Can forego power for solution: Rio

Morung Express News

DIMAPUR, JUNE 6 : Nagaland Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio, who has been in power for nine years and will face the Assembly polls in 2013, has said that his wish is to have a solution soon. “I am ready to vacate my position. For settlement or to have peace in our land, we are ready to sacrifice. We have no hesitation”, Rio said while speaking to Nishit Dholabhai of the Telegraph at New Delhi.

On the peace process between New Delhi and the NSCN (Isak-Muivah), Rio said this was the 15th year “so how can one be satisfied with the peace process?” “We want a solution so that we don’t have to face elections, so that Nagas can come closer. Elections are fought on party lines and this divides the Nagas. This is the time when Naga undergrounds (rebels) have come closest to the government. If we lose this opportunity, we will have to start from zero. It is our desire that the government and the undergrounds find a solution”, Rio said.

With regard to factional wars and reconciliation, Rio said that reconciliation is a continuous process and that it will go on. Reconciliation is also the wish of the Naga people, Rio said while adding that if the undergrounds really represent the people, they should listen to their voice. “They should reconcile among themselves and find a solution with the government of India”, Rio said.

On his opinion on “one solution or different solutions”, Rio responded that the government of India is one government and also the Nagas are one (people). “So a piecemeal settlement may not be good. That’s why reconciliation (is important) but they are again having problems. The K split (split in the Khaplang group last year) has created problems again”, Rio has admitted on the reconciliation process currently underway.
On the recent development of Khaplang group’s agreement with Myanmar and its impact on Nagaland, Rio said that the government of India has recognised the “uniqueness of the Naga history” and that Nagas have been recognized and their identity protected under Article 371A of the Constitution.

“Now Myanmar has recognised the Nagas by giving them autonomous administrative zones. There are six Naga representatives in (Myanmar) parliament. This shows the division of Nagas and the injustice done to them. If integration is not possible, emotional integration will continue”.

Rio also said that “undergrounds are now speaking the language of the overgrounds” and “they have realised, reconciled that the situation is such that now we have to live in the Indian Union”. “That is why this is the closest moment for the Nagas and the Indian government …this is the time for a solution”, Rio said.
On whether there can be a dialogue with Manipur Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh, Rio responded: “When you and I cannot compromise, we need a judge. Is there space for a dialogue? Forget (not) allowing Muivah to visit his village Somdal, they also tried their best to stop me from visiting Manipur during elections. We are living as neighbours, we will continue to live as neighbours”.


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