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UNC For Mass Prayer Ahead Of Talk

IMPHAL, May 24: Ahead of the third round of tripartite talk on the issues raised by the Nagas on Monday at Senapati district headquarters, the United Naga Council (UNC), which is a party to it, has appealed to all to hold mass prayers.

The UNC is intensifying its campaign for an alternative administrative arrangement in Naga areas of the State, severing all ties with the State Government.

The first round of talk involving representatives of the Centre, State and UNC was held  in New Delhi in September last year while the second meeting was convened  at Senapati district headquarters on December 3 last year.

Notwithstanding the UNC’s core demand, the State Government had said that alternative arrangement was not on the talk agenda.

In a letter (sent to Church leaders) the UNC appealed to all hold special service, mass prayers in the Churches on Sunday, a day ahead of the talks “so that the same will take place with the blessings of the Almighty God and lead to fulfillment of our quest for self governance.

“After having submitted the demand for Government of India’s intervention with an Alternative Arrangement for the Nagas, the process of dialogue through tripartite talk is being taken forward at the instance of the Union Government,” said  the letter jointly  signed by the apex Naga body president Samson Remei and Sword Vashum, chairman of the ‘committee for alternative arrangement.’

“After the two rounds of tripartite talk, we have now come to the crucial stage where we are to hold a dialogue for the Alternative Arrangement in more concrete terms. Effort is being taken up to hold consultation involving cross section of the Naga civil society before the talk,” it added.

On the other hand arrangements for the talks at the office complex of Deputy Commissioner (Senapati) are on, official sources said.

As resolved in a recent Cabinet meeting, Information Minister TN Haokip will lead the State Government delegation for the talks. Other representatives include Flood Control Minister and Government’s spokesman N Biren Singh, Education Minister DD Thaisii, Chief Secretary DS Poonia and senior officials of Planning and Tribal Development Departments.

During the second round of talk UK Bansal, Secretary MHA (internal security) and DS Poonia led the Central and State Governments respectively, while Sword Vashum headed the UNC delegation.

On May 11 UNC leaders met Union Home Minister P Chidambaram at Ukhrul district headquarters over the issue.

During the Naga People’s Convention (NPC) held on July 1 last year, a decision to sever all political ties with the State Government was taken and a memorandum to this effect was consequently submitted to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in September of the same year.

(Courtesy: The Sangai Express)

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