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Working Committee (WC) of the Naga National Political Groups (NNPGs) through its media cell has taken strong exception of the report published by The Week, a Kerala-based news magazine, on July 6, 2018 and published in sections of the local daily on July 7, 2018 under the headline “GoI Talks Tough on Naga Demands”.
According to the media cell, Alezo Venuh, envoy to collective leadership, GPRN/NSCN, and co-ordinator in the ongoing political dialogue between NNPGs and the government of India, had, at no point in time, gave any interview to print or electronic media on the status of “Indo-Naga” political negotiations. “There is certainly no truth in the statement attributed to Mr. Alezo Venuh,” media cell said.
Working Committee said it therefore expected that the author of the article “withdraw a part of the baseless and imaginary statement within one week.”
The committee cautioned that a legal course of action would be pursued should the author fail to tender “unconditional apology for misleading the Naga people through unethical journalism.”
Meanwhile, WC also sought to lay out a few facts that required prompt clarification. Firstly, it said the NNPGs comprised of six Naga National Political Groups and not a decreased number.
Secondly, WC said integration of Naga areas in India and in Burma (Myanmar) was a legitimate aspiration of the Naga people. However, it said “contemporary political reality cannot be ignored”, adding that the issue would, therefore, be pursued democratically through people to people’s dialogue.
Thirdly, WC pointed out that on November 17, 2017, the NNPGs and the government of India signed an Agreement in the manner of a preamble for further political negotiations, an agreed position upon which the negotiation would be based. “Which is why it is erroneous to say NNPGs joined the peace talks. The political dialogue is between two entities i.e. NNPGs and GoI, is a fresh initiative,” WC said.
Fourthly, WC said the talks between the government of India and NNPGs were being held “systematically in a free, open and cordial atmosphere.”
Stating that co-existence entailed recognising perennial rights of the Nagas over specific matters, the WC said there was no gag order on the NNPGs. “Matters requiring immediate deliberations and consultations with our people back home are being done unconditionally. In the Naga context, lack of transparency is suicidal,” WC asserted.