Naga
Naga national flag being hoisted during the 74th Naga Independence Day at Camp Hebron near Dimapur on Friday.

NSCN (I-M) general secretary Th. Muivah on Friday asserted that the government of India through the Framework Agreement signed with it on August 3, 2015, recognized the sovereignty of the Nagas.

“The agreement also says inclusive peaceful coexistence of the two entities sharing sovereign power,” Muivah said in his address, which was read out in his absentia, during the 74th Naga Independence Day celebration at the NSCN (I-M) council headquarters at Hebron, around 50 kms from Dimapur.

He is currently in New Delhi and leading the NSCN (I-M) team in latest rounds of talks with the Centre.

The ato kilonser (prime minister) explained that “inclusive” means all Nagas in different administrative units and political camps are to be included in the agreement.

He added that coexistence of the two entities is self-explanatory, meaning the two peoples and nations will coexist.

He said political and legal experts admit the terms “coexistence” and “shared sovereignty” apply to two entities and not one entity.

“The Nagas will coexist with India sharing sovereign powers as agreed in the Framework Agreement and defined in the competencies. But they will not merge with India,” Muivah stated.

Saying that the Nagas are not asking for Naga national flag and constitution from the government of India, he said, “Recognize them or not, we have our own flag and constitution.”

Muivah said, “Flag and constitution are ingredients of our recognized sovereign entity and the symbols of Naga nationhood. The Nagas must keep their flag and constitution.”

He quoted Centre’s interlocutor and also Nagaland Governor RN Ravi as saying in the October 31 talk last year, “We respect and honour your flag and constitution. We do not say the government of India has rejected them, but let us finalize them at the earliest time”.

Muivah said the NSCN reiterated its stand that it sees no honourable solution without flag and constitution.

“Our political salvation lies in clinging to our national principle and saying no to the dictation of the enemies. Clinging to our principle, our people said no to the Union of India.

“They also said no to the 16-point agreement and the Shillong Accord that have made the issue alive thus far. And they will say no to any agreement that betrays the national principle, and that imposition of Indian will upon the Nagas will never be acceptable to the Naga people,” Muivah asserted.

He, however, said taking the sovereign right of the Nagas and the security and commercial interests of India into account, “we have condensed our discussions to the mutually agreed Framework Agreement and worked out competencies to be finalized”.

Muivah added that the Nagas are indeed for a political solution.

He saluted all the martyrs and revolutionary patriots in the field and thanked all the Naga people, civil societies such as the Naga Hoho, Eastern Nagaland Peoples’ Organisation, Naga Mothers’ Association, Naga Students’ Federation, Naga People’s Movement for Human Rights, churches in Nagalim, United Naga Council, women’s organisations in Manipur and others for their unflinching support for the cause and unceasing prayers during this crucial time.

Muivah congratulated the Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organisation for the recent successful conclusion of its first virtual General Assembly held from July 31 to August 2.

He said Nagalim too was a part of this historic endeavor and it will continue to do so in the future.

Bhadra Gogoi

Bhadra Gogoi is Northeast Now Correspondent in Nagaland. He can be reached at: bhadragogoi@yahoo.com