DIMAPUR, Aug 19 - The Naga civil society groups have taken their battle over whether Nagaland Governor RN Ravi should continue as the interlocutor of the ongoing Naga peace talks or not, to the Prime Minister�s Office (PMO).
While the Nagaland Tribes Council (NTC) has vehemently opposed replacement of Ravi as the interlocutor, the Naga Hoho has placed the opposite demand.
In a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi today, the NTC said it fully supports the civil society organisations like the 14 apex Naga tribal hohos of Nagaland, Lotha Hoho, Nagaland Gaon Buras Federation, Central Nagaland Tribes Council, Zeliangrong Baudi and Sumi Kukami Hoho in �our endeavour� for an early solution, but without replacing the Centre�s interlocutor for the peace talks.
It urged the Centre to respect the sentiments of the people of the State represented by these stakeholders. The NTC said that a certain section of people is campaigning for Ravi�s removal as interlocutor without assessing the progress already made.
Changing the interlocutor is not the answer at this juncture when the incumbent is diligently trying to work out a solution to the vexed Naga issue, which is at a concluding stage on the basis of the reported agreed points on October 31, 2019 between the Government of India represented by Ravi and the Naga Political Groups, the letter signed by NTC president Toniho Yepthomi and general secretary Nribemo Ngullie said.
The letter spoke of the past experiences of the Nagas relating to change of interlocutors. It said whenever interlocutors were changed, the process reverted to ground zero. This is the reason why the Naga peace process has been dragging on for the 23rd year now, the NTC said.
Meanwhile, a Naga Hoho delegation which met Union Minister of State, Jitender Singh, on August 12, urged the PMO to seriously review Ravi�s role, alleging he has done more damage and created a trust deficit within the Naga people and the negotiators.
The peace talks must be carried forward to its logical conclusion with mutual respect and understanding as two entities, the Hoho said.
The Naga Hoho delegation reiterated the demand that the Government of India make its stand clear on the ceasefire area coverage.
It pointed out that the Framework Agreement was signed on August 3, 2015, and the Agreed Position on November 17, 2017, while the formal talks were declared as concluded on October 31, 2019. The Hoho expressed dismay that inking of the final agreement has been kept in cold storage, creating more confusion and divisions among various sections of the Naga people.