Meghalaya Deputy Chief Minister Prestone Tynsong on Monday reiterated that the MDA government’s wish was to see that the remaining HNLC cadres should come overground and follow the footstep of its former “general secretary” Cheristerfield Thangkhiew.
Thangkhiew surrendered before Tynsong on October 18 without arms and ammunition. Thangkhiew ended his association with the HNLC, an organization where he was one of the founding members.
The HNLC was formed following a split in 1992 in the Hynñiewtrep A’chik Liberation Council (HALC), the first militant outfit in the state formed in 1987.
“Our wish is to see that HNLC cadres should come overground. From the government side, the door is always open if they follow the footstep of Bah Che (Thangkhiew),” Tynsong said.
Whether Thangkhiew had put any condition when he decided to come over-ground, Tynsong said, “He (Thangkhiew) did not put any condition.”
In a statement issued to the media on Sunday, the HNLC through its “publicity secretary” Saiñkupar Nongtraw who is also acting “general secretary” said that it would accept Thangkhiew, as mediator for a dialogue between the HNLC and the government.
Nongtraw also made it clear that the HNLC would not compromise its fight for “Hynñiewtrep Sovereign State” just by surrendering or embracing financial package of the government as long as the Indian government failed to recognise Hynñiewtrep.
On HNLC’s willingness to have a dialogue with Thangkhiew as the mediator between the HNLC and the government, Tynsong said, “Let us wait. We will first discuss the issue together with the Chief Minister, Home Minister and the government as a whole.”
Asked if the Central government should also involve if a dialogue takes place with the HNLC, Tynsong said, “The state government is yet to discuss the issue.”
To another query if the MDA government would attempt to reach out to Bobby Marweiñ to also come over-ground without involving Thangkhiew, the Deputy Chief Minister said, “Leave this to the wisdom of the government.”
The opposition Congress through its legislator, Ampareen Lyngdoh had asked the MDA government to enlighten the people of the state the circumstances that led to the surrender of Thangkhiew.
On this, Tynsong said that he had seen the statement of the Congress through Ampareen in the media.
“I think she (Ampareen) has forgotten that time (in July 2007) when ‘Chairman’ of HNLC Julias Dorphang had also come over-ground and surrendered before D.D. Lapang when he was the Chief Minister of the state. For somebody who wanted to come over-ground, there should be a special passage to come and join the mainstream. I was surprised the way she (Ampareen) questioned the surrender of Thangkhiew,” Tynsong said.