No time-frame for solution: Ravi

No time-frame for solution: Ravi
R.N. Ravi (NP)
Tinakali Sumi NEW DELHI, NOV 4 (NPN) | Publish Date: 11/4/2019 11:38:47 AM IST

Government of India’s Interlocutor for Naga Peace Talks, R.N. Ravi Monday has categorically stated that it would be premature to set a time-frame for concluding the Naga Peace Process. 

Ravi said this in an exclusive interview to Nagaland Post, when his attention was drawn to reports appearing in the media which claimed that agreement for solution is to be signed by November 15. Ravi, the Interlocutor said after meeting the three-month deadline to conclude negotiations on contentious issues by October 31, “some loose ends” have to be tied before inking the final agreement.

Ravi however asserted that all negotiating parties- government of India, NSCN (I-M) and WC, of NNPGs would strive to conclude the Naga Peace Process as soon as possible.

Reiterating his earlier statements, Ravi, who is also the Governor of Nagaland, also made it amply clear that solution to the Naga issue will not affect the territorial integrity of the neighbouring states. “Before the final settlement, we need to allay the apprehensions of the neighbours including the legitimate concerns of the neighbouring states,” Ravi said. He further reiterated that the Government of India will not do anything in trying to “resolve an issue but create multiple issues”.

Excerpts of the interview

NP: When will the Government of India and Naga Political Groups conclude the Naga Peace Process by signing the final agreement?

Ravi: All major contentious issues between the Government of India and Naga negotiators have been resolved. This is a great achievement, thanks to the maturity of Naga leaders including the tribal bodies, grassroots organisations, civil society organisations and the Church. Now some loose ends have to be tied. Before the final settlement, we need to allay the apprehensions of the neighbours including the legitimate concerns of the neighbouring states. We will try to conclude the Peace Process as soon as possible.

NP: Will the prospective Naga solution adversely impact the interest of neighbouring states especially Manipur?

Ravi: No. It should be clear that territorial integrity of neighbouring states are not getting affected at all. We are committed to resolution of issues through democratic political process. Government of India will not do anything that will resolve an issue and create multiple issues. I am sure even Naga people would not like resolution of Naga political issue this way. The Government of India at the highest level has made it clear, time and again, that legitimate concerns of all the stakeholders including the neighbouring state will be addressed before concluding the Naga Peace Process.

NP: When are you likely to bring the Naga Political Groups together to work out the modalities for the final agreement?

Ravi: Of course Naga negotiators, both NSCN (I-M) and Working Committee of Naga National Political Groups (NNPGs), have to come together. At this stage, all parties must shed their long held prejudices against each other and come together to help usher a new dawn of peace and prosperity for the Naga people. 

I would expect the tribal hohos, grass-root organisations, civil society organisations and the Church to continue playing their constructive role which is vital at this stage. 

NP: There has been speculations that the final agreement will be inked on or before November 15. Is this true? If not, can we expect a solution by end of 2019?

Ravi: Resolution of all the major contentious issues has given rise to the legitimate expectations of people to conclude the process soon. However, to set a time-frame of 15 days or a month would be premature.

The political negotiations have been held over 80 rounds of talks after the signing of the cease fire on August 1,1997 between the government of India and NSCN (I-M). 

The negotiations were held since the time of the National Front(1997-98), NDA-I (1999-2004), UPA-I (2004-09), UPA-II (2009-14) and NDA-II (2014-19).

After prime minister Narendra Modi came to power in 2014, he promised to bring early solution. Modi proved it when he gave the nod for the signing of the Framework Agreement with the NSCN (I-M) on August 3,2015.

In order to widen participation of all Naga groups, the Working Committee representing seven Naga National Political Groups (NNPGs) was formally invited to join the negotiations.

On November 17, 2017 the WC signed a Preamble with the government of India through the Interlocutor.

After returning to power in May 2019, Modi appointed R.N. Ravi as governor of Nagaland in July and asked him to conclude the unending and protracted negotiations on contentious issues within three months (October 31.)


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