GUWAHATI: Nagaland CM Neiphiu Rio refused to comment on Governor RN Ravi’s statement that ruled out a separate "Naga national flag" and Naga "yezabo" (constitution). Though whatever statement comes from the governor by default becomes the Nagaland government’s view, Rio refused to comment that Ravi’s statement is also his government’s view.
Asked if the state government agrees to the view of governor Ravi, who is also the interlocutor in Naga peace talks, Rio told this newspaper, "At this moment, many people are upset and not happy and there are many opinions. Right now, I don’t want to give my opinion on anybody’s comment. Let’s hope against hope."
Ravi had on Friday accused insurgent group National Socialist Council of Nagalim (NSCN-IM), the chief negotiator in Naga peace talks, of adopting a procrastinating attitude to delay the settlement of the Naga problem by raising the contentious "symbolic issues of separate Naga national flag and constitution on which they are fully aware of the Centre's position."
The various Naga rebel groups are divided on the issues of Naga national flag and Naga constitution. The NSCN-IM appears non-flexible on the twin demands. However, the Naga National Political Groups (NNPGs), a conglomerate of other rebel groups, are insisting on early solution to the vexed and protracted problem and said that the twin demands could be pursued post-settlement.
"Meanwhile, both sides are likely to meet later this month. The Forum for Naga Reconciliation (FNR) is mediating for a meeting between NNPGs and NSCN-IM in Dimapur. It will be held from October 27-29. I talked to the forum as well as NSCN-IM and NNPG. Hopefully, both sides will meet," the CM said.