The National Socialist Council of Nagaland’s (NSCN) new chairman Yung Aung has expelled five leading members because they encouraged the group to sign the Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement (NCA) while in custody.
The five jailed members were sacked “for their continuous effort to propagate and encourage the signing of the NCA, which is completely against the political principles of the party”, the NSCN said in a statement.
The ousted members are the Home Affairs Minister and retired Major General Angmai, Religious Affairs Minister U Kyaw Wan Sein, Forestry Minister U An Kam (also known as Angkan), Central Council member U Saw Htin and a Naga army lieutenant colonel, Aung Sai.
The statement said the five “deliberately” conspired and mobilized regarding the NCA, which is directly against the party’s policy. All authority and privileges enjoyed by them have been canceled.
The NSCN, the Naga armed group based in Myanmar, is trying to establish Nagaland, together with Naga rebels across the border in India.
The group refuses to sign the NCA although it did sign a bilateral ceasefire with the Sagaing regional government in April 2012. The NSCN delegation has taken part in the peace negotiations as an observer.
Since late January, the group has refused to participate in the peace process because its headquarters were attacked and its members arrested.
U An Kam was the leader of the Khaplang branch of the NSCN’s peace committee, U Kyaw Wan Sein was its secretary and the other three were members.
They were arrested by Myanmar’s military on March 9 under the Unlawful Association Law and are being detained in Khamti prison.
Captain Chue Hlaing Thong, an assistant to the president of the People’s Republic of Nagaland, told The Irrawaddy: “Even though they are in prison, they called for the signing of the NCA without the approval of the party. They also talked about signing it outside and inside the court. They violated the party’s constitution and principles.”
The military’s Northern Command raided Taga, the headquarters of the NSCN-K, on Jan. 29, alleging that they sheltered and trained Assam and Manipur rebels in their fight against the Indian authorities.
The military detained 10 NSCN-K members. Five were released on April 5 and military dropped the charges.
The NSCN-K was led by founder SS Khaplang until his death in June 2017. Khango Konyak led the group until he was ousted in August last year.
On Aug. 5 this year, U Yung Aung, the nephew of SS Khapland, became the NSCN chairman.
Captain Chue Hlaing Thong said that as the Tatmadaw (military) violated its agreement with the rebel group, no talks would be held and the organization would try to establish a Nagaland instead.
“We are united and share an understanding under the leadership of the current chairman. We will try to build Nagaland,” he said.