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Ready for talk with HNLC : Sangma
Correspondent SHILLONG, AUG 16:
Published on 16 Aug. 2010 10:33 PM IST
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Meghalaya Chief Minister Mukul Sangma Monday said that the government is ready to hold talks with the outlawed Hynniewtrep National Liberation Council (HNLC), to ensure lasting peace in the state.
“We welcome the gesture from HNLC for a dialogue and my government will take keen interest to facilitate the dialogue to ensure lasting peace in the state,” Sangma said over phone from New Delhi.
“It is a positive sign from the HNLC expressing their willingness to sit across the table. We will be please to have their modalities for dialogue, but any decision on it will be within the framework of Indian constitution,” the Chief Minister said.
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.
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 olive-branch only in the fourth estate without taking any initiative to invite the militant outfit for a dialogue.
Julius K Dorphang, the founder and chairman of HNLC, who surrendered before the Meghalaya Government due to internal feud within the outfit in 2007, said: “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, which stages hit-and-run operations from its hideouts in Bangladesh for over two-decade, had been demanding a sovereign Hynniewtrep homeland in eastern Meghalaya and 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.
However, HNLC leaders, Cherishstarfield Thangkhiew and Bobby Marwein, the operational head of the armed wing of the outfit – had been hiding in Bangladesh for over two decades.
Further, 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.

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