Demand for separate flag by NSCN(IM)

On the continuing 23 years old Naga peace talks, a final concurrence is imminent with the central government and the NSCN(IM), who have been in a deadlock over the latter’s demand for a separate Naga flag and constitution, apparently finding a middle ground.

Nagaland chief minister Neiphiu Rio, who recently met with Union home minister Amit Shah in Delhi, has categorically stated that the central government was having exhaustive discussions with constitutional and legal experts to find ways to enable the Nagas to use a separate flag. On the issue of a separate ‘Yehzabo’ (constitution), he said it was likely that a committee would be set up post settlement, to democratically work out the details.

Speaking at a public meeting at Jakhama, under the by-poll bound Southern Angami-I constituency on Saturday evening, chief minister Rio expressed that the final talks were going in a positive direction and the Naga people must not think that the movement started by the Naga National Council (NNC) had failed even though hundred percent of the original aspirations may not be achieved in a go. He reminded that the past generation had brought about statehood through the 16 Point Agreement. Pointing out that these were parts of a process of evolution, Rio said the present generation’s negotiations must arrive at an “upgraded” pact, while the younger generation would be able to make some agreements on the points that are left out.

“If we follow the process of evolution, our future generations can peacefully co-exist with each other,” he said.

Meanwhile, the working committee of the Naga National Political Groups (NNPGs), who is also in talks with the government to resolve the Naga issue, will hold a meeting with 14 Naga tribal organizations on October 29, seeking their advice and opinion on issues of ‘common interest’.

Although separate negotiations are being held between the central government and different Naga nationalist groups, chief minister Rio had earlier conveyed that the centre was firm on delivering ‘one solution’ for the Naga political issue.