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GoI-NSCN (I-M) talks likely in ‘Naga soil’
Correspondent VISWEMA, MAY 21 (NPN):
Published on 22 May. 2010 12:07 AM IST
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Next round of talks between the NSCN (I-M) and the government of India is likely to resume soon and for the first time in Naga soil.
“We have made it clear that the next round of talks should be held in the Naga country,” NSCN (I-M) steering committee, ‘convenor’ “Lt.Gen (Retd)” V. S. Atem disclosed while addressing a press conference at Viswema Friday. He, however, said there was no positive response so far to the proposal from the Government of India, which had maintained that it was not averse to the proposal. Refusing to divulge on the proposed venue for talks, Atem said the talks could be held in Senapati or Ukhrul if the Government of India agreed to.
He has been camping at Viswema village along with the NSCN (I-M) general secretary, Muivah and host of other top brass of the organization since their arrival on May 5 last.
Reacting sharply to the various statements emanating from Manipur, the NSCN (I-M) leader said even God might be finding difficulty in dealing with the Manipur chief minister Okram Ibobi Singh. Referring to Ibobi’s statement that Muivah should first give up the demand for Naga integration and sovereignty if wanted to visit his hometown, Atem reminded that Nagas had been fighting for their land and rights for the last more than six decade and that there was no question of giving up the same.
Manipur government and social organizations such as UCM, AMUCO and AMSU had been claiming “all Manipur” and there is not even a single person from the hills in the organizations, he said.
The NSCN (I-M) leader also pointed out the history of Manipur which was derived from Manipuri following the arrival of Vaishnavism among the Meitei community who were confined to a compact area of just 2200 square km in the Imphal valley with about 12 to 13 lakh population.
He said the area well communicated since the time of Indian Independence. Imphal valley has been well developed at the expense of the remaining hill people, he added.
Reacting to the CNN-IBN programe telecast yesterday, Atem pointed out that the Meiteis were trying to project the suffering of their people over the ongoing economic blockade whereas they have failed to project the suffering of the Nagas. He said Nagas have been kept suppressed by the Meiteis for the last more than hundred years and even after Indian Independence through arbitrary boundaries against their will and deprived of everything.
Further, Atem said that the government of India had failed to identify who is or can be friend or enemy and pointed out that right after Ibobi Singh took over the reigns in Manipur, Hindi film and Hindi speaking were banned in the name of some valley based arm groups while several Hindi speaking people were massacred on the street.
He said that the Nagas, in spite of extreme provocation, massacre of innocent Naga civilians, molesting women, rape, burning down of villages, houses and granaries, they have not harmed any Indian civilian except some who were killed or injured in the cross fire which were not intentional.
“No one can dispute that Nagas have not harmed any Indian civilian,” the NSCN (I-M) leader said. He said even if an enemy ran into the house of the Nagas for food or shelter, they were given their best care. “Nagas have been waiting for the last 13 years believing that solution will come from the ongoing dialogue, but government of India has failed to understand the Nagas and instead still trust the Manipuris more and provoking the Nagas. A person who can’t identify his friend and enemy is in great danger”, he added.
On the statement of GPRN/NSCN leader Kughalu Mulatonu, Atem said that the statement had shocked all sensible Nagas and that it was unfortunate that such person was found to be a member of an organization which claimed to be fighting for the Nagas. Terming Mulatonu as “always a danger” for the Naga people, he said out that Nagas has been mistreated for many years by Meiteis. He said Mulatonu speaking for peaceful cohabitation was an insult to the Nagas in the present state of Manipur. He asked as to why Mulatonu should try to speak for the Manipuri Government and wondered as to whether he was in the pay roll of the Manipur government or for the few pieces of arms which the GPRN/NSCN receives from Manipur of which some were for free while others were on payment.
He also asked Mulatonu to make clear his stand on whether he was fighting for the Nagas. “We’re not a people to be so easily driven away by this kind of senseless utterance or decision,” he added.
Further, taking a dig at the GPRN/NSCN, he recalled that in June 26, 2009, Naga civil societies in the presence of Quaker group urged all Naga national political groups to dissociate with non Naga armed groups which was agreed upon and a joint statement signed. He, however, alleged that even Khehoi or other tribal groups were still receiving arms from Manipuris who wanted the killings among the Nagas.
On the stand of the NSCN (I-M) over the prevailing problem in Manipur, Atem reiterated that the group had been telling the government of India to prevail upon Manipur government or put off their hands so that it could deal with them. “If Delhi is not sincere even on this kind of small issue, we can’t expect on bigger issue,” he added.

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