The banned Hynñiewtrep National Liberation Council (HNLC) has rejected the call of the state government to come over-ground and lay down arms.
The HNLC through a statement said: “…we cannot take risks to lay down our arms.”
The statement, issued by HNLC general secretary-cum-publicity secretary Saiñkupar Nongtraw, said, “Time and again, the words ‘surrender and peace talks’ have become political joke. We do not have any faith either in the Congress government or the present government.”
“We are being fed with assurances and lies. If the government is really serious then it should appoint an interlocutor and show its seriousness,” it said.
According to the HNLC, an invitation of the government at this juncture has injected doubts into the HNLC’s minds.
Nongtraw said, “We are told to surrender and only after surrendering shall the government talk. How can we trust the Government when we had bitter experiences in the past.”
“For the last five years we were kept into the dark. Now we cannot take risks to lay down our arms. What will happen to our ideology that we had been fighting for decades long? Will that be wise enough?” added Nongtraw.
Nongtraw said the outfit appealed to the home minister to consult various stake holders, NGOs, pressure groups, church elders along with cabinet ministers as to why should the HNLC not get an opportunity to come to the peace negotiations like the counterpart ANVC (Achik National Volunteer council).
“After decades of confrontation and untold sufferings, we the HNLC decided to have political dialogue with the Government of Meghalaya as well as the Government of India in the view of acknowledgement that the government will seek a peaceful solution, leaving aside all bitterness. Many lives have been lost and much blood has been spilled and lots of hard work has gone into ensuring the return of peace to our region. Any kind of political or military conflicts can only be eradicated by dialogue,” the HNLC statement said.