence is fading away, it is turned down as an element of discussion by the international community

FW: Are you referring to the European Community where independent states give up some rights for the greater good of all?

MB: Yes the EU is a very slow process. In order to be patient and comparing it to the Naga negotiations, the first treaty signed by the first five, six states forming the European Union was in 1954 and even today in the year 2007 the European Union is sharing something but they are totally independent and many a time counterpose many important things like in policies of defense foreign affairs, economy and so on. This is a very slow process, but the same process is happening very slowly in Latin America, with America Sur. There is some leading going on in South East Asia with Asean. It seems the world is going to interdependency. That means that I think that in not a very long term it will go from a single state that will determine the situation of autonomy, federalism, independence to a regional question.

FW: Are you not too much talking about the economy then? Because in this region of Europe there are quite a few peoples expressing themselves differently from each other. You are an Italian, I am a Dutchman. We may think alike on certain issues, but we are form different cultures.

MB: Yeah but today I am feeling much more European than Italian. Perhaps 30 years ago I felt myself more Italian that European

FW: Is that not possible because there is peace rather than conflict, conflict is what is spurring this on? MB: No Europe has nothing to teach anything to anyone. There is nothing in that, Europe was the field of the most cruel war, the first and the second just one century and was the field of the most criminal dictatorship and so on. Europe was the field of Stalinism and Nazism. That means the last century was one of the most harsh and cruel time in humanity. But what is happening today would be seen as a middle path, a half way this association of states. Usually when we are talking at UNPO what is possible today in a very difficult situation then we are referring sometimes to Edgar Moran the father of Europe; it’s when you have no chance to solve one problem in a small context, the only chance you have is to enlarge the content. I think the question of the negations of the Nagas and India is not only a micro-regional question. It represents a point of interest in the international community obviously it is not simple to reach the requirements on the international level. I think 6 years or 10 years of negotiations could seem like a long time, but you see what is happening in some peaceful process, sometimes it takes 26 years. Obviously looking for a peaceful solutions requires more time than having an agreement of cease fire and so on, But, I am always referring to India as one of the growing and upcoming economies, a growing and powerful political role, not only in Asia, but on the world level. We should expect that in five six years that India is one of the protagonist effective four in power like USA, European Union, China, Russia and sitting at the table where major question are decided so that it will even requires more responsibility, a different kind of political  responsibility to India. I always say that that will help to improve the situation that the brackets are referring to as an internal situation question of India. I am confident that time is working for a more rich economical growth and for a more effective democracy in India as well as increasing the chance for the Nagas to following the path step by step that will lead to a peaceful settlement, an agreement in which the respect for the identity, autonomy and the self determination of Nagaland and the Naga people will be complemented as a constitutional element in India by law. It is difficult, but it could be a final objective a final target. It seems to me that proceeding step by step will help the partners to identify better themselves to become confident. I think the years passed were not years spent for nothing, but it will require more time, all the other possibilities are very well known and I don’t think that today, going back on a more harsh confrontation will help the peoples of Nagaland, for after so many years of difficult life, fighting and so on, the present war will even be more harsh without possible success. The world has changed a lot the lats 15 years and right or wrong and like any of our members have to face the new world and have to consider that what could be a problem of one of our members means that usually there are six or seven sharing the same problem but in totally different areas and in totally different situations. This is one of the points which makes the UNPO a tool, sometimes a powerful tool for our members in reaching an international dimension and giving them the chance to be the protagonists in the different parts of the world, not only in their own region. Today there are many problems oppressed peoples are facing, unrepresented peoples who have less rights than the others and are much closer to each other and are sharing a lot of these problems. This could become a powerful tool in order to reach their targets; usually it is democracy, it is the right to self determination. And, even the right to self determination should be considered in the most broad sense, Step by step I would like to refer to Kurds in Iraq; they are enjoying a more or less effective autonomy from 1991/92. They are part of a state but their level of autonomy is pretty close to independence. They never dropped their quest for independence but they are used to talking very plainly and simply, it is not for today. Perhaps it will be useful tomorrow, but today we are working on what we have, which means this kind of autonomy. It depends obviously on what the agreement will be, the point of the agreement that will be reached in the negotiations, but not necessarily it is a step back. 

FW: I have noticed that many ordinary Nagas feel encouraged by being part of the UNPO as it let’s say represents the international community so they see it as that they are not alo0ne in their quest. On the other hand considering that it takes long this cease fire without, for them, any tangible results and at the same time India, through its forces and other ways of dealing with the situation like the divide and rule continues, either by spreading money or by propping up adversaries so the ground situation for the Nagas is deteriorating. On the one hand their way of life is enhanced, because from too much pressure because they are still under occupation but on the other hand they feel many forces work against them, psychological warfare for instance, so asking them to have a long breath how can you prop their feelings up?

MB: First to open the borders so to have free circulation of people’s ideas, capitals. That could be an intermediate point in the negotiations. I don’t know if it has been raised, but Nagaland is not a land that you can go visiting, for reasons of security and so on. It seems to me that in a democratic country rules regarding security can be changed. It is a pretty non violent request that Nagaland can be reachable for anyone in the world. That is the first step in my opinion.

FW:  So take it out of Isolation

MB: And the second is that it could be a process with a third part mediator. I am referring to the example. It took so many years, regarding Northern Ireland. I am referring to the senator Mitchell Commission, in order to process and setting negotiations based on decommissioning

FW: So third party mediation?

MB:Yeah, but not necessarily it should be a state. Usually a third commission in the case of Senator Mitchell was a production of a major Ngo, a think tank foundation and then there was the support on the issue by president Clinton, but the idea started in a different circle. I am referring to George Soros I am referring to other foundations, I am referring to all other Non-Governmental Organizations. The entire process started in the eighties and then in order to get some result in the beginning of the year 2009? But, I think to open the world Nagaland, getting free circulation of people, ideas, capitals, having a process starting with decommissioning of weapons of armies and so on, having an international monitoring of

FW: Decommissioning of weapons?

MB: Decommissioning on the level of non-violence because the security is a concept that is including everything but decommissioning level on the confrontation of a situation, even in a state of cease fire of negotiations there are some accidents, mostly on the harsh confrontations of some micro situation. Having a long path on decommissioning, step by step, situation by situation, the level of the use of violence or any acts in the field could be another step. I am referring to those two issues because they are not part I think of the core negotiations, they are not part of the negotiations regarding the half independence status, full autonomy, the mutual federation of the asymmetric federation or any other possibility. It can be seen as good will, waiting for the time and sometimes that is necessary…

FW: This goes for both parties?

MB: Yeah waiting for the time for sometimes that time is needed for the situation to be ripe to get a mutually satisfactory result. This part can help the people, with the Nagas to be confident and can even give the Government of India something that can improve the situation. In my opinion those issues like many others that have nothing to do with the main issue of the negotiations between India and Nagaland could help to create the atmosphere, the mutual respect and an improved loyalty upon keeping the word given during the negotiations. That can set a better background…….

FW: But doesn’t that mean that for instance the Indian Government should abolish the Armed Forces Special Powers Act, which is a tremendous tool for them to …..

MB: This could be a decision that should be taken by the Indian Parliament and executed by the Indian Government, but a process, in my opinion, of negotiating some particular steps which are not part of the package regarding the self determination, or autonomy or independence could open the way. I am referring to the context which is too strict, it does not give you any way out, we are trying to get some partial results which can improve the situation. That in turn can lead to a general improvement of the background of the negotiations. In my opinion any facilitator who can improve the level of the negotiations between the Nagas and the Indian Government will be helpful. Time is required because we need to be confident of changes in India, international and internal as even the Naga People are changing. We are in a world where changes are happening very quickly, but in my opinion there will be be a good option of setting a larger a broader negotiation including that would be a negotiation per installment of different issues, because there is always the risk is that, if the negotiations come to a dead end, there is nothing more to say and that means we mean to …

FW: That point has been reached some times

MB: Evidently, and if they stopped it is a part of the negotiations. I think that there will be, in my opinion, more argument that could be discussed between the two parties and in my opinion there good be room for a facilitator but only who dedicates only on a particular issue, so that it will enlarge, broaden, the support that some facilitator could have by the international community, by some states, by an association of states without their involvement in a question that following the international law is seen by India as an internal question and by the Nagas as a fight for freedom and self determination. But everything of every, more facilitation, can be helped by the international community, by the non-governmental community, by single states. It will preserve direct involvement and it will lead to a general improvement, partial, minimal sometimes, but any steps going in the right direction of a peaceful setting we need to welcome.

FW: A critic would say it is all nice and well to talk from behind the desk and overseeing the situation you are quite right, on the other hand the dynamics in the country with the people concerned, let’s take for instanced the soldiers of the Naga Army. They do nothing all the time during cease fire, they have guns and they are not always that educated and see money floating around and they have no part in it. These are human beings that do things, so what I am trying to say is that even if you are full of goodwill it is not always possible for an organization to sit still and let things develop that go beyond your control.

MB: It would be a potentially dangerous question mostly for the Naga People, the Naga Civilians, the Naga leaders

FW:Naga civilians get in trouble with the Naga Army!

MB: What I suggest, hmmm what I suggest!, what is my idea is when an army spends a lot of time with nothing to do it……

FW: In peace time or relative peace time

MB:…should be converted into a civilian form or state. This process should be initiated in my opinion by the Nagas but must be facilitated by the Indian Government. When I told you that Nagaland needs to be open I meant that it will help for a military structure or  a military activity to a civil government activity. That, in my opinion, is happening in all the situations in the world and it is always most difficult, but an army which is not active will run the risk of becoming more attentive to their own interest instead of the interest of the people….

FW: So crimes are committed and will lead to uprisings and irritations…..

MB:…..I don’t want to go into details but anyone knows many examples like that in the world. I think that the process to start to converting military cadres and forces into civilian is absolutely necessary and responsibly the Indian Government should open the way and facilitate this process. I told you that open the borders to ideas, people, circulation of money and capital it will help the Nagas even to start. That would be another point. I am not aware of negotiations usually having different stages like they have public stuff or no stuff, but this is another form of decommissioning, but it is necessary for India. If the chance to Nagaland to be visited by citizens from all the world and could go there must be confidence in the process of which the Indian Government is part. I think that obviously there could be a security progress it could be progress of opening the Naga borders and so on…….

FW: The people again, though they enjoy relative peace, tension is still felt so what you from here, from the Hague, on the international level say to encourage them to maintain composure so there will be a time eventually?

MB: What I have to say is first the question of education, the Nagas could invest all their possibilities to the highest possible education to its young people. Secondly to dedicate more time to the creation of a society in which a little enterprise and other forms of economical improvement will be accessible and to be more known to the International NGO community, by the press and so on.

FW: So they have to invest in becoming known so they exist for the world outside?

MB: In information, in education so that it will trust, confidence to the young people, as always the young people are the future of a country and so they have less bitter memories of the past and more freshness and hope for the future. That will help in order to have a positive approach, even knowing the fact that time required for a peaceful settlement can be longer than expected.

FW: But the process will gradually improve the situation?

MB: In my opinion there are evident changes and chances for India for the Nagas to get more chances in the future, because India is becoming a protagonist and one of the leading countries of the world. The Nagas can be seen in a macro regional Asia not in a micro and then everything changes. If you enlarge your map, you can see that what can be very important in a small map, it is really less important and less dramatic in a larger map. There are many problems in the area, there is Burma, there are many others, but even there a little step now in which it seems it could be, is not a short time process, but we should be confident that situation can change in Burma, that the situation can improve in South East Asia. And, even China is changing, not in the direction of becoming a democratic country for sure, but into something of a strange hybrid, but the changes in the protagonists in the region, will reflect, find some reflection on the situation regarding Nagaland and even on the negotiations between Nagaland and India. The world is becoming smaller in some way and perhaps what is happening in Nagaland will be a point of major interest on the table much more than today for sure.

FW: So to internationalize the case would be helpful for them

MB: Yes but we require a total improvement of the information on the situation. You need to get access if not it is difficult. You cannot internationalize a situation which is, not now, in which you cannot get access.

FW: Yes that is why I said it is not known and so it is the chicken and the egg

MB: Yes, that is not helping, to keep that situation under partial control

FW: It is also a policy of India not to open it up so it will not be known?

MB: I don’t know if the Government discussed the issue in parliament. You know we are in a moment in which generally in the world the question of the war on terrorism is on the top, sometimes even having disrespect of its own rules of many states, not talking only in Asia. I am talking in Europe, I am talking in the USA, I am talking in the United Kingdom, I am talking in Italy, in other countries. The major democracies issue should be more attentive with respect to the rights of citizens, with respect to the constitutions. I think that some paranoid approach on the question of terrorism could be too much and the cost and the bill paid by the populations and by the individual rights are too high in order of the results to achieve. But this is not a question regarding India Nagaland, it is more or less an analogy which is regarding the entire world. I think that citizens need to pay more attention to their government and the governments need to be much more attentive in respect of their own rules. That is a general question. It is not an Asian or South East Asian question

FW: That is quite a good one to end the interview with that the government should respect its own rules

MB: That is the general question. I told you always security is involved, the question of security and army present the major risk that there are parts unknown even to the government of the country that it happened too much frequently in western countries recently and I think that major democracies should carefully pay much more attention to such stuff generally.

 FW: Any word for the Nagas to prop them up to wait out their time?

MB: I have already discussed but soon I hope to have a meeting, the usual one at the beginning of the season.

FW: I am talking now more on the ordinary people because the ordinary people will read this

MB: Always on the run and having meeting with governments and conferences the question of the Nagas is one of the top questions of UNPO. Sometimes it is difficult to explain who the Nagas are, there is very little knowledge and awareness of the task staff, that is not facilitating. I think that if there would be a chance that I would like to discuss in order to get a kind of European parliament presentation on the question of the Nagas, because that can involve many European political forces to suppose, considering something. UNPO did something similar with some question in the European parliament in the middle and at the end of the nineties, but considering some experiences that we had for other members that it is pretty positive to have this kind of conference and presentation. There is very little knowledge on such a situation and it is not facilitating to talk with such an argument. I think that can be done and we can improve the knowledge because information is always paving the way, better information means better chances for the people.

FW: So, may I take this as a suggestion to organize a conference on the Naga Peoples?

MB: I think that it is useful to have a kind of conference regarding the Nagas, the process of the negotiations, the situation of different aspects in some part of the world and that it will facilitate in the Nagas to realize even what is the general idea of being here, what are the suggestions. It will help them. It will help them to feel that they are part of a world that is larger than their region or is larger than India….

FW: ,,,,Larger than India..

MB: And it will consent even other people or members of parliament, others, to be more interested on the question of the Nagas. On the other side, India it will know obviously when there is more interest in the situation and there will be more interest in India in  which the situation could be improving instead of deteriorating

 FW: Mr. Busdachin thank you very much