May 14: Government of India’s Interlocutor to the Naga peace talks RN Ravi said the government was very serious in bringing about a mutually acceptable, honourable and early solution to the Naga political issue and for which, his desire was to meet with Naga leaders .
Speaking at the debate session at the 26th general conference of the Naga Students Federation at Khonoma, some 24 Kms away from Kohima, Ravi described the Naga political issue as very complicated and urged upon all sections of Naga society to extend their cooperation for an early solution.
He also stressed on reconciliation of all groups as it would help in bringing a broad-based agreement.Ravi asserted that honesty begets trust and trust in turn, produced cooperation and in such an environment, there was reason for solution to problems. If there was no cooperation, then there would be no solution he said.
On abrogation of cease-fire by NSCN (K), he said the faction signed a cease fire in 2001 but has been declining to engage in talks with the government of India on the plea that the ongoing talks with the NSCN(I-M) be settled first.
However, Ravi said, NSCN (K) continued with its non-engagement in talks till today.
Ravi said solution has to be inclusive and had met with several Naga groups and would continue to meet more because essentially, a comprehensive solution was the objective of all involved.
The interlocutor reiterated that talks were not ceremonial but serious business of negotiations between two sides. He also said both sides involved in the ongoing negotiations have been meeting at least twice a week or not less than once a week.
He said it was imperative that there need for an honesty about the progress so as to be legitimate and politically viable.
He also said facts involving the issues in the negotiations should also be accepted.
Altogether 29 participants took part in the debate. Legislators, NMA, Naga Hoho and other dignitaries and delegates also attended the session.
Speaking to the media on the sidelines of the 26th general conference of the NSF at Khonoma Thursday, RN Ravi said there cannot be a specific time frame for solution to the Naga political issue but expressed optimism that an early solution would be achieved that was mutually acceptable and honourable to the satisfaction and happiness of Nagas.
Speaking with the media on the sidelines of the ongoing Ravi said the Naga political issue has become complicated and for which, he has been meeting with Naga leaders, GBs, civil society groups and students to elicit cooperation, wisdom and good wishes of all sections of Naga society.
Ravi said all various organisations and civil society groups who had met him, have expressed the desire for early solution to the Naga political issue.
Asked whether talks with only one faction of the Naga underground group would bring about solution to the decades-old old problem, he said all the Naga groups, including the civil societies would be on board for the final solution.
He said the government of India would also talk with other groups under cease fire at an appropriate time and that there was no issue of holding talks in any venue including Nagaland. He said setting up of more designated camps was not part of bringing solution as they were only meant to clear the environment while leaders continue with talks. He added however that “guns and talks cannot go together”.
Ravi also disclosed that the NSCN has kept the issue of sovereignty under the table. He said sovereignty came in many shades but the government of India was willing to be accommodative to the aspirations of the Nagas.
To voices that have been demanding transparency about the ongoing negotiations, Ravi said talks cannot be held in camera since it was a serious issue. “Everyone seems to be tired of the length of the talks that has been taking place and they are also concerned to know about the progress made so far as they do not have any clue,” he said.
Ravi also asserted that Prime Minister Narendra Modi was serious about solving the Naga political problem and working towards having a mutually honourable solution before it was too late.
Earlier, while the Modi government has said solution would be with 18 months of it coming to power,Ravi said there could be no time frame.