Talks with HNLC within constitution ambit: Meghalaya minister

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

SHILLONG - Meghalaya Home Minister H.D.R. Lyngdoh Wednesday said dialogue with the outlawed Hyniewtrep National Liberation Council (HNLC) would be held only within the framework of the constitution.

We are willing to talk with them (HNLC) provided they abjure violence and are willing to talk within the framework of the Constitution, Lyngdoh told IANS.

The HNLC, which conducts hit-and-run operations from its hideout in Bangladesh, has been demanding a sovereign Khasi homeland in the eastern part of Meghalaya.

Meghalaya shares a 443-km border with Bangladesh, part of it porous, hilly and unfenced, and prone to frequent infiltration.

Asked if the government plans to offer safe passage to HNLC rebels to facilitate a peace dialogue, the minister said: If they (HNLC) are serious to come to the mainstream, the government is ready to provide the safe passage.

Earlier, HNLC General Secretary Cherishstarfield Thangkhiew had offered to hold a political dialogue with the government.

HNLC believes in political dialogue, not in violence to solve all problems of the tribal Hynniewtrep community, Thangkhiew said.

The tribal Khasi militant outfit is closely linked to the National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB) as well as to the Isak-Muivah faction of the National Socialist Council of Nagaland and the National Liberation Front of Tripura.

Another outlawed outfit, the Achik National Volunteers Council (ANVC), fighting for creation of Garoland Territorial Council in Meghalayas Garo Hills region, entered into a tripartite ceasefire with the central and the state governments on July 23, 2004.

Filed under: Politics

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