Ready for dialogue with outlawed group: SangmaAugust 16th, 2010 - 6:18 pm ICT by IANS
Shillong, Aug 16 (IANS) Meghalaya Chief Minister Mukul Sangma Monday welcomed the offer of political dialogue by the outlawed Hynniewtrep National Liberation Council (HNLC) and said his government was ready for talks to ensure lasting peace.
“We welcome the gesture from the HNLC for a dialogue and my government will take keen interest to facilitate the dialogue to ensure lasting peace in the state,” Sangma told IANS over telephone from New Delhi.
HNLC General Secretary Cherishstarfield Thangkhiew Sunday offered to hold political dialogue with the government.
“HNLC believes in political dialogue, not in violence to solve all problems of the tribal Hynniewtrep community,” Thangkhiew said.
He, however, criticised the government for offering the olive branch only in the fourth estate without taking any initiative to invite the militant outfit for a dialogue.
The HNLC, which stages hit-and-run operations from its hideouts in Bangladesh for over two decades, has been demanding a sovereign Hynniewtrep homeland in eastern Meghalaya.
“It is a positive sign from the HNLC expressing their willingness to sit across the table. We will be pleased to have their modalities for dialogue, but any decision on it will be within the framework of the Indian constitution,” Sangma said.
Said Julius K. Dorphang, founder and chairman of the HNLC, who surrendered before the Meghalaya government due to an internal feud within the outfit in 2007: “It is a good sign and if they (HNLC leaders) require my help to facilitate the peaceful dialogue, I will surely extend my support.”
The HNLC is closely linked to the NDFB as well as to the Isak-Muivah faction of the National Socialist Council of Nagaland and the National Liberation Front of Tripura.
HNLC leaders Thangkhiew and Bobby Marwein, the operational head of the armed wing of the outfit, have been hiding in Bangladesh for over two decades.
Meghalaya shares a 443-km border with Bangladesh, part of which is porous, hilly and unfenced, and prone to frequent infiltration.
Another outlawed outfit, the A’chik National Volunteers Council (ANVC), fighting for creation of Garoland Autonomous Council in Meghalaya’s Garo Hills region, entered into a tripartite ceasefire with the central and the state government July 23, 2004.
Chief Minister Sangma said the peace process has been taken forward and fast-tracked for arriving at a durable settlement. “The talks will further the process of political participation and also contribute to development and progress,” he said.
- Meghalaya rebel leaders send feelers for talks - Feb 18, 2011
- Talks with HNLC within constitution ambit: Meghalaya minister - Dec 22, 2010
- Ceasefire with ANVC extended - Jun 30, 2010
- No compromise on sovereignty: Lyngdoh - Aug 29, 2012
- Khasi rebel outfit ready for talks - Aug 15, 2012
- Khasi rebel outfit urged to give up armed struggle - May 02, 2010
- Meghalaya's views sought to declare GNLA outlawed - Nov 01, 2011
- Determined to end Garo terror outfit: Chidambaram - Feb 19, 2012
- Chamber choir gives balm to Meghalaya in turmoil (2010 in Retrospect) - Dec 30, 2010
- Meghalaya rebel group says its leader is in Bangladesh - Sep 03, 2011
- Sangma seeks report on rebel's 'killing' in Bangladesh - Sep 02, 2011
- Meghalaya government open to talks with rebel groups - Nov 30, 2010
- Hold talks with rebels, women's group tells Meghalaya - Aug 16, 2012
- Ex-member of rebel group held in Meghalaya - Feb 24, 2012
- Meghalaya rebel group offers help to rescue abducted official - Oct 07, 2010
Tags: bangladesh, chief minister, faction, fourth estate, general secretary, gesture, hideouts, indian constitution, isak, keen interest, lasting peace, modalities, national liberation front, national socialist council of nagaland, New Delhi, olive branch, peaceful dialogue, political dialogue, shillong, willingness