Only talks can solve Naga issue: Governor
The National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government is committed to resolving the Naga problem and this can only be done through talks, Nagaland Governor Padmanabha Balakrishna Acharya said here Saturday.
"Only through talks, the Naga problem can be resolved. The NDA government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi is committed to resolve the long pending problems," he told reporters.
"The central government has recently appointed R.N. Ravi (a retired Special Director of Intelligence Bureau) as an interlocutor to initiate the peace talks between the union government and the separatist NSCN (IM) and other Naga groups.
"There is some dilemma about the new interlocutor as a Naga group has expressed some reservations against him. This is a minor problem to be sorted out soon," Acharya added.
The Naga Hoho, an apex body of the different tribes in Nagaland, in a statement in Kohima recently, said Nagaland needs a neutral interlocutor without any prejudices.
"Ravi's article - Nagaland: Descent into chaos - which was appeared in newspapers Jan 23, has clearly affirmed his bent of mind and his preset notions of different Naga underground groups," the statement added.
Ravi was appointed interlocutor last month after former Nagaland chief secretary R.S. Pandey, who was chief negotiator for talks with the Naga rebel groups, resigned and joined the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to contest the Lok Sabha election from Bihar's Valmikinagar.
Acharya, 83, a former BJP leader in-charge of northeast India, also holds additional charge of Tripura governor, said the northeastern region has huge human and natural resources and these must be tapped for the development of the entire mountainous region.
He said Modi has already announced that the NDA government's first and foremost priority is northeast India.
"China is not accepting Arunachal Pradesh. Due to infiltration, Assam is in danger. The previous NDA government headed by Atal Bihari Vajpayee has constituted the DoNER (Development of the North Eastern Region) ministry for the all round development of the region," Acharya said.
He stressed the need for expansion of scope in the educational sector in Tripura, Nagaland and other northeastern states.
"I have initiated educational exchange programme between the universities in Maharashtra and New Delhi, Tripura and Nagaland. Through the sharing of experience in academic sector between the mainland universities and educational institutions in northeast, national integration and value addition in education would be further intensified."
He said that the NDA government has already asked the banks and corporate and public undertaking sectors to spend two percent of their income in the social sector.
The National Socialist Council of Nagaland (Isak-Muivah) has been fighting for an independent Nagaland for over six decades. The central government and the NSCN-IM entered into a ceasefire agreement in August 1997.
Since the peace talks began, it has scaled down the demand to a "Greater Nagaland", slicing off parts of three neighbouring states - Assam, Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh.
(Posted on 23-08-2014)