M A I N   N E W S

Centre to talk to NSCN (I-M)
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, June 21
The Centre’s special representative, Mr K Padmanabhaiah, will resume talks with the Naga insurgent group NSCN (I-M) as part of the commitment of the Manmohan Singh Government to carry forward the Naga peace process.

Sources said the talks, likely to start from Wednesday, will be held in the Netherlands.

Mr Padmanabhaiah and Intelligence Bureau Director K.P. Singh would leave for Amsterdam tomorrow to hold parleys with NSCN (I-M) chairman Isak Chisi Swu and general secretary T. Muivah. The talks would last three days, the source said.

The Centre had said last week that it was committed to continuing the Naga peace process, including the dialogue with NSCN (I-M). The decision was taken at a high-level meeting in which Home Minister Shivraj Patil was present. The meeting discussed the demands of the Naga group and decided that the negotiations should continue further.

The peace process had got a symbolic boost last year when NSCN leaders Swu and Muivah visited India for the first time in three decades and met the then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, his deputy L.K Advani and other leaders.

The Centre and the NSCN (I-M) had entered into a ceasefire agreement in 1997 and the two sides have since held several rounds of talks in Switzerland, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Thailand and Malaysia.

The rival NSCN (Khaplang) group has also been observing ceasefire with the Centre. 



PWG responds positively to ceasefire
Tribune News Service

Hyderabad, June 21
The state government’s initiative to find a lasting solution to the Naxalite problem has received a shot in the arm.

The People’s War Group, the most prominent among ultra leftist groups, announced today that it reciprocated the ceasefire declared by the Congress government.

In a statement, issued in the name of PWG politburo member Santosh, the armed group, welcoming the gesture, said that it would soon announce the names of the mediators for negotiations with the government representatives.

State Home Minister Jana Reddy had on June 16 announced a full stop to all combing operations and encounters in an effort to create conducive atmosphere for the dialogue with the banned outfit.

Stating that the group would stop all hostilities with immediate effect, the letter faxed to media organisations said that it might take a while for the message to percolate to all guerrilla units operating in remote forest areas.

“We will continue our political activity, but assure that our cadre will not indulge in killings of police or political functionaries,” the letter issued by the underground party assured.


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