Rio, Sarma taken on board ? Peace talk back on track
Move RN Ravi out of Nagaland and place him as the Governor of Tamil Nadu. Remove RN Ravi as the Interlocutor with all indications pointing that the next man to take the job will be former Special Director of the Intelligence Bureau AK Mishra, with some even having gone ahead and naming him as the Interlocutor. Two Chief Ministers meeting general secretary of the NSCN (IM) Thuingaleng Muivah and suddenly the peace process between the NSCN (IM) and the Government of India seems to have returned on track. First time that the outfit has talked to political leaders if one goes by what a senior leader of the NSCN (IM) RH Raising has had to say, “We have never had talks with political leaders...But we have to, if they are assigned by the Central Government,” is anything to go by. This is as per a report filed by The Indian Express while quoting news agency Press Trust of India and it is significant to note that the two Chief Ministers which the outfit has reportedly met were Nagaland Chief Minister Nephiu Rio and Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma. The political dialogue seems back on track after a hiatus of some time when the outfit and former Interlocutor RN Ravi seemed more like on a collision course rather than two sides engaged in a political dialogue to bring to an end what is believed to be India’s longest running insurgency. All interesting developments that anyone with a modicum of interest in the peace process must be watching keenly. Manipur too must be watching the new developments with interests and this is where one needs to be on guard against any attempt to blow things out of proportion and stir up unnecessary tension. The NSCN (IM) and the numerous Naga civil society organisations have never demonstrated anything that they have dropped the Lim demand and this is where wild speculations and talks can awaken the devil on either side of the Lim divide. It is here that the BJP led Government at Imphal will need to demonstrate that it is trying to be as close to the ongoing dialogue as possible so that any misunderstanding can be cleared as quickly as possible, thereby nullifying any room that may be created to sow seeds of suspicion and tension.
Their position in the ongoing dialogue is not clear as yet but significant to note that the Chief Ministers of two neighbouring States seem to have been taken into confidence to kickstart the political dialogue. This is where Chief Minister N Biren ought to lay down the card that the time has also come to take Manipur into confidence so that no room for suspicion can be created. This is where The Sangai Express recalls its earlier suggestions that the Chief Minister of Manipur need to reach out to the Chief Ministers of Assam and Arunachal Pradesh so that the three States can take a joint stand and convey the same to New Delhi. What understanding is there between the three State Governments on this count is as yet not known, but it is significant to note that Himanta Biswa Sarma seems to have edged closer to the status of the ongoing political negotiations between the NSCN (IM) and New Delhi. Let the peace process proceed and let it go to its logical conclusion, but in the process any final pact should not hurt the interests of the neighbouring States has for long been the line of Manipur and to come nearer to the realisation of this line, it is clear that the State Government must try its best to ensure that Imphal is kept in the loop where it matters.