Nagaland chief minister Neiphiu Rio | File photo

Nagaland chief minister Neiphiu Rio, speaking on the floor of the 12th session of the 13th Nagaland Legislative Assembly on September 22, said that the Indo-Naga political imbroglio has been at the core of Naga society for several decades and remains central in their concerns even today.

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Speaking on the Naga political issue, Neiphiu Rio said that the “Indo-Naga political imbroglio is at the top of our agenda and in the course of the past four years, the members of this house have undertaken discussions and deliberations on several occasions. My government has given utmost importance to the Naga political issue and we have made every possible effort to play the role of active facilitator in order to create an atmosphere that is conducive to realisation of an early solution to the protracted Naga political issue.”

He said that the present state government in Nagaland has formed an opposition-less United Democratic Front (UDA) government with the singular motive to facilitate the peace process so that the aspiration of achieving genuine peace though a negotiated political solution that is honourable, acceptable and inclusive can be realised. Subsequently, the parliamentary committee on naga political issue and the core committee were formed on June 10, 2021 consisting of representatives from all political parties represented in the Nagaland assembly.

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“All 60 members of this house rose above our affiliations by setting aside all our differences and we all came under one platform to extend positive support to the political negotiations. The parliamentary committee and the core committee has held several rounds of discussions, deliberations and consultative meetings with various stakeholders including the Naga national political groups and the representatives of the Government of India,” Rio said.

He extended the appreciation of the house to all the stakeholders, leaders and representatives of civil society and tribal Hohos (apex tribal bodies) and all organisations and individuals who participated in the consultative meetings and collectively supported the common endeavour of pursuing permanent peace.

“We are grateful to the Government of India for acknowledging the unique history of the Nagas and for recognising the Naga issue as a political issue,” he said.

Rio said that the signing of the Framework Agreement on August 3, 2015 after over 80 rounds of talks in the presence of prime minister of India and other high officials and dignitaries of the Union government was indeed a historic occasion. “The agreed position signed on November 17, 2017 was greatly significant and further strengthened the progress of the negotiations,” he added.

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“There is an overwhelming cry for a final solution among all sections of the people. The present state government and the parliamentary committee on Naga political issue continues to make efforts, while appealing for early solution, to the extent of supporting such a development even before the elections to the Nagaland assembly, which are due in early 2023. A political issue that has stretched for several decades and involves the longest standing insurgency of the entire region needs a mature approach. The present ceasefire and talks have been going on for more than two decades, and we feel that it more than enough time for all sides to understand and appreciate each other in a manner that we are able to reach a desired conclusion by achieving a settlement,” he added.

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