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Meghalaya wants Centre not to waste time on peace talks with ANVC
Correspondent SHILLONG, MAR 12
Published on 12 Mar. 2010 10:54 PM IST
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Meghalaya Health and Family Welfare Minister, Mukul M Sangma today asked the Centre to “waste no time” to arrive at an acceptable “political and developmental tripartite accord” with the A’chik National Volunteers’ Council (ANVC). Sangma’s statement assumed significance in the wake of the ANVC threats to pull out of the six-year-old cease fire agreement with Centre and the Meghalaya government. “Today, I had a fruitful meeting with P Chidambaram (Union Home Minister) and urged upon to take the Suspension of Operations agreements with the ANVC to a logical conclusions,” he said over the phone from New Delhi. Chief Minister DD Lapang had rushed his deputy, Dr Sangma, a senior tribal Garo political leader to New Delhi to convey the Garo people’s opinion on the issue. Stressing that the centre and state government should initiate a political and social dialogue with the ANVC, Dr Sangma, said undue delay will only enhance restlessness amongst leaders particularly low-rung cadres. “Successful political settlement acceptable to the people of Garo Hills will itself give desired dividends by way of attracting other similar outfits in the region,” he added. Chief Minister DD Lapang who also favoured the extension of ceasefire agreement with ANVC said that the people in Garo hills did not want return of violence in Garo Hills. “The government is bound to oblige public opinion for the interest of the State,” Lapang said. The six-year-old tripartite ceasefire agreement was signed in July 2004 among the Centre, Meghalaya government and the ANVC will expire on March 31. On Sunday, the ANVC leadership expressed its disappointment that its demand for the creation of a Garo Territorial Council was dismissed by the government. ‘’Till date, we have been following the policy of quiet diplomacy seeking a pragmatic solution to our demand but the government has not realised it,’’ ANVC, Chairman, Dilash R Marak said. However, the ANVC had decided to seek views from the public representatives on whether the outfit should continue the ceasefire agreement or return to its armed struggle.

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