Meghalaya HNLC tripartite peace talks
File image of HNLC rebels at an undisclosed location.

Guwahati: Banned Hynñiewtrep National Liberation Council (HNLC) on Sunday thanked the Meghalaya government and New Delhi for the appointment of interlocutors to take forward the proposed peace initiative.

“First of all our leadership gratefully acknowledges the invaluable support from the GOM/GOI in appointing an interlocutor to carry forward the proposed peace initiative of the HNLC and the GOM/GOI,” a statement issued by Saiñkupar Nongtraw, general secretary of HNLC, said.  

Nongtraw described the appointment of interlocutors as a “positive step” and hoped that the entire peace process would be taken up in letter and spirit.

“At the same time, we would like to convey that we are waiting for an official communication from the Meghalaya government in regard to the appointment of interlocutors Bah Peter.S. Dkhar and A.K. Mishra, Adviser (Northeast), MHA,” the statement said.

The HNLC leader informed that the leadership of the Khasi outfit has authorised a representative to meet the interlocutors and simultaneously initiate and form a Hynñiewtrep Peace Committee (HPC), and stakeholders, including church elders, citizens and NGOs shall be a part of the committee so as to ensure smooth functioning of the peace process.

The HPC shall facilitate dialogue between stakeholders, Church elders, the HNLC as well as the GOI/GOM, the statement said.

The HPC shall be confined to participate in an initiative to develop a new set of principles, standards and norms that will fundamentally reshape how the peace processes shall be structured, sequenced and actualized.

The HNLC also appealed to the Meghalaya government to instruct the police department to suspend all activities including arrests, raids and harassing of its cadres and also common people on mere suspicion of maintaining links with the organisation.

Unnecessary harassment of the cadres could again create a perplexing situation which could result in derailment of the entire peace process, the HNLC said, adding, “We need to respect each others’ stand and also maintain a level of sincerity and trust.”

“Even though we have not declared any kind of ceasefire, we are serious and we have put in all efforts to end all kinds of violent activities,” Nongtraw said.

The HNLC leader said the organisation believes that it is high time for everyone to lay aside the prejudices and biases, and try to find a common ground for peace to flourish.

“Now it should be the prerogative of the government to do the same. We are ready to stop all kinds of military action so as to enable a peaceful atmosphere,” the HNLC statement said.

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