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ULFA cadres in Myanmar disillusioned: Saikia
GUWAHATI, SEPT 14 (IANS):
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Published on 15 Sep. 2010 12:31 AM IST
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A sense of disillusionment coupled with an acute funds crunch has been choking cadres of the outlawed United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) in bases inside Myanmar, forcing many of them to desert the camps or give themselves up to authorities.
“It is true that most of the cadres based in Myanmar are frustrated and almost sure that the dream of an independent Assam cannot be realised,” Raju Saikia, a hardened ULFA fighter, told IANS.
Saikia, also known as Mike Antony, was in Myanmar for the past eight years and surrendered before army authorities Tuesday.
“There is definitely a leadership crisis in the ULFA after the arrest of the top leadership in Bangladesh. It is true that the outfit is gradually losing focus and the cadres have now realised the futility of waging an armed struggle,” Saikia said.
Bangladesh last year arrested almost all the top ULFA leaders camping in its territory and handed them over to India. This includes chairman Arabinda Rajkhowa, deputy commander-in-chief Raju Baruah, foreign secretary Sasha Choudhury, and finance secretary Chitraban Hazarika.
“The cadres based in Myanmar often discuss the leadership issue and most of them are convinced there is no future in ULFA. I have never met or seen our commander-in-chief Paresh Baruah,” the surrendered rebel said.
There are just 150 ULFA cadres based in Myanmar’s Sagaing division in the north of that country and they have been staying there under the patronage of the S.S. Khaplang faction of the National Socialist Council of Nagaland (NSCN-K).
“Even survival is becoming a concern inside Myanmar with supply routes choked and fund flow getting restricted by the day due to intense security operations,” Saikia said.
While many have fled camps inside Myanmar, some have surrendered before authorities in batches.
“Many of them are waiting in the wings to flee Myanmar out of sheer frustration,” Saikia said.

 
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