Govt. holds another round of talks with NSCN-IM; separate flag, constitution sticking point

first_imgThe Centre on Monday held another round of talks with the NSCN-IM, the major insurgency group in Nagaland, aiming to hammer out differences, particularly on the outfit’s demand for a separate flag and Constitution for the Nagas, and inch closer to a solution to the seven decades old problem, officials said.A team of the NSCN-IM, led by its general secretary Thuingaleng Muivah, and Centre’s interlocutor and Nagaland Governor R N Ravi discussed here the possible ways to find an “honourable” solution by resolving the sticky issue of a separate flag and Constitution for the Nagas.As talks were progressing with the NSCN-IM, a grouping of seven Naga outfits which is pushing for an early solution to the Naga issue has urged elected representatives to avoid a “neutral stand” and make clear their position.The issue of a separate flag and Constitution for the Nagas has become the main bone of contention between the two sides with the NSCN-IM strongly pressing for it.“The dialogue, which lasted for more than four hours, remained inconclusive and both sides agreed to meet again soon. However, a final agreement between the NSCN-IM and the government is unlikely to take place by October 31,” an official privy to the development said.Mr. Ravi, in a statement, had said last week that a mutually agreed draft comprehensive settlement, including all the substantive issues and competencies, is ready for signing the final agreement.“Unfortunately at this auspicious juncture, the NSCN-IM has adopted a procrastinating attitude to delay the settlement raising the contentious symbolic issues of separate Naga national flag and Constitution on which they are fully aware of the government of India’s position,” he had said.Mr. Ravi’s statement bears significance in view of the central government’s August 5 announcement abrogating the special status given to Jammu and Kashmir under Article 370. With the annulment of the special status, the separate flag and the Constitution of Jammu and Kashmir cease to exist.The interlocutor said the NSCN-IM has “mischievously” dragged in the framework agreement and began imputing imaginary contents to it.The framework agreement was signed on August 3, 2015 by NSCN-IM’s Muivah and interlocutor Mr. Ravi in presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.The framework agreement came after over 80 rounds of negotiations spanning 18 years, with the first breakthrough in 1997 when the ceasefire agreement was sealed after decades of insurgency in Nagaland which started soon after India’s independence in 1947.The central government has already rejected the NSCN-IM’s demand for unification of Naga inhabited areas — located in Manipur, Arunachal Pradesh and Assam. The three Northeastern states also vehemently opposed it.Noting that the the Centre was keen on finding a solution, the grouping of seven organisations called Naga National Political Groups (NNPG) made the appeal to the elected representatives in a statement released by its media cell on Sunday night. The NNPG has been holding separate talks with the Centre since 2017.In the statement, the NNPG asserted that the elected representatives of Nagaland should not be maintaining a neutral stand on the matter, now that the government was keen on finding a solution.“Unresolved matters should be decided through political and democratic process…. The position and status of elected representatives of Nagaland cannot remain lukewarm. They cannot choose to hide behind the boulders blocking the way,” it said.The Centre had set a deadline for conclusion of peace talks in the wake of the Naga society’s demand for an early solution to the six-decade-old issue, the statement said.“It is time for political parties in Nagaland to clear their stand in the interest of the Naga people…. If the political parties of Nagaland fail in their constitutional duties and obligations, they should resign and allow the Election Commission of India to derecognise the parties,” the NNPG said.The interlocutor, Mr. Ravi is expected to hold dialogue with the NNPG in the coming days too.last_img read more

Antoine Griezmann claims Lionel Messi is face of football

first_imgBarcelona’s last signing Antoine Griezmann has said that his new teammate Lionel Messi is the best soccer player in the world and the face of the sport.”For me, he (Messi) is the number one, like Lebron (James) in basketball. They’re the ideal,” the French international forward told Barcelona media on Tuesday, reports Efe news.”Lebron is the face of the NBA, and for me, Messi is the face of soccer because he has something different that others don’t have. We can only see (such talent) every 30 years or so,” Griezmann added.Griezmann, the 2018 FIFA World Cup winner with France, also praised the La Liga champion side, saying that “all teams are different from Barcelona at the level of playing style.”He spoke directly to the club’s fan base as well, reiterating that he intends to entertain the crowd on and off the Camp Nou pitch. “I want to play in front of my new fans,” Griezmann said.”I believe that they already know me, I’m someone who gives everything on the field and I’m sure we’ll enjoy together.”Barcelona announced last Friday the signing of the 28-year-old on a five-year deal.The announcement came after the player’s international representatives paid his $134.6 million buyout clause included in his contract with Atletico Madrid at the La Liga offices.Atletico said the fee Barcelona had paid at the La Liga headquarters was not enough to cover the total amount of the buyout clause given the deal was struck before it was reduced.advertisementAlso Read | India end Intercontinental Cup with 1-1 draw vs SyriaAlso See:last_img read more