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Myanmar Nagas facing food crisis due to army crackdown: NSCN (IM)

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International rights groups have panned the Myanmar military, called Tatmadaw, for violence on the Rohingya Muslims and the Buddhist Arakanese.

The predominantly Christian Nagas in Myanmar have been the Tatmadaw’s targets too, the Isak-Muivah faction of the National Socialist Council of Nagaland has said while pointing fingers at the Indian Army for the plight of the people in the adjoining country.

The group, known as NSCN (IM), calls itself the National Socialist Council of Nagalim.

“Amid COVID-19 pandemic sweeping the globe, the Indian Army and the Myanmar Army launched military operation in the northern western parts of the Naga Self-Administered Zone, Sagaing Region of Myanmar bordering India,” the NSCN (IM) said in its mouthpiece, Nagalim Voice.

The group cited the Eastern Konyak Union as saying that the “army has been deployed in every village of the Naga-inhabited areas of Myanmar. This has instilled fear in the minds of the people who have not been getting rice and other essential commodities since February due to the crackdown, combined with the Coronavirus situation”.

Nagas refer to the Self-Administered Zone in Myanmar as Eastern Nagaland. This zone has a sizeable population of Konyaks, one of Nagaland’s 16 major tribes.

“We do not want gunfights in the midst of the pandemic. We appeal to the Indian and Myanmar governments to help stop the military activities in the area,” union president S.A. Khotai and general secretary K. Honwang said.

They asked rights groups to raise the issue of the “Eastern Konyaks suffering due to inhuman activities by Indian and Myanmar governments”.

Other Naga civil organisations in Myanmar have also appealed to the governments of India and Myanmar to “promote peace and tranquillity besides development in the field of education, healthcare and socio-economy in the Naga Hills, instead of war”.

Hits out at Governor

The NSCN (IM) also came down heavily on Nagaland Governor R.N. Ravi who, in his June 16 letter to Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio, said “armed gangs” were running the State.

The Governor “is undoing his own credibility as interlocutor of the Indo-Naga political talks”, the outfit said and attributed the “trust deficit” in him for “undermining” the Naga political issue.

“The biggest question pricking the mind of the Nagas is if Prime Minister Narendra Modi has planted a wrong person to help him solve the long-standing issue,” the NSCN (IM) said.

In 1997, The NSCN (I-M) inked a ceasefire agreement with the Centre. Its rival group headed by Myanmar-based S.S. Khaplang followed suit four years later but reneged in March 2015. Seven other extremist organisations, clubbed as Naga National Political Groups, joined the peace process in 2017.

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Printable version | Aug 10, 2020 9:09:32 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/myanmar-nagas-facing-food-crisis-due-to-army-crackdown-nscn-im/article32041098.ece

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