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04/07/2012: "Proposed 'Supra-State' irks Arunachal Government ANI"

Proposed 'Supra-State' irks Arunachal Government ANI

Itanagar, Apr 7 (ANI): Reacting strongly to any alleged move by the Centre to offer "maximum autonomy with administrative and financial control" to Nagas, including those living outside Nagaland, the Arunachal Pradesh Government has rejected any proposal to make its districts part of the 'Greater Nagalim'.

Government of Arunachal Pradesh spokesperson Nabam Rebia made this statement while reacting to a report that appeared in some sections of the media on Friday, claiming that two Arunachal districts of Tirap and Changlang are supposed to be included in the proposed 'Supra-State'.

"We have no objection to autonomy within the territory of Nagaland if the integrity of Arunachal Pradesh is not disturbed," said GoAP spokesperson Rebia.

Sixteen districts - now 17 after creation of Longding district recently - form the culturally rich state of Arunachal that boasts of 26 major and over 110 sub-tribes, reflecting unity in diversity, cultural richness, a strong bond of unity and brotherhood, Rebia said.

He further pointed that any disturbance in the territorial integrity of the state would destroy the very fabric of its distinct society living in peace and harmony since ages.

"We respect the sentiments of our Naga friends and we will not interfere in their internal matters. But we are pained with the reports that they are claiming our three districts as part of the 'Supra state'. Though we are not sure about the authenticity of media reports, we oppose any move that interferes into our state's affairs and its territory," Rebia added.

The Centre has already made it clear to the NSCN (IM) top leaders that there would be no redrawing of the existing boundaries of Nagaland and other neighbouring states.

However, if the media report is any indication, NSCN (IM) general secretary Thuinglenag Muivah and chairman Isak Chishi Swu, who are currently in New Delhi to hold another round of peace talks with interlocutor RS Pandey, are believed to be toying with the idea.

They are likely to call on Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh and Home Minister P Chidambaram. (ANI)

Arunachal cautious about 'supra state' Seven Sisters Post | UNI,

Itanagar The Arunachal Pradesh government on Friday reacted to a report that appeared in some sections of the media on Thursday claiming an ‘idea of the Centre’ to offer ‘ maximum autonomy with more administrative and financial control’ to Nagas including those living outside Nagaland as an alternative to the demand for creation of a greater Nagalim.

“We have no objection to autonomy within the territory of Nagaland if the integrity of Arunachal Pradesh is not disturbed,” said government spokesperson Nabam Rebia in a statement on Friday. Seventeen districts, including the newly-created Longding district, form the culturally rich state of Arunachal Pradesh that boasts of 26 major and over 110 sub-tribes.

What happens when Seven Sisters Post 're-breaks' a story about some idea called Supra. Then after two days, ANI, a large news network funded by some Indian Ministry quotes an Arunachal Government spokesperson who says "nahi hoga". Meanwhile, intricate discussions take place over groups within FB with injections by very well read commentators. What have you? A time tested and well oiled propaganda machinery prepared to take on any super tribe or group of super tribes. Athili Sapriina

Nagas ‘Supra State’ Likely to Put on a New Avatar
The Centre is reportedly toying with the idea of offering the collective leadership of NSCN (IM) “maximum autonomy with administrative and financial control” over Nagas living outside the existing Nagaland as an alternative to the demand for creation of a greater Nagalim. The demand for greater Nagalim includes incorporation of Naga-inhabited areas of Manipur, Arunachal Pradesh and Assam. However, the subject of law and order will remain with the respective state governments. This is exactly the supra-state model as reported by the Seven Sisters Post in November last year.

Although this time there may be a new nomenclature, the tone and tenor remains the same. NSCN (IM) general secretary Th Muivah and chairman Isak Chishi Swu, who are here in the national capital to have another round of peace talks with interlocutor RS Pandey, are scheduled to make a courtesy call to Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh and home minister P Chidambaram. They are also believed to be toying with the idea of meeting some other political leaders and “friends of the Nagas” in the capital during their stay at the 61 Lodhi estate official bungalow. The Centre has already made it clear to the NSCN (IM) bosses that there would be no redrawing of the existing boundaries of Nagaland and other neighbouring states. But at the same time, the Union government is ready to amend the Constitution to “accommodate most of their demands” to hammer out an amicable solution.

Sources indicated that as per the proposed offer, the Nagas in the four hill districts of Manipur — Tamenglong, Chandel, Senapati and Ukhrul — will have one administrative unit, and this autonomous council will be responsible for the overall development of the entire Naga areas of Manipur. The administrative body will get direct funding from the Centre besides government aid to promote art, culture and festivals. Sources also added that the Eastern Nagaland People’s Organisation (ENPO) that has been demanding a separate Naga state covering four districts of Eastern Nagaland — Mon, Tuensang, Longleng and Kiphire — and two Naga-inhabited districts of Arunachal Pradesh — Changlang and Tirap — may be given the same model of autonomous council as a sol ution to their grievances.

ENPO general secretary Toshi Wongtung, along with other members, has already met the Prime Minister and the home minister and submitted its memorandum, demanding a separate state of “Frontier Nagaland.” Talking to Seven Sisters Post, Wongtung claimed that “about 45% of the total Naga population live in Eastern Nagaland comprising the four districts of Mon, Tuensang, Longleng and Kiphire.” “These four districts will be included in the proposed new state and we have the s upport of all the six Naga t ribes — Konyak, Chang, Sangtam, Phom, Yimc hunger and Khiamniungan — living in these four dist ricts. We also want to incorporate the two Naga-inhabited districts of Arunachal Pradesh — Changlang and Tirap —to the proposed Frontier Nagaland. They are our brothers and sisters and we want to live together,” said Wongtung. However, it remains to be seen how the governments o f Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh and Assam react to the new proposal.

In fact, the United Naga Council of Manipur, which had organised over 100 days of economic blockade last year demanding an ‘alternative arrangement’ for the Nagas in Manipur, is believed to be ready to accept the Centre’s offer for a separate autonomous council for the Nagas in Manipur. Once the NSCN (IM) leadership agree to the proposed “autonomous council with full administrative and financial control” as an alternative to Greater Nagalim demand, the Centre is expected to engage all three Congress ruled states of Assam, Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh to explain and convince the state government leaderships for an amicable solution to the six decade-old Naga political problem.

Meanwhile, the NSCN leadership is believed to have intensified its campaign for the formation of an underground GPRN set up involving NNC, NSCN (IM) and the NSCN (Kholey) faction. The Forum for Naga Reconciliation is also working for this purpose. If the three factions come together, it will be an advantage for the Nagas to negotiate with the Centre from the position of strength. This will also allow NSCN bosses to smoothly execute any agreement they sign with the Government of India.


An Appeal from the Forum for Naga Reconciliation FNR
Dear fellow Nagas,

Greetings from the Forum for Naga Reconciliation!

The Forum for Naga Reconciliation wishes to express our deepest gratitude to all fellow Nagas where-ever you are living for the support your have extended to the Naga Reconciliation: A Journey of Common Hope. The Naga Reconciliation in the last 36 months has made significant progress through your solidarity and prayers.

Of late, the Naga Reconciliation process has slowed down and a stalemate has been reached. Nonetheless, the three signatories of the Covenant of Reconciliation – NSCN/GPRN, NNC/FGN and GPRN/NSCN remain fully committed to the reconciliation process. The Reconciliation process has not been easy. And while it is fair to say that the three groups have weathered many challenges, it must also be pointed out that the reconciliation process needs the active and expressed support, prayer and hope of the people.

At this point of the process, it is of absolute necessity for the top leaders of the three signatories to meet face to face without any further delay. The intent of the highest level reconciliation meeting is to explore together the possibilities of a new reconciled political relationship among the signatories of the Covenant of Reconciliation; and to develop a joint working mechanism to pursue the historical and political rights of the Nagas.

While the Naga people and the political groups recognize the urgency of the highest level reconciliation meeting, public intervention is required to further persuade such a meeting. In this respect, the Forum for Naga Reconciliation is writing to you to kindly take the initiative to express your support for this meeting by organizing a prayer vigil, candlelight march or any other creative expression in your region before March 15, 2011.

Such an outward expression will certainly encourage the Naga reconciliation process. We also encourage you to write a letter to the Naga leaders with the following points:

• Supporting the Naga Reconciliation process on the basis of the historical and political rights of the Nagas;

• Urging the signatories of the Covenant of Reconciliation to address all outstanding issues and differences in the spirit of reconciliation through non-violence, mutual respect, understanding and love; and

• Demand that the highest level reconciliation meeting take place without any further delay so that the reconciliation process can take decisive steps towards its logical end.

The Naga Reconciliation process needs your support and prayers.
With warn regards,

Rev. Dr. Wati Aier

Forum for Naga Reconciliation

Showcase: In the hills of the east SWATI DAFTUAR The Hindu

Special Arrangement Bitter Wormwood, Easterine Kire, Zubaan Books

Bitter Wormwood, celebrated Naga author Easterine Kire's new novel, traces the story of one man's life from 1937 to the present day woven in with the Naga struggle for freedom. The struggle, which has expanded over the last 70 years, has seen countless human lives wasted and families torn apart.

Published by Zubaan books, Bitter Wormwood shows us the struggle through Mose's eyes, a man who lives with his widowed mother and grandmother in one of Nagaland's tribal villages. Small incidents from Mose's childhood, his family, the routines and rituals of traditional village life paint an evocative picture of a peaceful way of life, now long-gone.

Growing up, Mose and his friends become involved in the Naga struggle for independence and they are caught in a maelstrom of violence — protest and repression, attacks and reprisals — that ends up ripping communities apart. Once the Naga underground is formed, Mose and his friend decide to join it. The novel moves in and out of Mose's life, and we see the Naga freedom struggle gaining momentum.

Kire also shows the hardships faced by the Naga people. The novel is written simply, and highlights facts and points crucial towards understanding the tumultuous situation in the region. In the introduction, Kire also gives a brief chronological history of the Naga political history.

There are copies of important letters sent by Naga leaders to the Simon Commission along with a copy of the agreement of peace between the governor of Assam and Naga leaders. Though listed as fiction, this book walks a thin line between fact and fiction and is a recommended read for anyone who wishes to learn a little more about one of India's ‘most beautiful and misunderstood region'.

Bitter Wormwood is a herb believed to keep bad spirits away. With violence and danger surrounding them, the herb became a powerful talisman for the Naga people.

Bottomline: A recommended read for anyone who wants to learn more about one of India's most beautiful and misunderstood regions.

Bitter Wormwood; Easterine Kire, Zubaan, Rs.295

Ulfa talks tough, says won’t tolerate delaying tactics Sanjib Kr Baruah, Hindustan Times
New Delhi, Two days before the key talks take place between the United Liberation Front of Asom (Ulfa) and the government, the rebel outfit said it is determined not to let talks with the government go the Naga way and will walk away from negotiations the moment it feels cheated. "Delaying is denying.

We won't let talks go the way as in the case of the National Socialist Council of Nagalim. At the first whiff of delaying tactics we will backtrack and go back to people for consultations and do whatever the people want," Ulfa chairman Arabinda Rajkhowa told Hindustan Times.

Talks with the National Socialist Council of Nagalim have been going on for the last 14 years, but there has been no resolution so far of the issues. Three interlocuters have changed, with negotiations having taken place in eight countries across the world from UK to Japan.

"We won't be so patient like the NSCN," he added.

Insurgent groups from the region have often accused New Delhi of dilly-dallying on resolving issues.

"We have already submitted our agenda comprising 12 points that among other things explain the ground for struggle of the Ulfa and which we want addressed. So this time, we have come to find out what the government has to say," Rajkhowa said, underlining the significance of this round of talks for resolution of the decades-long conflict in Assam.

Seven Ulfa leaders, including Rajkhowa, will participate in this round of talks which, inter alia, will focus on constitutional safeguards and degree of autonomy for the Assamese people.

The insurgent group entourage will be without political adviser and Ulfa founding member Bhim Buragohain aka Mama who passed away on December 19, 2011 at the ripe age of 86.

An Ulfa faction led by Paresh Baruah and hundreds of his armed fighters continue to live in camps along the jungled Myanmar-China border, steadfast in their opposition to the ongoing talks.

Ulfa was formed 33 years ago at the historic Ronghor to start an armed rebellion to fight for Assam's independence. Ever since, the conflict has claimed more than 12,000 people.

Rio asks youth to build ‘Naga future’ Nagaland Post, (NPN Correspondent ) MON

class=NewsImage v:shapes="ChannelNews1__imgNewsImage">State chief minister Neiphiu Rio Thursday challenged the youth to come forward and seek the help of the government to build up Naga future. Rio was speaking at the Aoleang Festival cum, youth Expo as a chief guest at Mon.

Pointing out that the purpose of the Youth expo was to share successful achievements of individual so as to encourage and influence others in shaping their own “carrier”, Rio said that future lies in the hands of the Youth. He stated that if they were properly trained and nurtured, they could be at par with anybody.

Reacting to criticism of celebrating tribal festivals organized by the government, the chief minister said that the objective of organizing such festivals was to preserve the rich culture and tradition of the Nagas. Therefore, he urged upon the people to celebrate the festivals with Christian principle of love and peace and uphold the work culture of “forefathers”.

Stating that peace was the essence of any developmental activities and celebrations, Rio said the voice and the desire of the Nagas was to shun factional clashes and find permanent solution acceptable to the Nagas. Therefore he urged upon fellow Naga underground “brethrens” to refrain from blood-shed and other anti-social elements.

The chief minister also urged “Naga brothers and sisters living across the border” to keep the spirit of oneness and the emotional integration alive.

Angau I Thou, DC Mon, while delivering a short speech, appreciated the government of Nagaland for providing people friendly programs for the development of the state and the upliftment of the youths in particular.

Underlining that the progressive development of a community, a region and of a nation depended on the mindset of the people she said “unless the people are really determined to utilize the facilities provided by the government there will be no development”.

Hinting at the slow progress of developmental activities and mis-utilization of fund within Mon district, she said, in terms of fund flow, Mon district was not lacking behind.

However, when it came to full utilization of the facilities provided by the government, Mon was behind others and cited the example of Tizit. Therefore she urged upon the people to judiciously utilize the fund for the actual implementation of the project.

Thou said Tizit and Nagaranimora could be transformed into a commercial hub by setting up industries and business centres for the native Mon district and neighboring Assam villages.

Therefore she urged upon the youths to commit themselves to built up the economy of the district and to venture out to take up various business options that could be taken up in Mon district and become a successful business entrepreneurs.

Meanwhile, P. Pongom, president ENPO, who came as the guest of honour lauded the continuous efforts of DAN government for facilitating “a friendly dialogue” between the Government of India and various underground factions, whereby peace has been restored in the state and the people of Nagaland were able to celebrate festivals in a peaceful atmosphere.

Meanwhile Aoleang greetings was delivered by M.C. Konyak, minister for forest, welcome speech by president K.U, invocation prayer by Rev. Tonlong, vote of thanks by Honje Konayk Project director DRDA Mon and the function was chaired by Neiba Konyak, parliamentary secretary Youth resources and sports.

The day-long celebration was marked by various cultural dances, folk songs and cultural parade displaying the rich unique cultural heritage of the Konyaks by various federating union, demonstration of martial arts “the art of swords & spears by the Thang-Ta association of Mon and folk fusion “Home is where the heart is” by Toxic Peace. The Hahshik Noknyu, Pangmi Myanmar was the guest cultural troupe of the function.

Manipur body to campaign against AFSPA

Our Correspondent|EMN

IMPHAL, APRIL 6: A state convention on United Nations (UN) response on Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) 1958 resolved “to campaign to repeal the AFSPA 1958 by fully supporting organization of a Manipur National convention to consider the present situation of armed conflict and international human rights and humanitarian law violations in Manipur, and take up necessary steps and actions to repeal AFSPA 1958 and advance the agenda for a peaceful political solution to the situation.”

Convenor Dr Debabrata Roy Laifungbam of Civil Society Coalition on Human Rights in Manipur and the UN, a conglomeration of various civil society organization speaking to the media after the day long in Imphal here today said that they've also resolved to urgently compile and publish the relevant recent documents relating to the United Nation officials’ visits to the north east region of India to further the people’s campaign.The day’s convention attended by prominent civil society leaders and human rights bodies at Manipur Press Club in Imphal minutely discussed the UN special Rapporteur on human rights defenders Mrs Margaret Sekaggya and her final report at the 19th regular session of UN Human rights council on March 5, 2012 and the subsequent general comment and preliminary recommendation by UN special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions Christof Heyns on March 30 this year.The convention also welcomes the general comment and preliminary recommendation of UN special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions Christof Heyns.The convention feels that the international humanitarian law is applicable to Manipur’s 50 year old armed conflict. The Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions also supported the sentiment.Prof Christof Heyns, United Nations Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions on the concluding day of his 12 day visit to India on March 30 this year recommends scrapping of the controversial AFSPA, saying, “A law such as AFSPA has no role to play in a democracy and should be scrapped.” He also held a consultation with civil societies of north east in Guwahati on March 28.

No US role in India’s ‘Look East Policy’ Assam Tribune
BEIJING, April 6 – India has been pursuing an independent foreign policy based on its national interest, including good ties with Beijing, an influential Chinese daily said today, dismissing perception that New Delhi’s ‘Look East Policy’ is aimed at collaborating with US to contain China, reports PTI.

“India lately held a trilateral dialogue with the United States and Japan, and it has also close contacts with Vietnam, Myanmar and some other Southeast Asian countries,” an article in the state-run People’s Daily Online said today on India’s Look East policy.

“However, it cannot be deemed as collaboration of the United States and India. India has been pursuing the independent foreign policy and mainly considers its own interests,” it said.

The article said “it is hard to imagine that India will completely follow the foreign policies of the United States”.

“India has an all-round diplomatic policy and it both maintains relations with the United States” and takes account of “relations with other countries”.

It said India keeps “a close contact with Russia, Japan and the European Union countries and its relation with China is also positive,” it said.

Fresh outcry against AFSPA SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT The Telegraph
Imphal, April 6: Encouraged by UN intervention, civil society groups in Manipur today stepped up the movement for repeal of the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, rejecting Union home minister P. Chidambaram’s proposal for amendment.

Starting the campaign, Civil Society Coalition on Human Rights in Manipur and UN held a daylong state-level convention here on the UN’s recommendation for repeal of the act.

Human rights activist Irom Sharmila Chanu has been on a hunger strike for more than 11 years, demanding the act’s repeal.

“We will organise a Manipur National Convention to discuss the ongoing armed conflict in the state, to take steps to repeal the act and advance the agenda for peaceful political solution (to the armed conflict),” Debabrata Roy Laifungbam, convener of the coalition told reporters after the convention.

UN special rapporteur on human rights defenders Margaret Sekaggya in her report to the UN Human Rights Council Session on March 5 had recommended repeal of the act. UN’s special rapporteur on extra-judicial, summary or arbitrary executions Christof Heyns had also asked New Delhi to repeal the act in a statement issued in New Delhi on March 30 after the conclusion of his 12-day fact-finding mission in India. “A law such as AFSPA has no role to play in a democracy and should be scrapped,” he had said.

Heyns had met civil society groups of the Northeast in Guwahati during his visit to India last month.

A day after his statement, home minister P. Chidambaram had said the government was preparing to amend the act. He said the matter was pending before the cabinet committee on security.

Taking note of the statement made by the home minister, today’s convention reiterated that the people of Manipur wanted the act repealed.

The convention also concluded that the armed conflict in the state arose from the people’s struggle for self-determination and international humanitarian law was applicable in Manipur.

Lawyers, retired judges, former members of Manipur Human Rights Commission and human rights defenders took part in today’s deliberations. The participants said the UN’s “intervention” was an achievement of the people’s struggle against the act and encouraged them to take the struggle forward.

Roy said they had not yet fixed a date for the Manipur National Convention but it would be held soon. “The civil society coalition will take the campaign forward according to the decisions taken by the convention,” he added.

The coalition is planning to hold more consultations and interactions to spread awareness on the need to continue the struggle for repeal of the act, especially in view of the UN support.

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