Shillong: The proscribed Hynniewtrep National Liberation Council (HNLC) has put forth its conditions for the peace talks.
Informing this today, representative of the HNLC and president of the Hynniewtrep National Youth Front (HNYF) Sadon K Blah said, “We cannot say that the talks have to be unconditional as there are conditions that we have put forward.”
“Talks cannot be hundred percent unconditional because if it is unconditional we don’t need to talk. There are agendas like political issues and other issues concerning the stand of the HNLC which has been there for the last 35-37 years,” he added.
He said that the issue related to the Instrument of Accession (IOA) and Annexed Agreement (AA) are parts of the negotiation.
Stating that the formal talks are yet to take off, Blah said, “Unofficial talks are on but formal talks on agendas are yet to take place. There are issues related to technicalities during the process and we are trying to resolve them.”
The representative of HNLC then said that he cannot spell out the agendas of the HNLC as the same will be put forth only when the formal talks have started.
Blah asserted that amnesty is a must to take the peace process forward.
“Whatever criminal cases relating to these rebel groups, waiving of criminal cases is an integral part within the amnesty,” he said while informing that they are yet to discuss about amnesty at any level but once the formal talk is held then “we can deal with these criminal cases because amnesty is a must”.
He further added, “Generally, if we look at the modalities of conducting this peace process in other parts of the North East, we find that amnesty must be there and some kind of ceasefire arrangement, then rehabilitation arrangement have to be there – these are the technicalities we are dealing with right now.”
Also stating that there has been no hurdles in the way of the peace process, the HNLC representative said both the Centre and state governments are committed to start the peace talks at the earliest.
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“The government has already endorsed a safe passage for the leaders of the outfit who are part taking in their entire process of peace,” he said.
Blah then said, “The former HNLC leader (L) Cheristerfield Thangkhiew has neither participated in the peace process at that point of time and secondly he was not a surrenderee, he was a retiree of the organization so it was not befitting for him also to claim for the rehabilitation as he has never surrendered and at that point of time peace process was not in process but it is befitting what he has done.”
He however said that the HNLC is yet to discuss with regards to the rehabilitation package.