Monday February 18, 2019
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Myanmar mum on security clearance for Naga team

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Source: Google images
Source: Google images

New Delhi: A week after the home ministry gave security clearance to a 16-member Naga delegation to travel to Myanmar to hold talks with NSCN-K chief S.S. Khaplang, the delegation is yet to receive the green light from the Myanmar government.

The delegation is expected to talk to NSCN-K about resuming the 2001 ceasefire which was abrogated in March this year. The delegation is also likely to convince the group to join the peace process.

According to the delegation, that consists of members from apex Naga civil society Naga Hoho and Eastern Nagaland People’s Organisation (ENPO), the request was made to the Myanmar government immediately after the Naga Peace Accord was signed on Aug 3 between the Indian government and the NSCN (IM). A further reminder was sent last week.

“We have not received the security clearance or even any kind of reply from the Myanmar Government inspite of making the request weeks ago. Due to the absence of the order, we are unable to decide on the dates to travel to Myanmar or where we are likely to hold talks with the senior officials of NSCN(K) including it’s chief S.S. Khaplang,” Naga Hoho president P. Chuba Ozukum told IANS.

In recent times, Khaplang has signed a pact with the Myanmar government, paving the way for grant of autonomy to the NSCN-K in Sagaing — a northwestern administrative region of Myanmar.

The agreement allows NSCN-K members to move unarmed across the country and to open a sub-office in the region.

Speaking on the issue, Minister of State for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju told IANS: “Home Ministry has got nothing with finalising the dates, as it is not an official delegation. Apart from the security clearance, we are not giving any direction to them on their travel.”

Nagaland chief minister T R Zeliang and home minister Yanthungo Patton had met union home minister Rajnath Singh earlier this month. “They told him that they are going to send a team to Myanmar to talk with the NSCN(K) chief. They have also said that they will put efforts from their side. So, if that is so, then what’s the problem, let them go ahead with it. However Myanmar Government’s clearance is must,” he said.

Central government’s interlocutor for the Naga peace talks R.N. Ravi is also in Nagaland to take ahead the final accord and is likely to meet leaders of other factions of the NSCN.

National Socialist Council of Nagalim (NSCN) has several factions including NSCN-(Isak-Muivah), NSCN-(Khaplang), NSCN-(Unification), NSCN-(Reformation) and NSCN-(Khole-Kitovi). Apart from that there also exists the oldest of all groups — the Naga National Council (NNC).

A source in ENPO, which is part of the delegation, told IANS that though the place set for the negotiation is in a remote area of Myanmar, the delegation cannot depart without the Myanmar government’s permission.

On being asked about the content of the negotiations, he said: “First of all we have to make the NSCN(K) understand the Naga Accord signed between the government and the NSCN (IM). We will try to convince them to resume the ceasefire that they had abrogated early this year. We want peace in Nagaland.”

The abrogation of the 14-year-old ceasefire in March this year was followed by several attacks on the Indian Army – the first being on the Assam Rifles in Nagaland’s Mon district, killing eight troopers and then on June 4, during which 20 troopers of the Dogra Regiment were killed in an ambush in Manipur’s Chandel district.

Earlier, the Myanmar government had informally indicated that permission to travel for the delegation would be available after August 15 — India’s Independence Day.

(IANS)

Next Story

Growing Instability in Southern Chin State, People Flee Escalating Violence in Myanmar’s Rakhine

The U.N. refugee agency says it cannot assess the scale of the current humanitarian situation in these volatile areas because it has little access to these and other regions in Myanmar.

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A Mro ethnic women with child displaced from the surge of fighting between ethnic armed rebel group of the Arakan Army and government troops take refuge at a compound of a Buddhist pagoda in Buthidaung township in the restive Rakhine state, Jan. 25, 2019. VOA

The U.N. refugee agency says it is worried by reports of people fleeing escalating violence in Myanmar’s southern Chin State and Rakhine State, adding to growing instability in these regions.

The U.N. refugee agency says it cannot assess the scale of the current humanitarian situation in these volatile areas because it has little access to these and other regions in Myanmar.

But the UNHCR says reports it has received of the deteriorating security situation in southern Chin State and Rakhine State are very worrying. It says it does not know how many people have fled their homes and have become internally displaced since violence flared up there in December.

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The U.N. refugee agency says it cannot assess the scale of the current humanitarian situation in these volatile areas because it has little access to these and other regions in Myanmar. Pixabay

Additionally, in Rakhine State, UNHCR spokesman Andrej Mahecic said a number of Rohingya Muslims have fled to Bangladesh in search of asylum.

“We understand from some of the reports that some 200 people have sought shelter, have sought safety. This is reportedly in a very remote area where we do not really have access,” he said.

More than 720,000 Rohingya refugees have fled to Bangladesh since August 2017 to escape persecution and violence in Myanmar. Because of previous refugee crises in Myanmar, Bangladesh currently is home to nearly one million Rohingya refugees.

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The UNHCR praises the country’s generosity and appeals to the authorities to continue to allow people fleeing violence in Myanmar to seek safety in Bangladesh. Pixabay

The UNHCR praises the country’s generosity and appeals to the authorities to continue to allow people fleeing violence in Myanmar to seek safety in Bangladesh.

Also Read: ‘It Has Been A Very Long Process, But Ultimately A Very Successful Process’: South Korea Agrees to Pay More for U.S. Troops

Myanmar, formerly known as Burma, is a predominantly Buddhist country. It has a long history of tension with its ethnic minorities, much of it based on religion. Southern Chin State is the only State in Myanmar with a Christian majority. It also is the poorest and least developed region in the country.

The large Rohingya Muslim population in Rakhine State continues to suffer discrimination and repression from the majority Buddhist community. Though they have lived in Myanmar for generations, the Rohingya are denied citizenship and remain stateless. (VOA)