Guwahati: Thuingaleng Muivah, the General Secretary of the National Socialist Council of Nagaland-IM (NSCN-IM) said on Friday that the sovereignty of the Nagas was recognized by the Centre when it signed the 2015 framework agreement and that the Nagas will "co-exist" but not merge with India.
The 86-year-old Ato Kilonser in today's speech said they were not asking the Centre for a separate Naga national flag and a separate constitution. "Recognise them or not, we have our own flag and constitution", he affirmed, adding, "The Naga people have neither accepted the Union of India nor her constitution at any point of time."
"The Nagas will co-exist with India sharing sovereign powers as agreed in the Framework Agreement and defined in the competencies. But they will not merge with India", Muivah said.
The NSCN (IM) Chief further added that the Nagas "will say no to any agreement that betrays the national principle, and that imposition of Indian will upon the Nagas will never be acceptable to the Naga people."
The speech made on the occasion of the Naga Independence Day comes amid a rising clamour in Nagaland to remove Governor R N Ravi as the interlocutor of the peace talks.
Earlier this week, the NSCN-IM had for the first time released the details of the 2015 framework agreement that stated that the Centre had agreed on "sharing the sovereign power" and provide for an "enduring inclusive new relationship of peaceful co-existence of the two entities".
In Friday's speech, Muivah said that "the Government of India through the Framework Agreement recognises the sovereignty of the Nagas."
"The agreement also says 'Inclusive peaceful co-existence of the two entities sharing sovereign power'. By 'inclusive,' it means all Nagas in different administrative units and political camps are to be included in the agreement. The co-existence of the two entities is self-explanatory. It means the two peoples and nations will co-exist. Political and legal experts admit the terms 'co-existence' and 'shared-sovereignty' apply to two entities, not one entity. The Nagas will co-exist with India sharing sovereign powers as agreed in the Framework Agreement and defined in the competencies. But they will not merge with India," he said.
Muivah's entire speech can be read below: