Unconditional talks of HNLC become conditional

Shillong, April 11: The Hynniewtrep National Liberation Council (HNLC) has set conditions for the peace talks.

Earlier, the HNLC had agreed for unconditional talks.


The HNLC appointed interlocutor 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 said.

Blah said the issues related to the Instrument of Accession (IOA) and Annexed Agreement (AA) are part of the negotiation.

He said the formal talks are yet to take off. “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.”

Blah said he cannot spell out the agendas of the HNLC as the same will be put forth only when the formal talks begin.

He said amnesty is a must to take the peace process forward.

“Whatever criminal cases relating to these rebel groups in India and other parts of the world and in the North East also, waiving of criminal cases is an integral part within the amnesty,” he said.

He said the amnesty at any level is yet to be discussed but once the formal discussion is held then “we can deal with the criminal cases because amnesty is a must”.

“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 has to be there– these are the technicalities we are dealing with right now.”

“The government has already endorsed a safe passage for the leaders of the outfit who are taking in their entire process of peace,” he added.

To a question on HNLC leader Cherishstarfield Thangkhiew, Blah said, “The former HNLC leader had neither participated in the peace process at that point of time and secondly he was not a surrenderee, he was a retiree of the organisation 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.”

The HNLC is yet to discuss on the rehabilitation package, he said.

To a question, Blah did not reveal the strength of the group but said “The struggle of the outfit has been there for almost 40 years and taking a hasty decision may lead to unnecessary situations”.

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