Naga peace talks ‘nearing finality’

Mukesh Ranjan
Indiatimesworld News Service
New Delhi, August 11

Terming the appointment of Centre’s interlocutor RN Ravi as the Governor of Nagaland a prelude, top sources in the government said the move on Naga peace settlement was in the final stages. Only the issues relating to separate flag and tribal customary laws were to be sorted out now, they said.

Besides the twin issues, all other key issues, including sovereignty, armed Naga militia and autonomous councils in neighbouring states of Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh, have been settled and agreed upon.

Noting that a final agreement could be signed any time now, a senior government official in the know of development said, “The Naga peace talks are nearing conclusion, provided the Naga negotiators reciprocate with pragmatic flexibility, as we have already made positive offers to them on the two pending issues.”

Sources, while conceding to the fact that the demand for a separate Naga flag and constitution had delayed the signing of the final agreement, said the government of India had offered that it was ready to consider a Naga flag for a pan-Naga cultural body and to term the final agreement as the “Naga constitution”.

In the last four years, they said, the two sides have made “significant achievements” by resolving several aspects of the Naga tangle.