The Naga International Support Center, NISC, has been set up to focus attention on a very real but forgotten conflict. A conflict that resulted in a raging war on the frontiers of North East India and Myanmar, between the Naga peoples, India and Myanmar. Landlocked and inaccessible to outsiders, because of India's travel restrictions, Nagalim, homeland of the Nagas, has been practically isolated from the outside world. This being the main reason why the international community knows little about a war that has taken the lives of approximately 200.000 people.
The Nagas declared independence in 1947, one day ahead of the Union of India.The United Nations acknowledged the reception of this declaration but declined to recognize Nagaland. Then years of talks and negotiations followed before in 1954 India invaded Nagalim and the conflict began in earnest. Much happened afterwards, see the chronology of history, before in 1997 the governments of India and Nagalim announced a cease-fire based on which peace talks followed. The talks are held outside India. Among other host countries tacitly the Netherlands has been and is venue for the peace talks. More than five years have passed since then but progress has yet to be made. With this struggle for an honourable peace settlement the repression byt the Armed Forces of India and the Assam Riflles goes on but on a lesser scale then during the ware when villages were torched and civilians killed.
The peace process needs support. The mouse Nagaland can hardly take on the giant India. The Naga International Support Center, NISC, a human rights organisation, launches a publicity campaign, NISC introduces the struggle of the Naga Peoples. Nisc wants to make it known that the human suffering in Nagalim and the rest of North East India should stop.
"Nagas have every right to be independent. We did not want to live under the domination of the British. I believe in the brotherhood of man. If you do not wish to join the Union of India, nobody will force you to do that..."
"Seen from the moon we are all equally tall ..."
Objectives of the foundation of the Naga International Support Center
The NISC is a Dutch organization formed by persons living in, having their domicile or staying in the Netherlands temporarily. The founders take it upon themselves to support the Naga peoples in their struggle to obtain justice and peace.
The Naga peoples of Northeast India and NorthWest Burma have since independence been engaged in a bloody war. India according to Naga history unilaterally annexed their lands, for the Naga Peoples do not want to be part of the Union of India. The Nagas then, one-day before India declared their independence from colonial Britain The main reasons for this declaration was that Nagalim, the homeland of the Nagas, neither historically, colonially, religiously nor anthropologically was part of the colonial British Indian Empire and so could not be part of the later India. Nagas have little in common with their Indian neighbours and because of the invasions in the fifties do not want to have anything to do with India. Nagas resist this Indian domination (which turned out brutal at times) and are determined to fight the Indian occupational forces, most likely, to the bitter end. As they have done for the last 55 years. To withstand a formidable power that sends fully armed troops sometimes numbering 200.000 soldiers, the Naga formed an army of their own; the Naga army.
Because India, in spite of an overpowering force, could not subdue or conquer the Nagas eventually Naga and Indian leaders agreed to a cease-fire to enable both parties to enter peace talks, for the second time in 55 years. Although this conflict, has been going on since independence, hardly anyone in and outside India knows about it. Judged by India and international community to be internal, this conflictit might very well be the longest running one in the world today.
Nagalim, being remote or perhaps kept remote, is situated in the North East of India and Northwest Burma. Because the United Nations did acknowledge the declaration of independence by the Naga leaders 1947, it did not recognize it. Now in line with the Indian Government the international community presumes Nagalim to be part of India. If at all it knows about the conflict it acknowledges it as an internal one. Only in exceptional cases it will interfere in domestic affairs. . India has kept Nagalim isolated for a very long time. It refuses both the the international and sometimes local media but also prospective visitors entry into the territory. Consequently it is obvious why the international media and therefore the general public know little or nothing the existence of Nagalim. Due to this isolation it is evident that, though the people of Nagalim can resist a dominating power, they are by no means capable of staging a publicity campaign. Fundraising to finance publicity is direly needed. Nisc then launches a campaign that aims to lift the Nagas out of obscurity to make the struggle for self determination a matter for the international community.
Nagalim's relatively small populace numbers just about 4 million people. One and half a million live in the state of Nagaland that was formed in 1963 through the 16 point agreement between the Indian state and the Naga Peoples Council, NPC, a council that had no clear representation among the people. Another 2 million Nagas live in neighboring states. Nagalim encompasses all lands where Naga traditionally live: the state of Nagaland, parts of Manipur, Arunchal Phradesh. Approximately one third of Nagalim is in the Northwest of Burma. For the most important events see the historical chronology.
The majority of the population actively supports the initiatives taken by the National Socialist Council of Nagalim, NSCN. Founded in 1980 it represents the majority of the Naga peoples. Some are staunch followers of the Naga Natonal Council, NNC after the Naga Club the first Naga National organization. The NNC lost credibility after some of its members singned the notorious Shillong Accord in 1975, through which the constitution of the Union of India was adopted. After long deliberations and after having been held captive by the Federal Government (NNC) the leaders opposing that Accord launched the Naga Socialist Council of NAGALIM, NSCN. The Nscn headed by former NNC leaders Swu, Khaplang and Muivah from then on continued to fight for the rights of all NAGAS, theright to self determination. In 1988 Khaplang both once part of the NNC and later NSCN leader had developed a deep rooted difference of opinion and style of leadership that resulted in a quest to neutralise his fellow leaders of the Nscn. When he attacked the NSCN camp he failed to kill the NSCN leaders but did kill more than 200 civilians and Nscn men. Khaplang kept the name of the NSCN and became then known as the NSCN-K. In contrast the NSCN was named (media) NSCN-IM after its leaders Isak Chishi Swu and Thuingalang Muivah.
Between 1980 and 1995 there were many battles fought between the Indian and Naga forces, see list. In 1995 an initiative to come to peace talks and later cease fire took place. In 1997 the second cease fire paving the way for peace talks was agreed upon. Though held tacitly for press conferences were not held the Netherlands and Thailand were and are venue for the talks. Both parties met in The Hague, Amsterdam and Bangkok several times. The Dutch government adheres to its policy of providing a venue for both parties and is, passively, involved in the conflict. Though international diplomatic channels are used to bring the warring parties together to solve the conflict hardly anybody in Europe knows about it. Exposing the issue through the international media would not only benefit the Nagas but India as well.
Therefore: The objectives of the foundation Naga International Support Center are to:
- generate world opinion to support for a peaceful and democratically just solution
- highlight the human rights situation and the need
- show the impact of the conflict on the Naga peoples and its society
- create awareness for the existence of the Naga peoples through publishing its rich culture
- attract international (European), national and local attention to the Naga–Indo conflict, for the long 55 years of suffering of he Naga Peoples for the destruction of the environment due to warfare and exploitation of natural resources, wood, mining etc. by India
- to support the Naga peoples in their quest for protecting their human rights
- empowered by a cease-fire that has lasted more than five years to support the peace process, initiated in 1997. The purpose of the cease-fire is to enable both parties to come to an honorable peace that does justice to the historical rights of the Naga Peoples.This includes both the colonial past with Great Britain and the contemporary past with the annexation of Nagalim by India.
- The foundation NISC will initiate and coordinate Naga affiliated support groups in several European countries. In order to bring about and put into practice ideas that will attract funding to be used in support of the peace process and the victims of war, NISC will initiate gatherings, meetings, and conferences, exhibitions and Naga performances. These funds will be allocated to support Naga Human Rights Organizations. These funds may also be used to support a publicity campaign which in itself should attract support and funding.
- The NISC, with the Naga affiliated groups, will contribute to support the culture of the Naga Peoples. It will do so by initiating and cooperating with Naga organizations that has the importance of culture as a driving force at heart. In consequence of this, NISC will initiate and cultural exhibitions and cultural performances (by cultural troupes).
The NISC will try and achieve these goals by:
Designing and conducting a publicity campaign aimed at these different target groups:
- general public (public at large)
- human rights organizations
- international aid organizations
- organizations for development cooperation
- environmental agencies
- political groups, parties and entities and governments
News, actualities and in depth stories will be gathered, produced and distributed. Initially by the NISC, later - once interest is raised - by other 'independent' agencies. When the campaign is launched; video, photographic and print material will be distributed to various media throughout Europe, a priority as there is little knowledge about the Naga-Indo conflict in Europe and consequently little interest.
To reach out to different segments of the general public and to spread both in depth visual and written information, NISC will organize exhibitions and cultural performances. To keep the raised interest alive. NISC will thus cooperate with environment, development, human rights organizations and with Naga organizations like NPMHR, NSF, Naga Mothers and more. NISC will function as a platform for all interested groups and organizations.
The funds of the NISC will be come from subsidies, sales of publicity materials, video and photography, donations, contributions, gifts, inheritances and other earnings.
The NISC is governed by a board that is composed of three (minimum) to seven (maximum) members. The board will decide on the number of members it needs.
Changing any article of this preamble will need a two-third-majority vote.
Before a board's decision on changing any of NISC's objectives, relevant Naga organizations will have to be consulted.
From its members the board will elect a chairperson, a secretary and an exchequer (bookkeeper accountable for the flow of money)
The board will inaugurate a secretariat where to be hired personnel will work on the policies set by the board.
Nagalim denotes all Naga areas irrespective of boundaries.