Kohima: NSCN-IM Chairman Eno Q. Tuccu on Tuesday May 31 questioned as to how can Naga political issues be resolved without a separate flag and Constitution.
Addressing the ‘Emergency National Assembly’ of the National Socialist Council of Nagalim (Isak-Muivah), the dominant Naga group, he said: “How can we forfeit the Naga national flag and Naga Constitution in the name of Naga political solution? What belongs to us… that defines our political identity can never be compromised for the sweet morsel in the name of Naga political settlement. We cannot be made a laughing stock before the world by tamely succumbing to pressure or temptation.”
Centre’s then interlocutor and then Nagaland Governor, R.N. Ravi had, on a number of occasions, rejected these demands.
Noting that on August 3, 2015, the historic ‘Framework Agreement’ was signed with deep political insight taking into consideration the Naga people’s sovereign rights and dignity, Tuccu said: “Unfortunately, there are forces at work who are trying to undermine the political significance of Framework Agreement by giving wrongful interpretations with bewildering comments to suit their selfish agenda in collusion with the Government of India… maliciously propagated by few political leaders that the Naga flag and constitution, including integration (of the Naga-dominated areas) are not mentioned in Framework Agreement.
“The bitter irony is that every attempt is being made to confuse the Naga people on the political significance of the Framework Agreement where the future of Naga political journey is laid out.”
“We have come across the stand of the Government of India on the core issues of Naga national flag, Constitution and integration and echoed by some Naga leaders,” he said in his strongly-worded speech.
He said that hundreds of thousands have given their lives for the Nagas’ freedom and the responsibility is heaped upon the shoulder of the NSCN to fulfill their prayers and dreams for the honourable Naga political settlement with the Naga flag flying high.
“We have to prove ourselves before God and before the Naga people and the whole world that we, the NSCN members, the frontline torch bearers of the Naga political movement, shall stand the ground till the last man standing in defence of our God’s given rights,” he stated.
The NSCN-IM, in a separate statement, said on Tuesday said that the Emergency National Assembly was held amidst tense moments and spontaneous upsurge of emotion as the issue of the Naga people’s political struggle of seven decades is yet to be decided with the ongoing political dialogue in deadlock on the core issue of flag and constitution.
After signing a formal ceasefire agreement with NSCN-IM in 1997, the Central government has held more than 85 rounds of negotiations with the NSCN-IM and other Naga groups. However, the NSCN-IM’s repeated insistence on a separate Naga flag and Constitution have become a big hurdle in the way of resolving the Naga issue.
In the editorial of its latest news bulletin ‘Nagalim Voice’, the outfit said it is unthinkable for NSCN-IM to accept the Naga national flag as a cultural symbol as hinted by the Centre.