Thursday, June 3, 2010

Naga peace talks with Centre's interlocutor tomorrow

Centre's interlocutor for Naga peace talks R S Pandey arrived here today to hold peace parleys with NSCN-IM leaders tomorrow, official sources said.The peace talks, the first of its kind in Nagaland in the 13-year discourse of Naga peace process towards finding an honourable and acceptable solution to the protracted Naga political conflict, assumes significance in the backdrop of prevailing situation arising out of Manipur government's opposition to the proposed visit of NSCN-IM general secretary Thuingaleng Muivah to Ukhrul and subsequent events and consequences.This third round of talks after appointment of Pandey as the interlocutor in January, is likely to take up substantive issues on the basis of an earlier set of proposals submitted by NSCN-IM to the Centre.The talks would be held in the backdrop of proposed visit of Muivah, who has been camping in Viswema village near Nagaland-Manipur border since May 5 en-route to his native village Somdal.So far, over 60 rounds of talks were held in New Delhi and abroad but no breakthrough could be achieved.NSCN-IM had earlier proposed to Centre to hold next round of peace talks "in Naga soils" and the latter agreed to the request, the outfit sources said.

Monsoon advances in the North-East

The southwest monsoon has further advanced into entire Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Meghalaya, Nagaland, Manipur, Mizoram, Tripura and some parts of Sub-Himalayan west Bengal and Sikkim.The deep depression over eastcentral and adjoining westcentral Arabian sea moved northwestwards and intensified into a cyclonic storm (PHET) at 1430 hrs yesterday and lay centred with a half degree of Latitude 16 degree north and Longitude 63.0 degree east, about 1060 kms westsouthwest of Mumbai and 1050 kms southwest of Naliya.It further moved northwestwards and lay centred at 1730 hrs yesterday within half a degree of Latitude 16.5 degree northand Longitude 62.5 degree east. It moved northwestwards and furhter intensified into a severe cyclonci storm (PHET)at 0530 hrs today and lay centred within half degree of Latitude 17.5 degree north/Longitude 61.5 degree east, about 1200 kms westsouthwest of Mumbaiand 1000 kms southwest of Naliya.

50 days of Manipur blockade

As the highway blockade in Manipur imposed by Naga student union enters its 50th day, people are finding it difficult to cope with rising food prices. The Naga students' union wants greater autonomy for the hill districts and that NSCN leader Muivah be allowed to visit the hills. But it is a shocking state of affairs in Manipur and questions as to why the blockade isn't attracting more attention.Business is as usual in Imphal's busy daily market despite the economic blockade. That's because there is adequate local produce to cater to local need. What's hurting though is the rising price of fuel and the soaring price of commodities related to fuel.Onion and Potato are selling at Rs 22 for a kilogram while Tomato at Rs 40. Rice is available at Rs 30 to 40, and a kilogram of sugar is selling at Rs 46.The economic blockade has now been going on for 50 days. The longest blockade on these highways imposed by the same groups was in 2005, which went on for 52 days.The blockade, which is on both the highways connecting Manipur, was meant to press for greater autonomy for the hill districts, but was intensified when the Manipur government refused militant outfit NSCN (IM)'s chief to enter the state.Having held the district council elections which had actually spurred the blockade the government must now seek desperate ways of breaking the deadlock with pressure groups.