By Prof. JOSE MARIA SISON
Chairperson, International League of Peoples’ Struggle
We, the International League of Peoples’ Struggle, are in solidarity with the Naga people in their struggle for national self-determination, human rights and a just peace. The Naga people have the right to self-determination, including the right to establish their own state in their Nagalim homeland, which borders on North East India and Myanmar.
The Nagas were ahead of the Union of India by one day in declaring independence from British imperialism in 1947. The United Nations was duly provided with the declaration of independence. After several years of seeking by talks to assimilate the Nagas, India invaded Nagalim in 1954 and proceeded to exact a heavy toll of nearly 200,000 war casualties on the Naga people.
After several years of political conflict, Indian leaders including army chiefs came to know the reality and declared: (i) Naga problem is a political issue; (ii) treating the Naga issue as a law and order problem would be wrong; and (iii) military solution is not possible; it needs a political treatment apart from military treatment and it is time for India and the Nagas to talk across the table.
The principles of the National Socialist Council of Nagalim (NSCN) are freedom from all kinds of bondages and independence from any foreign domination and close relationship with other peoples and nations on the basis of mutual respect and recognition of rights.
On September 1964, the first Indo-Naga peace negotiation started. The negotiation failed due to India’s insincerity and in 1972 the Government of India unilaterally withdrew the cease-fire. Hence the bloodshed and human right violations.
The second cease-fire agreement was signed between the Government of India and the Nagas under the leadership of Isak Chishi Swu and Th. Muivah on August 1,1997 to start negotiations on three terms : (i) talks without any conditions, (ii) talks at the Prime Ministrial level and (iii) in third countries.
So far the peace talks have been held in different places, including Amsterdam, Bangkok, Chiang-Mai, Dimapur(Nagalim), Geneva, the Hague, Kuala Lumpur, Milan, New Delhi, New York, Osaka, Paris, Vienna and Zurich.
With a view to having wide ranging consultations with the Naga people on the current Indo-Naga peace process, the NSCN has conducted consultative meetings six times, where all sections of the Naga people from different places attended. At the Fourth Consultative Meeting, held at Hebron, the designated camp, on 20 and 21 January 2005, the Collective Leadership of the NSCN was reaffirmed and mandated for working out an honorable solution to the Indo-Naga political issue. The peace process is still going on.
There is little or no progress at all in the talks. India refuses to recognize the government and territory of Nagalim, preventing determination of the coverage of the ceasefire. In the meantime, the Indian reactionary armed forces unleash various forms of repression by abducting, torturing and murdering the Nagas and looting and burning their homes and farms.
At this very moment, the Indian Government is poised to receive and talk with a delegation of the National Socialist Council of Nagalim headed by Th. Muivah, Secretary of the NSCN. But India is now trying to pre-condition the talks by keeping them within the bounds of the Indian Constitution and the administrative terms of the Indian Home Ministry. This preconditioning is not a sign of sincerity.
In going through the motions of negotiating peace, the Indian government is actually obsessed with playing up and manipulating the broad variety of tribes and resistance organizations in Nagalim and in forcing through Indian expansionism and the subjection of the Naga people to Indian and foreign monopoly interests.
We, the International League of Peoples’ Struggle, call on all our member-organizations and our allies to pay close attention to the revolutionary cause of the Naga people and extend every possible support to them in their struggle for national and social liberation, all-round development and a just peace.