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Sovereignty is no solution for Assam crisis
Published on 20 Dec. 2009 11:05 PM IST
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It has been over three decades and the banned United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) continues to harp on `sovereignty’ as its core demand. The rebel group, however, forgets that during this period it has given nothing but bloodshed, violence and economic backwardness to Assam. The people of Assam are certainly not in favor of sovereignty. All they want is peace and development. Assam’s tribal groups, NGOs, Civil Organizations, ULFA’s pro-talk group and scholars gathered recently in Guwahati to talk about `sovereignty ‘ and other issues.A majority of them believe that the `sovereignty issue’ has become a big hurdle in the way to peace and development in Assam. Assamese clearly knows that peace come only through negotiation and violence is not the means. They are trying hard to arrive at peace only through negotiation. According to political scientist Noni Gopal Mahanta: “Let’s not give any kind of conditions, particularly ULFA today, who have been subjugated to defeat. They do not have the earlier position, back then they could have talked about many issues.” “They could have given pre-conditions but today they aren’t in the condition to do that. The fact is let there be a cordial and an open discussions, raise any issue you want to raise. The Indian Government will let you know whether it can give any kind of concession or not,” he added. The ULFA which is fighting for an independent homeland since 1979, is already split on its agenda. The pro-talk faction of the outfit has many demands including full autonomy within the framework of Indian constitution and to create an Upper House comprising of indigenous ethnic people. Many of ULFA leaders, who were earlier based in Bangladesh, are in custody of Indian authorities, but they are sticking to their demand of sovereignty.However, the Central government has rejected their demand saying sovereignty cannot be a subject for discussion, reported ANI. “He (Paresh Buruah) has quiet discredited himself. He is staying in Bangladesh and literally acting against the interests of his own state (Assam). So, he will have to understand the reality of Assam, once he understands that reality, I think, he will then realize that it is better to come for talks than to sit in the jungle and kill innocent people,” said Union Home Secretary G K Pillai. The People of Assam will find it hard to forgive the group responsible for killing over 30,000 people and destroying assets worth billion of rupees. Now, the only alternative for ULFA, and its Commander-in-Chief Paresh Baruah, is to join the peace process and work towards the growth and development of Assam.

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