The All Naga Students’ Association, Manipur (ANSAM), while reiterating its stand to support the ongoing “bilateral peace talks between the government of India and NSCN/GPRN”, has sought the supports and attentions of “all the civil society organizations and well-wishers to restore peace in our region”. ANSAM said, “More than 75 years old Naga political struggle deserves a logical conclusion with due recognition of Naga flag, Naga constitution and Naga integration as inalienable rights of the Naga people”.
According to a statement of ANSAM, in its “presidential council meeting” held on March 8, 2021 at Sheley Chara Memorial Hall, ANSAM Secretariat Complex, it discussed in length the ongoing Indo-Naga -political issue. The Naga student body said that the meeting expressed serious concern and viewed the numerous “insincerity” of the government of India in resolving the Indo-Naga political issue despite the involvement of five prime ministers in the twenty-three years of negotiation as two entities.
ANSAM then said that it was the realization on the part of India that the Naga issue is political in nature that paved the way to negotiation by signing ceasefire agreement between the two entities “after experiencing the futility of military confrontation” for decades. It further said that the “ceasefire was signed between the government of India and NSCN/GPRN to end all forms of violence in the entire Naga areas to hammer out an amicable solution”. It added that all right-thinking citizens, leaders and organizations should welcome ceasefire instead of war and violence.
ANSAM then said that it was perturbed by the recent statement of the chief minister of Manipur stating that “there is no ceasefire coverage in the state of Manipur”. According to ANSAM, the Manipur chief minister had stated this during the State Legislative Assembly on February 22, 2021. “It is shocking to learn a federating state like Manipur dishonoring the agreement made by the Central government at the prime minister level,”, it said, adding, “Unfortunately, such a reckless statement was being made before the State Assembly, amounting to the total discrediting of the bilateral agreement and endeavours to resolve the Indo-Naga political issue”. Moreover, the Naga student body said that it is also unfortunate on the part of “one Naga legislator from opposition bench, knowing fully raising contradictory starred questions on the same matter which is uncalled for at this crucial juncture when the solution is much awaited to restore peace in the state and beyond”.
ANSAM then said that the genesis of the present talks may be traced back to the meeting between the then Prime Minister PV. Narasimha Rao and NSCN leaders in June, 1995 at Paris and meeting between the then Prime Minister H.D. Deve Gowda and NSCN leaders at Zurich in February, 1997 culminating the bilateral ceasefire agreement in May, 1997. “Later, the Bangkok Declaration dated 14.06.2001 emerged whereby it was agreed that the ongoing ‘ceasefire agreement is between the government of India and the NSCN as two entities without territorial limits’, thereby mutually agreeing upon that ‘both the parties would abide by the ground rules as revised on January 13, 2001, both in letter and in spirit’”, ANSAM further stated.
The Naga student body then reaffirmed its “fullest support to the collective leadership of the NSCN and government of India under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to bring a logical and honorable solution to the protracted Indo-Naga political issue”. It also stated that both the negotiating parties must abide by the terms of “the 3rd August Indo Naga Framework Agreement” in letter and spirit. “Logical settlement must be made in the spirit of the 3rd August Framework Agreement and based on the unique history of the Nagas and its situations,” the Naga student body added in the statement.