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NSCN-K statehood buzz in Myanmar

Kohima, June 8: The Myanmar-based National Socialist Council of Nagaland (NSCN) led by S.S. Khaplang has sought statehood for the Naga people in that country.

According to a source, the outfit has already submitted a proposal for statehood to the Union Government of Myanmar. A former senior functionary in the NSCN (K), Kughalu Mulatonu, said Khaplang had already submitted a statehood proposal to the Myanmar government for the Naga people. “Khaplang has submitted a statehood proposal to the Myanmar government,” he said.

Mulatonu had recently deserted the NSCN (K) and joined the NSCN (Khole-Kitovi) along with a few cadres. He was the backbone of the outfit. The Naga outfit signed a bilateral ceasefire with the Myanmar government in May 2012 and a peace process is under way. Naga people live in Sagaing division, but after signing of a ceasefire agreement, the Myanmar government has granted the Nagas self-administrative autonomy.

The government there has assured rapid development in the Naga-inhabited areas in Myanmar. The rival outfits in Nagaland have said Khaplang, a Naga from Myanmar, is contemplating to resolve the Naga issue with Myanmar. There are now only a few hundred cadres of the NSCN (K) in Nagaland. They have two designated camps — one at Suruhoto in Zunheboto district and the other at Mon.

Though the Centre had signed a bilateral ceasefire with the outfit on April 28, 2011, talks have not started. But the Centre has ruled out talks with the NSCN (K) till issues are resolved with the NSCN led by Isak Chishi Swu and Thuingaleng Muivah.

When the ceasefire was signed with the NSCN (I-M), the Centre had decided not to recognise other Naga outfits. If the Myanmar government could strike a deal with the NSCN (K), the other Northeast militant outfits taking shelter in Myanmar would face a problem.

Leaders of the NSCN (I-M) and the NSCN (KK) are camping in New Delhi to meet the central leaders.

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