Current Affairs for today- 30th October 2019
GS Paper II
Manipur faces stir as Naga settlement “deadline” nears
An umbrella organisation of non-governmental organisations in Manipur has announced a 20-hour protest on October 31 2019, as the deadline nears for arriving at a solution to the protracted Naga political problem. The call for the protest is to build a civil uprising and a collective resolution to determine the future of the Nagas in case the final Naga deal challenges Manipur’s territorial integrity, economy, cultural practices and administrative set-up.
Here, Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur and Assam fear of losing large swathes of land if the Centre judges at an “inclusive settlement” of all the north-east Naga inhabited lands with the news of redrawing of the boundaries of the States.
History of the Naga insurgency issue
- British annexed Assam in 1826, while in 1881 they also included the Naga Hills under British India. The first sign of Naga resistance was seen in the formation of the Naga Club in 1918, which told the Simon Commission in 1929 “to leave us alone to determine for ourselves as in ancient times”.
- In 1946 came the Naga National Council (NNC), which, under the leadership of Angami Zapu Phizo, declared Nagaland an independent sovereign Naga state on August 14, 1947 and NNC conducted a “referendum” in 1951, in which “99 per cent” supported an “independent” Nagaland.
- In 1952, the underground Naga Federal Government (NFG) and the Naga Federal Army (NFA) as formed by Phizo to which the Indian Government sent in the Army to crush the insurgency.
- In 1958, the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act application in Nagaland (AFSPA) began in the behest of the government.
- Simultaneously with the resistance, on June 29, 1947, Assam governor signed a 9-point agreement with the moderates which Phiz rejected.
- While Naga Hills got upgraded to a state in 1963, the following April, there was a Peace Mission that was formed and the government got the NNC to sign an agreement to suspend operations that September.
- But the NNC/NFG/NFA continued to indulge in violence, and after six rounds of talks, the Peace Mission was abandoned in 1967, and a massive counter-insurgency operation launched.
- In 1975, the Shillong Accord was signed by a section of NNC leaders and NFG to give up arms, while in 1980, a group of 140 members who at that time were in China, refused to accept the Accord and thus formed the National Socialist Council of Nagaland.
- In 1988 the NSCN split into NSCN (IM) and NSCN (K) after a violent clash.
- 1991: NNC began to fade away; the NSCN (IM) came to be seen as the “mother of all insurgencies” in the region.
Demand of NSCN (IM):
- Greater Nagalim- that will include “all contiguous Naga-inhabited areas”, along with Nagaland. That included several districts of Assam, Arunachal and Manipur, as also a large tract of Myanmar.
- The claims have always kept Assam, Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh wary of a peace settlement that might affect their territories.
- The Nagaland Assembly has endorsed the ‘Greater Nagalim’ demand — “Integration of all Naga-inhabited contiguous areas under one administrative umbrella” — as many as five times: (1964,1970,1994,2003, 2015)
Demands of NSCN (K):
- Demand for Greater Nagalim as defined above.
- Area of Operation: India (Nagaland, Arunachal Pradesh) & Myanmar (headquarters).
- Runs a parallel government in exile called the “People’s Republic of Nagaland”.
- Funds: From kidnapping, extortion and other terrorist activities.
- Designated a terrorist organization in India under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967.
- 2015: NSCN (K) chairman abrogated the ceasefire he had signed in 2001, and is sure to oppose the peace accord.
Attempted Peace Accords:
- June 1957: Naga-Akbar Hydari agreement signed by the NNC but rejected.
- In 1960: A 16-point agreement with the Naga People’s Convention. Nagaland formed as a state, under the charge of the Ministry of External Affairs. It declared that no laws passed by the Union Parliament affecting the customary laws, religious-social practices and civil-criminal procedure of the Nagas, shall apply until a specially voted by the Assembly majority in Nagaland.
- The Naga leaders wanted to allow the Naga inhabited contiguous areas into the new state bit the Government was not able to promise any guarantee on that.
- 1964 Ceasefire Agreement: It said that the security forces shall not intervene in arresting, searching of villages, patrolling and mapping jungle operations provided the NSCN shall remain dormant and not create any exigencies by ambushing, raiding or firing any posts.
- 1975 Shillong Agreement: Between Nagaland governor and the underground leaders, where the underground organisations conveyed their unified volition to give up arms and deposit it at appointed places, while accepting the Constitution of India, without conditions.
- April 6, 2015: NSCN (Reformation) was formed as the new Naga political group after the abrogation of the ceasefire agreement amid the NSCN (K). Khaplang had it abrogated because the 14-year ceasefire was a futile exercise.
Primary agenda: To develop a sense of brotherhood among the Naga family and to rebuild the trust and faith among the Naga society.
- August 3, 2015: The historic Naga Peace Accord between the Government of India and the NSCN (IM) where the government appreciated and recognized the unique history, culture and position of the Nagas and their sentiments and aspirations. The NSCN understood and appreciated the Indian political system and governance.
- NSCN (IM) has been derecognized as a militant organization as talks have been initiated with the government.
- GOI is open to discuss the Naga territorial issue within the existing boundaries of the neighboring states of Manipur, Assam, etc. which are being claimed as part of Greater Nagalim.
- Key issues that have been put under consideration includes AFSPA, demographic changes due to cross border migrations and other tribals like Meitei who are diluting the local populations in the Naga areas.
- A non-territorial resolution that would not threaten the boundaries of the States involved would a way to resolution also for other regional ethnic armed conflicts Kukis, Bodos, Dimasas, etc.
- Any deal must strike at paving the road for social, religious, economic, political harmony alongside the protection of life and property of all the tribes and citizens.
- The charm of decentralization of powers to the tribal heads and at the local level should aid in better governance to undertake large-scale developmental projects.
- The government must sanction a body for securing the rights of the Nagas beyond Nagaland, alongside the sentiments of the other North-eastern states.
GS Paper II
India and Saudi Arabia constitute a Strategic Partnership Council
With the leadership of both the countries, there will a formation of the India-Saudi Strategic Partnership Council, announced the Prime Minister of India in Riyadh, the capital of Saudi Arabia.
A strategic partnership is a long-term interaction between two countries based on political, economic, social and historical factors that may wove itself into a variety of relationships. India has signed “strategic partnerships” with more than 30 countries.
At the Future Investment Initiative (FII) forum, the Prime Minister said the country aims to invest $100 bn in refining, pipelines and gas terminals; and that Saudi Aramco has decided to invest in West Coast Refinery Project- the largest refinery of Asia.
The two sides stressed on energy security and “Strategic Petroleum Reserves” (SPRs). Saudi Arabia is now only the fourth country with whom India has an inter-governmental mechanism headed by the prime minister. Germany, Russia and Japan are the other three.
The two countries have signed 12 MoUs on issues
such as preventing narcotics trafficking, renewable energy, training of
diplomats, defence industry production, security collaboration, use of RuPay
cards in Saudi Arabia, medical products regulations, etc.
Both the countries look forward to tie0ups that would potentially strengthen the relationship across sectors especially in trade and investment, human resources development, infrastructure and people-to-people ties.
GS Paper II
The awards is an annual affair granted to organisations working on sustainable development, highlighting the contribution of green and social enterprises to advancing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The SEED Awards for Entrepreneurship in Sustainable Development aims at identifying the most innovative, socially inclusive, environmentally sustainable and economically viable set-ups and promising locally led start-up eco-inclusive enterprises in developing and emerging economies.
Every year, awards are decided under various categories. This year’s categories includes SEED Low Carbon, SEED Africa Awards, SEED South Africa Climate Adaptation Awards and SEED Gender equality award.
What is SEED?
SEED: An acronym for Supporting Entrepreneurs for Environment and Development.
Founded by the United Nations Environment Programme (UN Environment), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) at the 2002 World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg.
It is a global partnership for action on sustainable development and the green economy.
This initiative works in Asian and African countries including Ghana, India, Indonesia, South Africa, Thailand and Uganda and supports small and growing enterprises with business and capacity-building support.