Pala slams centre & State Govt for lack of seriousness to carry forward peace talks with HNLC

SHILLONG, JAN 9: Opposition Congress chief and Shillong MP Vincent H Pala on Tuesday slammed the Centre and State governments for their lack of seriousness to take forward the peace talks with the proscribed Hynniewtrep National Liberation Council (HNLC).


Addressing media persons, Pala said, “It is unfortunate to see when the HNLC is ready to come to the table but there is no seriousness on the part of the BJP government at the Centre as well as the State. If you see all these issues, (it is only) the government’s big promises in the manifesto but when it comes to reality they always don’t care for the people of North East.”


Pala claimed that the Congress had tried its best to minimize activities of undergrounds by bringing peace. He said, “You have seen what happened in Assam when Tarun Gogoi was there, he brought ULFA into the negotiating table and Assam is prosperous and Assam is doing good now. In between also when the Congress was in power, we tried to minimize all the undergrounds, we brought peace but today again inspite of all those again this BJP government now don’t take it seriously. It is very unfortunate.”


He said that the opposition are not privy to the negotiation between the government and HNLC. “…we have not been invited, we have not been informed and we have not been briefed so the details I think you should get from them rather from us but it is very unfortunate to see that in spite of minimizing or rather stop the bloodshed, stop all the fightings but now it has gone waste and I think it is very unfortunate.”


Extending full support to the peace talks, the Congress chief said, “I fully support the peace deal whatever conditions are there, our people are very small (in number) we cannot afford to lose our brothers and sisters because of guns, we cannot afford to lose peace only because of ego, we cannot afford to lose peace only because of people in the BJP does not bother about the people of Meghalaya.”


The Congress leader also appealed to the HNLC not to pull out of the peace talks.


“I urged the HNLC to have patience. I appeal to the HNLC that whatever decision they are taking is a big decision, it matters to the economy of the state, it matters to the life of the people, and it matters to so many things within the state. I appeal to the HNLC not to just stop the negotiation. Continue the negotiation and try to see and convince if required, they can also put or demand new negotiators. I think it is also important for them to take it seriously, I request them not to run away from the negotiation and I request them to come forward and be more proactive. I don’t know what is the reason, why all these failures and whom to blame but I feel that we need peace in Meghalaya, we need peace in the Bri U Hynniewtrep and the State and the country as a whole,” he said.


Asked, the Shillong MP said, “Normally there are two things – if they surrender then there is a different treatment but if they negotiate, come to the terms and conditions within the constitution, I think the government should not make any undue efforts rather the government should be proactive to see that whatever it maybe the solution should come.”


“So I don’t know because we are not involved, what are the real conditions, we only saw it in the paper we don’t know but I feel that – every demand has to be negotiated, every demand has to be discussed, so there is nothing impossible with discussion,” he said.


He said that there should also be commitment unlike the BJP government signing a framework with Nagaland but nothing has been done up till now adding in spite of the agreement signed with the disbanded Achik National Volunteer Council (ANVC), the Centre is yet to amend the Sixth Schedule to the Constitution.


“So the BJP is known for its failed promises so what to do our people are joining them, our people are helping them directly or indirectly. I think the state is equally responsible for not pushing it very hard,”Pala added.


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