Kohima, Aug. 30: The Naga International Support Centre, Amsterdam, said 15 years of silence about the peace talks between New Delhi and National Socialist Council of Nagalim (Isak-Muivah) had created rumours, predictions, interpretations and led to utter confusion.
In a statement issued today, the centre said whole generations of Nagas grew up in an “Indian Armed Forces-occupied Nagaland for six decades” hoping for a lasting solution with an internationally recognised right to self-determination. “Though hopeful, the feelings of these generations, who knew nothing but soldiers with guns in their land, were dimmed because no tangible, solid news is coming from the negotiators who represent them, neither from the Indian nor from the Naga side,” the statement said.
The centre said Nagas who stood up for their rights and fought for their nation against India were arrested and languishing in jail. “What did they do to deserve such treatment when a mutual ceasefire is up and running and peace talks are on… talks which should lead to an honourable end to this post-colonial conflict,” the statement said.
It stated the case of the shared sovereignty agreement between New Zealand and Nuie — a 140sqkm island about 2,400km northeast of the nation with a population of around 1,400.
Nuie is a “semi-independent” nation with its own flag, own constitution, own anthem, own passport. Its political status can be described as “self-governing in free association with New Zealand”.
The centre said if such a small population could live with dignity and peace, India had no excuse not to grant a similar arrangement to Nagaland as the basic interim arrangement to begin with.
“Peace in the Northeast is a choice India has to make. The ball is in India’s court,” it said.