Kohima: Nagaland Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio on Thursday, speaking on the floor of the 12th Session of the 13th Nagaland Legislative Assembly said that the Indo-Naga political imbroglio has been at the core of Naga society for several decades and remains central in our concerns even today.
Speaking on the special discussion on matter of urgent public importance on the Naga Political Issue Rio said that the “Indo-Naga political imbroglio is at the top of our agenda and in the course of the past four years, the Members of this House have undertaken discussions and deliberations on several occasions within the floor of this House and outside the House. My Government has given utmost importance to the Naga political issue and we have made every possible effort to play the role of active facilitator in order to create an atmosphere that is conducive to realisation of an early solution to the protracted Naga political issue.”
He said that the present State Government in Nagaland has formed an opposition-less United Democratic Front (UDA) Government with the singular motive to facilitate the peace process so that we realise the aspiration of achieving genuine peace though a negotiated political solution that is honourable, acceptable and inclusive. Subsequently, the Parliamentary Committee on Naga Political Issue and the Core Committee were formed on 10th June 2021 consisting of representatives from all political parties represented in the Nagaland Legislative Assembly.
All 60 Members of this House rose above our affiliations by setting aside all our differences and we all came under one platform to extend positive support to the political negotiations. The Parliamentary Committee and the Core Committee has held several rounds of discussions, deliberations and consultative meetings with various stakeholders including the Naga national political groups and the representatives of the Government of India, Rio said.
He extended the appreciation of this House to all the stakeholders, leaders and representatives of civil society and tribal Hohos (apex tribal bodies) and all organisations and individuals who participated in the consultative meetings and collectively supported the common endeavour of pursuing permanent peace.
“We are grateful to the Government of India for acknowledging the unique history of the Nagas and for recognising the Naga issue as a political issue. He once again extended the appreciation and acknowledgement of this House for the sacrifices and contributions of the Naga national workers in the course of the Naga political journey and towards the Naga political aspiration for permanent peace,” the CM said.
Rio said that the signing of the Framework Agreement on 3rd August 2015 after over 80 rounds of talks in the presence of the Honourable Prime Minister of India and other high officials and dignitaries of the Union Government was indeed a historic occasion and we continue to extend our support and appreciation towards honouring the agreement. The Agreed Position signed on 17th November 2017 was greatly significant and further strengthened the progress of the negotiations.
Rio said, “there is an overwhelming cry for a final solution amongst all sections of the people. The present State Government and the Parliamentary Committee on Naga Political Issue continues to make efforts, while appealing for early solution, to the extent of supporting such a development even before the elections to the Nagaland Assembly, which are due in early 2023. A political issue that has stretched for several decades and involves the longest standing insurgency of the entire region needs a mature approach. The present ceasefire and talks have been going on for more than two decades, and we feel that it more than enough time for all sides to understand and appreciate each other in a manner that we are able to reach a desired conclusion by achieving a settlement.”
He said “on 16th July, 2022, the Parliamentary Committee on Naga Political Issue, in its meeting held at Kohima, adopted a resolution appealing to the negotiating parties to refer to the competencies of the talks and resolve the contentious issues. We welcome and appreciate the resumption of talks between the negotiating parties and we are all hopeful that this latest round of talks will bear positive results. We reiterate our appeal to the negotiating parties and the Government of India to address the contentious issues and undertake discussions on the competencies so that the talks can be expedited and a solution can be reached at the earliest possible. This August House is united in our common aspiration for achieving lasting peace and I place on record my deepest appreciation to each and every Member for rising above all differences in working under the platform of the Parliamentary Committee on Naga Political Issue and the Core Committee on the Naga Political Issue.”
In conclusion, Rio once again sounded the appeal of this House to all sections of Naga society and to the negotiating parties of the political dialogue to rise above all else, so that we work in unison for the common good of all Nagas.
“Let us unite as one Naga family and let us all put our best possible efforts towards achieving a solution that is honourable, inclusive and acceptable, and thereby begin a new era of peace,
progress and development, wherein Nagas increase our contributions towards the forward march of this great nation,” he added.