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�Naga peace talks nearing settlement�

By Correspondent
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DIMAPUR, Dec 18 � NSCN-IM general secretary Th Muivah has indicated that the dialogue with the Government of India (GoI) on the decades-old protracted Indo-Naga issue is on the verge of reaching a meeting point for an honourable settlement acceptable to all.

�We have almost come to a meeting point�you know, their (GoI) position is clear to us, ours is also equally clear to them,� Muivah said during a five-minute interaction with the media here at Dimapur Airport upon his arrival here on Saturday.

However, the NSCN-IM general secretary sought to make it clear that the ball remains in the court of the Government of India. �They have to take the initiative and we are waiting for that,� Muivah stated, providing an indicator that both parties have finally come to a certain level of agreement for settlement of the Naga issue.

Earlier this week, on December 13, Muivah and NSCN-IM chairman Isak Chishi Swu had met Union Home Minister P Chidambaram and interlocutor RS Pandey in New Delhi to discuss the ongoing peace process. After the meeting, Muivah had told reporters that �things have become much clearer now.�

During the month of July, the NSCN-IM and the GoI had made a similar joint announcement stating that they have narrowed down differences and are trying to come to a settlement in the shortest time possible.

When queried on media reports of the GoI offering maximum autonomy to Nagaland under provisions of the Indian Constitution or the so called �Supra State status� which has created quite a furore in neighbouring States, the NSCN-IM general secretary denied the existence of such a proposal while maintaining that the �report is only what the press people are saying� and not from the Centre.

�Not from Government of India. Why, because we know. They (GoI) are also trying their best despite their difficulties, and even then they are trying to work through. We (NSCN-IM) are also trying on our side,� he responded.

On being asked to comment on the United Naga Council demand for an alternative arrangement outside the Government of Manipur, Muivah merely termed it as a �side issue.�

�Our issue is our rights and integration. All the Nagas must live together,� he said.

When asked if there was any particular reason for him coming to Dimapur, he replied, �Naga laga homeland ase, Naga manu ase, moi kile nahibo?� (This is Naga people�s homeland; I am a Naga, so why shouldn�t I come?).

NSCN-IM chairman Isak Chishi Swu had reached Dimapur earlier on December 15. The leader, who is reported to have been ailing for some time, was seen being wheeled out in a wheelchair on arrival at Dimapur Airport.

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�Naga peace talks nearing settlement�

DIMAPUR, Dec 18 � NSCN-IM general secretary Th Muivah has indicated that the dialogue with the Government of India (GoI) on the decades-old protracted Indo-Naga issue is on the verge of reaching a meeting point for an honourable settlement acceptable to all.

�We have almost come to a meeting point�you know, their (GoI) position is clear to us, ours is also equally clear to them,� Muivah said during a five-minute interaction with the media here at Dimapur Airport upon his arrival here on Saturday.

However, the NSCN-IM general secretary sought to make it clear that the ball remains in the court of the Government of India. �They have to take the initiative and we are waiting for that,� Muivah stated, providing an indicator that both parties have finally come to a certain level of agreement for settlement of the Naga issue.

Earlier this week, on December 13, Muivah and NSCN-IM chairman Isak Chishi Swu had met Union Home Minister P Chidambaram and interlocutor RS Pandey in New Delhi to discuss the ongoing peace process. After the meeting, Muivah had told reporters that �things have become much clearer now.�

During the month of July, the NSCN-IM and the GoI had made a similar joint announcement stating that they have narrowed down differences and are trying to come to a settlement in the shortest time possible.

When queried on media reports of the GoI offering maximum autonomy to Nagaland under provisions of the Indian Constitution or the so called �Supra State status� which has created quite a furore in neighbouring States, the NSCN-IM general secretary denied the existence of such a proposal while maintaining that the �report is only what the press people are saying� and not from the Centre.

�Not from Government of India. Why, because we know. They (GoI) are also trying their best despite their difficulties, and even then they are trying to work through. We (NSCN-IM) are also trying on our side,� he responded.

On being asked to comment on the United Naga Council demand for an alternative arrangement outside the Government of Manipur, Muivah merely termed it as a �side issue.�

�Our issue is our rights and integration. All the Nagas must live together,� he said.

When asked if there was any particular reason for him coming to Dimapur, he replied, �Naga laga homeland ase, Naga manu ase, moi kile nahibo?� (This is Naga people�s homeland; I am a Naga, so why shouldn�t I come?).

NSCN-IM chairman Isak Chishi Swu had reached Dimapur earlier on December 15. The leader, who is reported to have been ailing for some time, was seen being wheeled out in a wheelchair on arrival at Dimapur Airport.

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