Thursday, August 11, 2022

HNLC rebel leaders to participate in peace talks with government


Outlawed Hynniewtrep National Liberation Council (HNLC), a rebel outfit in Meghalaya on Wednesday reiterated its commitment to peace talks and expects the same kind of commitment from the government.
The outfit said that it’s sending its “Vice Chairman Manbhalang Jyrwa, Political Secretary, Aristerwell Thongni, Foreign secretary Phrangkupar Diengdoh, including two of their Personal Security Officers- Aiborlem Marbaniang and Storgy Lyngdoh, to participate in the ongoing tripartite peace talks between the state and central governments.
“The HNLC is committed to the peace talks and we hope and expect the same kind of commitment from the government. We believe that the peace process would be expedited at the earliest and a step towards a political solution would be arrived at so as to enable peace and tranquillity in the state,” HNLC General Secretary, Sainkupar Nongtraw said. In a press communiqué, Nongtraw added that from 2004 the agenda of peace talks were initiated but it did not materialize despite Congress being in power at the state as well as the centre.
The militant leader said that again in 2014 under former Governor of Meghalaya RS Mooshahary, the HNLC was asked to come forward to the negotiating table. “The HNLC accepted the offer to come forward but subsequently the same Congress government failed us,” he said. “This time the HNLC is positive about the initiative taken by the Meghalaya Democratic Alliance government as well the approval made by the National Democratic Alliance government at the centre,” Nongtraw said. He said that the decision to send “its top leaders to engage in the ongoing peace talks is due to the trust that has been built between the HNLC and the appointed interlocutors, AK Mishra, Ministry of Home affairs , Peter Dkhar, and the HNLC’s representative Sadon Blah.” Thanking the government for providing a safe passage to its leaders, Nongtraw said, their safety should be ensured by the state and central government shall not be compromised and their stay in the appointed locations as provided by the government should not result in a house arrest like situation. “As long as the peace process is in progress, we are determined to make it happen, we would not leave any stone unturned and hope for a positive outcome. But in case of any eventuality whereby the peace talks fail, our leaders should return safe and sound to our respective location headquarters as per the discussions held with the government,” the HNLC leader said.

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