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Buzz on Muivah ‘secret’ entry
NEW DELHI, JUL 12:
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Published on 13 Jul. 2009 1:14 AM IST
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There is a loud buzz that top leaders of Naga rebel groups will assemble to explore the possibility of reconciliation. Speculation is rife that the general secretary of the Isak-Muivah faction of the NSCN, Thuingalang Muivah, may have secretly entered Nagaland already. Sources told The Telegraph that the 72-year-old militant leader had secretly entered India and reached the NSCN (I-M)’s headquarters at Camp Hebron near Dimapur, apparently to explore a reconciliation between the rival groups. The Ato Kilonser (prime minister) of the NSCN’s Khaplang faction, Kitovi Zhimomi, is also likely to participate in a meeting at an undisclosed location. Wary of unsolicited speculation and news about the reconciliation process, the central agencies and the NSCN factions are keeping developments under wraps. Curiously, instead of denying Muivah’s arrival, “who told you?” was a common refrain while Delhi’s points man K. Padmanabhaiah said the reports were “wrong”. Only a few months ago, Muivah and a few associates had left base in Amsterdam and travelled to South Africa, before deciding to return to India. The visit may have been necessitated, sources said, by a rare event with repercussions in the entire Northeast and parts of Southeast Asia. On June 8, the Naga rebel leaders released a Covenant of Reconciliation with signatures of chairman of NSCN (K) S.S. Khaplang, chairman of NSCN (I-M) Isak Chishi Swu and S. Singnyu who heads a faction of the Naga National Council, earlier founded by the legendary A.Z. Phizo. A Forum for Naga Reconciliation (FNR) was constituted to further efforts for reconciliation between the militant groups who have warred constantly since the NSCN split in 1988. The Telegraph reported that Muivah’s purpose apparently was to explore a possibility and reach a conclusion without raising too many hopes or speculation regarding the process. Since sections in the NSCN factions do not want reconciliation, Muivah’s job is even more difficult. Muivah himself was at one time against reconciliation. However, with Delhi willing to hammer out a solution if the rebel leaders agree, it has become necessary to take various sections and tribes into confidence. It is because of this that his visit is believed to have been kept under wraps. A source pointed out that Muivah had entered through Dhaka — he holds Bangladeshi and South Korean passports — and was escorted by a central security agency till Hebron. A few years ago, Swu had sneaked through Bangladesh and was escorted to Hebron by Nagaland police. Sources insisted that the rebel leader had been holding meetings with his close associates on the issue of reconciliation with the rival faction. There is no official denial from the NSCN (I-M).

 
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