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North East News

Tuesday, September 4,  2001

Updated at Monday, September 03, 2001 at 07:56:14 PM IST




Advani expressed concern over Govt funds going to militants in NE
Imphal,September 3: Union Home Minister L K Advani have asked north-eastern states to be vigilant against Government funds reaching the insurgents. He also expressed concern over instances of post-election defections, witnessed in the region, in order to "manufacture an artificial majority".        

While inaugurating the 45th meeting of the North Eastern Council (NEC) in Delhi, Advani said, "It is a sad fact that funds from the public coffers often go to the militants and, therefore, the Finance Ministry holds back the funds. It has not happened anywhere else".  Though these were isolated incidents, "the situation should be of grave concern to all of us", he told Governors and Chief Ministers of seven states of the region.   

The meeting, chaired by Assam Governor Lt Gen (Retd) S K Sinha who is the NEC Chairman, was also attended by Deputy Chairman of Planning Commission K C Pant and Disinvestment Minister Arun Shourie, who now heads the new Department for Development of the Northeast.
(September 3 : 7 PM)

NEC meeting to discuss Naga ceasefire
Imphal, September 3: Meeting of the North-Eastern Council (NEC) was held in Delhi to discuss the economic development of the region. Among the prime issues to be discussed at the meet will be the problem of insurgency, especially the Naga ceasefire and its recent fallout.

The meeting is likely to discuss various suggestions made by the Parliamentary Standing Committee of the Home Ministry on the functioning of NEC, besides reviewing the Annual Plan for 2001-02. The northeastern states have asked the Centre to enhance the assistance meant for special category states, saying the actual allocation was declining in real terms.

The Centre said the seven states in the region needed to manage the funds it had provided properly and ensure that there was no diversion of resources to the militants in the region.

Union Minister for Disinvestment and Development of the North-East Arun Shourie said in the end it was the Government of India's money that was finding its way to the militants. He reiterated the Centre's point that peace needs to be reached in the North-East before proper development could take place.
(September 3 : 7 PM)

Deal with NSCN(I-M) alone is no solution : NSCN (K)
Imphal, September 3 : The Khaplang faction of the National Socialist Council of Nagaland (K) has said that the longstanding Naga political problem can never be solved if New Delhi decides to ignore other Naga rebel groups and sign an agreement only with the NSCN (IM).

The NSCN (K)-among the prominent insurgent groups in the Northeast-feels that a permanent solution can come about only if the Naga rebel groups unite to fulfill the dreams of the people and hold negotiations with the government of India together, under a common banner.

In an interview to TheNewspaperToday Monday from one of his bases in Nagaland, NSCN (K) general secretary Kitovi Zhimomi said: "The NSCN(IM) led by leaders like Thuingaleng Muivah does not have the mandate of the Naga people.

Negotiations with a group led by some hardliners cannot bring about a political solution. Even if a deal is clinched, it would be regarded as a purely individual outcome and cannot be called a Naga political settlement."

"Unless the Naga revolutionary groups unite and hold talks, there can be no solution."

Zhimomi added: "Unless the Naga revolutionary groups unite and hold talks with the Indian government together, there can be no political solution. And, a piecemeal solution cannot restore lasting peace in the Naga areas. We have seen the ceasefire between New Delhi and the NSCN (IM) for the past four years. The problems have continued."

The NSCN (K), too, has entered into a ceasefire with the government of India. The truce has come into force since April 28 this year. On Monday, leaders of the NSCN (K) and the government's Ceasefire Monitoring Group held a meeting of the Ceasefire Supervising Board in Kohima to review the proper implementation of the accepted ceasefire ground rules.

Asked whether his group is ready to honour the wishes of the Naga people and unite with the rival NSCN (IM), Zhimomi said: "Unification of the Naga underground groups is a long cherished dream of the Naga people. In keeping with the people's desire, we have sent feelers to the NSCN (IM) a number of times for a general ceasefire between our two groups. But, there has always been a negative response from Muivah. Our doors are, however, open for a broad-based truce as well as a possible unification by adopting the principle of forgive and forget as initiated by the Nagaland Baptist Church Council."

Despite the Naga underground groups and the government of India sticking to their respective stands on the issue of sovereignty, Zhimomi is confident that an acceptable solution can be worked out. "When any two sides agree to sit for negotiations to try and sincerely work out a solution to a problem, both parties must be willing to be a bit flexible in their positions. We cannot give up our demand for sovereignty, but there are many things that can be adjusted so that the Nagas can live as good neighbours with India," the NSCN (K) leader said.

Zhimomi accused Muivah of being a "power monger" and charged him with "eliminating" a number of frontline Naga leaders. "Why is Muivah masterminding the elimination of prominent Naga leaders? We don't know what his ideology is. After all, it is easy to sit abroad and remote-control operations in Naga areas here. If we can lead our movement by remaining among our people, why can't Muivah?" the NSCN (K) leader said.

The NSCN (K) general secretary said the NSCN (IM) has deliberately created the Meitei-Naga divide. "Leaders like Muivah have engineered the Meitei-Naga rift so as to make the Nagas in Manipur feel insecure and then push ahead with their plan to settle for something like an union territory or an autonomous state for the southern Nagas (Manipur)," Zhimomi said.

Asked whether his group would like to enter into separate negotiations with New Delhi, the NSCN (K) leader said: "We shall first ascertain the views of the Naga people and finalise our exact charter of demands. Only after that, we shall consider the issue of talks with the Indian government."

Unlike the NSCN(IM), Zhimomi said his group is ready to talk with government leaders anywhere when the time comes. "The venue is not important. We can talk at a small village in Nagaland or in any of the metros like New Delhi, Mumbai or elsewhere. The main idea is to evolve an acceptable solution to the Naga problem," he said.
(Courtesy : The Newspaper Today)
(September 3 : 7 PM)






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