06/22/2006: "Indian Media misinforming world community:NSCN-IM"
Indian Media misinforming world community: NSCN-IM Morung Express News
Kohima NSCN-IM rapped mainland Indian media for what they said as playing destructive role by misinforming the world community on the ongoing political talks with the government of India. The Organization, MIP Dy. Kilonser Kraibo Chawang said that the Indian media is playing a destructive role, by using certain words such autonomy, special development or package, Naga inhabited areas etc which has never been used either by them or the government of India during the talks.
He said that the terminology such as autonomy, which was widely carried in several newspapers, is only the creation of the Indian media. When we have never used these words in the talks, what type of autonomy are they talking about, Chawang questioned.
What the two sides have been trying to work out since the talks started is the special federal relationship on issues such as defence, external affairs, flag, currency etc, therefore, the question of autonomy as appeared in Indian Media does not arise, Kraibo said.
Chawang also said that at no point of time they discussed anything special development or package deal, as flashed by the media, with the government of India.
We are only talking about the political solution. We never discussed about package deal, Chawang said, alleging that the Indian media is trying to twist the whole truth of the ongoing talks and misinform the world community by using such strange terminologies.
This shows that Indian media have not taken the seriousness of the Indo-Naga peace process with respect, he stated.
Kraibo also clarified that they never used the term like the Naga inhabited areas, but only the term Naga areas.
Use of the term Naga inhabited areas would mean exclusion of many Naga areas, which are inhabited by other tribes at present, therefore, they only used the words Naga areas, he clarified.
NSCN-IM also said that there is no greater or smaller Nagalim, but the Nagas are talking about what have been theirs since time immemorial.
Meanwhile, Chawang also said that the talk which is to be held from June 22 to the 24th in Hague will be a very crucial one as they are going to touch upon all the substantive issues.
Issue regarding special federal relationship with the government of India on defence, currency, external affairs, flag etc would dominate the scheduled talk, he added.
The talk would be led by its President Isak Chishi Swu.
Centres talks with NSCN-IM, PCG today Nagaland Post
New Delhi, June 21 (Agencies): Continuing its efforts to resolve the insurgency problem in the Northeast, the government will hold separate parleys tomorrow with negotiators from Nagaland and Assam. A team of top leaders of the NSCN-IM will hold discussions with the Centre's representatives including Union Minister Oscar Fernandes at the Hague on the Naga rebel group's 30-point "charter of demands" and extension of the ceasefire in Nagaland beyond July 31.
In the talks, the NSCN-IM is likely to put pressure to get "some kind of concession" from New Delhi on its charter of demands, including autonomy for Nagaland, official sources said in New Delhi. "There has been some forward movement in the talks but we want the Indian government to speed up and solve our problems at the earliest," said NSCN (IM) MIP Deputy Kilonser Kraibo Chawang. The NSCN-IM, which began talks with the government in 1997 after the two sides agreed to a ceasefire, is likely to submit a fresh proposal on the kind of autonomy it wants for evaluation by the Centre, they said. The NSCN-IM is expected to focus on "greater autonomy" for Nagaland since the government is reluctant to concede its key demand for unifying all Naga-inhabited areas in the Northeast.
The talks with ULFA-designated People's Consultative Group (PCG) are likely to center around the outfit's key demand to release five jailed leaders as for a pre-condition for direct talks as well as a recent spurt of violence in Assam that was blamed on the group. "We are moving in the right direction and marching forward positively. We hope the government will invite the ULFA for direct talks very soon and all issues raised by the PCG will be settled," PCG member Lachit Bordoloi said today. An Assam government team led by Chief Secretary S Kabilan is understood to have briefed Union Home Ministry officials today about the situation in the state, especially in the wake of a series of blasts this month that killed seven people and injured 25.
The state government team reportedly suggested that only three of the five jailed ULFA leaders could be released. The Assam officials said ULFA ideologue Bhimakanta Buragohain, vice chairman Pradip Gogoi and cultural secretary Pranati Deka could be set free. This issue was also reportedly brought to the notice of National Security Advisor M K Narayan, who is expected to attend tomorrow's talks. Another PCG member, noted writer Indira Goswami, said the group will attend tomorrow's meeting with a positive attitude.
CM clarifies on NSCN(K) `ultimatum` The Imphal Free Press
IMPHAL, Jun 21: Reacting to the report, `NSCN(K) serves ultimatum to Ibobi: Nagaland paper`, chief minister O Ibobi has clarified that the allegations contained in the report are totally baseless and unfounded. The report, picked up from the Dimapur based North-East Herald, had stated that the NSCN(K) had served an ultimatum to the state chief minister regarding repayment of Rs. 100 million which was allegedly borrowed by him in 2000 for his election expenses through his emissary Bijoy Koijam. In his response, the state chief minister pointed out that elections in Manipur were held in 2002 and Bijoy Koijam was not known to him in 2000.
The CM also pointed out that Bijoy Koijam did not belong to the INC in 2000 and there was no question of using him as emissary. Also, Bijoy Koijam was first elected in 2002.
Ibobi Singh also clarified that he had had at no time any relation with either hill-based or valley-based underground outfits relating to election or any other matter. The CM, in his statement further clarified that the SPF governmentunder his leadership is making all sincere efforts for the development, progress and harmony for the people of both hill and valley.
Talks with ULFA, NSCN-IM today The Morung Express
GUWAHATI, JUNE 21 (IANS): The Indian government will hold separate peace talks with representatives of two powerful northeastern rebel groups Thursday aimed at ending decades of bloodshed in the region.
A union home ministry official said government negotiators will holds talks with the outlawed United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) and the Isak-Muivah faction of the National Socialist Council of Nagaland (NSCN-IM) separately.
Talks with the NSCN-IM leadership will take place in Amsterdam while ULFA representatives will meet emissaries led by Home Minister Shivraj Patil in New Delhi, the official said.
He said central minister Oscar Fernandes and New Delhis chief peace interlocutor K. Padmanabhaiah will lead the government team in talks with the NSCN-IM, led by guerrilla leaders Isak Chishi Swu and Thuingaleng Muivah, in Amsterdam.
Naga delegation meets Patel; Hill tax refused The Morung Express
Dimapur, June 21 (MExN): As was reported earlier in this paper, the delegation of Naga organizations from the Naga areas in Manipur met with Union Home Minister Shivraj Patel and Minister of State Oscar Fernandes today to hand over the Hill House tax for the year 2006 amounting to Rs 14, 23,425 from 94,894 Naga households in Manipur. However, the Home Minister did not accept the tax amount since it is a state subject, according to a joint release issued by Azang Longmei, General Secretary of the United Naga Council (UNC), Manipur and Grace T Shatsang, President of the Naga Womens Union, Manipur (NWUM).
Nevertheless, it was informed that the Home Minister has acknowledged the issues being faced by the Naga people as most genuine and assured the delegation firmly that he would do his utmost with the Manipur State Government to resolve the issue without compromising the historical rights of the Nagas.
The delegation comprises of the UNC, the NWUM, the All Naga Students Union Manipur, the Naga Peoples Movement for Human Rights and other tribal leaders.
Terming the meeting as historic the statement reiterated that the delegations undertaking is to uphold the November 4, 2005 Naga Peoples Convention (NPC) Declaration at Taphou Village which resolved to launch a non-cooperation movement against the Government of Manipur State. The non-cooperation movement includes five point resolutions which were resolved in the wake of organized violence and communal campaign by the dominant Meitei community against the Nagas and the sanctioning and glorification of the same by the government of Manipur according to the statement.
The anti-ceasefire agitation against the June 14 Bangkok Agreement 2001 which agreed ceasefire without territorial limits and the subsequent declaration of June 18 as Manipur State Day are unique examples of intolerance shown by the Meiteis and the Manipur Government to undermine and erase the historical rights of the Nagas, it added.
Relative to the non-cooperation movement, it was also informed that the ANSAM in support of the UNCs resolution has already sought the affiliation of schools and colleges in the Naga areas of Manipur to the Nagaland Board of School Education (NBSE) and the Nagaland University.
The ANSAM has decisively surrendered the prescribed textbooks of the Board of Secondary Education Manipur (BSEM) beginning from Class VIII to X in the first phase. Altogether 156 private schools have started introducing the NBSEs prescribed syllabus from the academic session 2006 it stated.
Tharoor says his age is right for the top UN post The Morung Express
NEW DELHI, JUNE 21 (PTI): Shashi Tharoor, Indias nominee for the post of UN Secretary General, has sought to allay the impression that he is too young for the top position of the world body. My age is right (for the post). There was a suggestion that the Secretary General should be aged between 45 years and 55 years. My age is just halfway, he said while interacting with a group of journalists here last night.
The UN Under Secretary General for Communication and Public Information said he was three years older than the Thai candidate Surakiart Sathirthai.
To a question, Tharoor said if he were to get elected to the top UN post, he would be an Indian Secretary General and not Indias Secretary General. Elaborating, he said that as a Secretary General, his job would be to be responsible to all the 191 countries and not just one. India has put me to a job accountable to 191 countries, not to be an agent of the Indian government, he said. On his observation about religious nature of Indians, Tharoor said he was not regretful for saying that ancient temples and beliefs still have a hold on Indians. We have technology as well as mantras, he said, adding I am sorry if this (his observation on religion) has been seen as my indictment, he said. He said that he treated UN reforms as an issue of fundamental importance. The UN has changed a great deal and change is something the UN is capable of, he said.
Having garnered support from across the countrys political spectrum, Indias nominee for the UN Secretary Generals post Shashi Tharoor today foresaw hard work ahead. It was an extremely useful opportunity to focus on the home base to meet with a cross section of political leaders right across the spectrum, he told reporters after meeting former PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee on the last day of his three-day visit.
Tharoor, 50, said his India visit aimed at determining the next step forward in the race for the Secretary Generals post and at planning an appropriate action.
... so from my point of view that objective has been accomplished. Now the hard work lies ahead, he remarked.
Tharoor, who met PM Manmohan Singh, Leader of the Opposition L K Advani and Left leaders during his visit, also spoke about the support which he said he had received from across the countrys political spectrum. He said the former PM saw his bid for the Secretary Generals post as a national endeavour. I told him (Vajpayee) that I have come to seek your blessings and he gave it to me unhesitatingly. I was very very pleased by the warmth of his welcome. We of course talked about other things as well because though he said that on this he was already fully supportive and very much seeing it as a national endeavour, Tharoor said. Also, he described Vajpayees optimism about his success as the most important tip from the BJP veteran.
NESO urges government to demilitarise NE The Morung Express
NEW DELHI, JUNE 21 (AGENCIES): A day ahead of two separate crucial meetings on insurgency problem of Assam and Nagaland, an influential student organisation of North East today asked the Centre to demilitarise the entire region and bring acceptable and honourable solution to the problems of the region by holding talks with all armed groups.
The Government of India must show boldness in bringing the armed groups to the negotiating table, North East Students Organisation (NESO) president Samujjal Kumar Bhattacharya and general secretary N S N Lotha told reporters here.
A time-frame mechanism with a focus for an acceptable, honourable and beneficial solution must be worked out, they said adding as a prelude the NE region be demilitarised with a time-bound schedule and the armed group should be confined to the five-kilometer border area and not be allowed to enter into the civilian areas.
Bhattacharya and Lotha said the Centre must demonstrate its sincerity and commitment to all the ongoing political dialogues with different armed groups of North East.
A crucial meeting between the ULFA-backed Peoples Consultative Group and the Centre would be held here tomorrow. Besides others, Union Home Minister Shivraj Patil will attend the meeting.
Another meeting between the NSCN(IM) and government negotiators, led by Union Minister Oscar Fernandes, would be held at the Netherlands city the Hague tomorrow.
The NESO leaders also demanded urgent steps to solve the vexed illegal immigration problem of the region and special economic package for North East.
NSCN (K) serves ultimatum to Ibobi: Nagaland paper The North East Herald
Kohima : The NSCN (K) has warned to react with dire consequences if the Ibobi Singh government of Manipur does not, within the coming seven days, repay Rs. 100 million, which it claimed Ibobi borrowed in 2000 for his election expenses.
NSCN (K) revenue kilonser, Kughalu Mulatonu today warned that, "If Rs. 100 million fails to reach the NSCN's treasurer, leaving aside two gypsies, reaction will be expensive." Mulatonu, early this month, had disclosed about the amount borrowed by Ibobi Singh through his emissary Bijoy Koijam in 2000 at Kohima.
However, regretting that thus far neither Ibobi nor Bijoy has contacted the NSCN (K), he said any problem after the expiry of seven days would be self-invited by Ibobi.
He also declared that if the money can not be refunded to the NSCN (K), Ibobi must make his stand very clear to the Nagas concerning Chandel, Tamenlong and Senapati while also adding that "Ibobi must also declare to the Meiteis (Manipuris) that NSCN has already paid for the three Naga inhabited districts under Manipur.
The NSCN's reaction on the issue would begin from June 26, he warned, adding that Ibobi could contact the Supervisor, Cease-fire Supervisory Board, NSCN (GPRN) through mobile no. 9436423173 if at all he wants to change his stand.
This report appeared in todays edition of the Dimapur-based North East Herald. We are reproducing it as it is certain to be a matter of interest to our readers.
(Courtesy: The North East Herald)
India should withdraw Tharoors nomination Statement of Sanal Edamaruku,
President, Indian Rationalist Association
I am shocked to hear that the Government of India plans to nominate Shashi Tharoor as a candidate for the post of UN Secretary-General. Shashi Tharoor - despite his carefully nurtured image as a suave and balanced intellectual - is a hardcore propagandist of obscurantism, miracle belief and all kinds of superstitions, who does not miss a single opportunity to raise his voice in the international media in favour of paranormal claims and in praise of godmen and miracle mongers.
India has to be ashamed of Shashi Tharoor and his avowed positions. A progressive and forward looking country striving for a leadership position in a modern world would do itself a disservice by fielding a man to highest international positions, who has made it his program to promote ignorance and gullibility, the very scourges that held India back for centuries. The Indian Constitution declares scientific temperament as a fundamental duty of all citizens. How can India afford to nominate a man to the top UN post, who has ridiculed scientists and rationalists by defending the Ganesh milk drinking frenzy in 1995 as a real miracle?
When the world media came out to expose Indian godman Satya Saibaba, and his so-called miracles as well as his outrageous behavior towards many young devotees was documented in television clippings, the UNESCO distanced itself from Saibaba and cancelled a planned common project with him. Shashi Tharoor, however, did not hesitate to rush to the godmans rescue by singing his praise in international newspapers. In International Herald Tribune (dated 3 December 2002), Tharoor declared Saibabas conjuring trick of producing holy ashEto be a miracle. He certified that Satya Saibaba did materialize gifts for his devotees from thin air and boasted that he himself was the recipient of a gold ring with nine embedded stones. The secret of the godmans magic was already exposed by rationalists and his hand-sleight tricks were caught red-handed by television cameras and shown in a Channel IV documentary around the world. But Shashi Tharoor remained his staunch defender.
In the same article that appeared all around the Western world and is proudly reproduced in Tharoors personal web-site, he expresses his position about India:
In the 1950s, Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru declared dams and factories to be the new temples of modern India. What he failed to recognise was that the old temples continued to maintain their hold on the Indian imagination. The software programs of the new information technology companies dotting Bangalores Silicon Plateau may be the new mantras of India, but they supplement, rather than supplant, the old mantras. E Saibaba and Infosys are, in fact, emblematic of an India that somehow manages to live in several centuries at once.
If a person who has such sinister views about India and propagates them with arrogance can contest as India s nominee for the UN top office, it is shameful for all progressive-minded Indians. Shashi Tharoor does not limit his miracle mongering to his godman Satya Saibaba alone. In another article he writes about another holyEfigure:
She took to standing in a crucified position, and blood appeared spontaneously on her hands and feet Ethe stigmata of Christian lore. Like Saint Teresa of Avila centuries earlier, she suffered seizures during which she levitated: neighbors would come to her family home on Fridays to see her suspended high against the wall in a crucified pose.
Shashi Tharoors nomination is bound to become a major embarrassment for India as he is an articulate and avowed propagator of blind faith and superstition, and ridicules the scientific outlook of Indias policy, enshrined in the Indian Constitution. If he becomes the UN Secretary-General, he will moreover cause serious damage to the reputation of the august world organisation.
I call upon the Government of India to withdraw the nomination of Shashi Tharoor.
About Indian Rationalist Association and Sanal Edamaruku :
The New Delhi based Indian Rationalist Association, founded in 1949, is one of the largest freethought organizations in the world with thousands of members.
Sanal Edamaruku initiated and led a series of anti-superstition programs, covering thousands of villages in India during the 1980s and 90s. He received national media attention for exposing and explaining several so-called miracles that had confused and uncalmed major parts of the population, among them the milk drinking statues of the Indian god Ganesh, and the monkey man stories. His work has been featured by BBC, Channel 4, Discovery, Danish State Television, The Independent, The Times, New York Times etc. He is an Honorary Associate of the Rationalist Press Association of UK and the President of the Rationalist International.
Email address of Sanal Edamaruku: S.Edamaruku@rationalistinternational.net
Demilitarise NE: NESO NAGALaND Post
New Delhi, June 21 (PTI): A day ahead of two separate crucial meetings on insurgency problem of Assam and Nagaland, an influential student organisation of North East today asked the Centre to demilitarise the entire region and bring "acceptable and honourable" solution to the problems of the region by holding talks with all armed groups.
"The Government of India must show boldness in bringing the armed groups to the negotiating table," North East Students Organisation (NESO) president Samujjal Kumar Bhattacharya and general secretary N S N Lotha told reporters here.
"A time-frame mechanism with a focus for an acceptable, honourable and beneficial solution must be worked out," they said adding "as a prelude the NE region be demilitarised with a time-bound schedule and the armed group should be confined to the five-kilometer border area and not be allowed to enter into the civilian areas".
Bhattacharya and Lotha said the Centre must demonstrate its sincerity and commitment to all the ongoing political dialogues with different armed groups of North East.
A crucial meeting between the ULFA-backed Peoples' Consultative Group and the Centre would be held here tomorrow. Besides others, Union Home Minister Shivraj Patil will attend the meeting. Another meeting between the NSCN (IM) and government negotiators, led by Union Minister Oscar Fernandes, would be held at the Netherlands city the Hague tomorrow.
The NESO leaders also demanded urgent steps to solve the vexed illegal immigration problem of the region and special economic package for North East.
Plan to build dams stirs critics in NE Nagaland Post
GANGTOK, JUNE 21 (REUTERS): Ambitious plans to build dams and hydropower projects throughout the hills of India's remote northeast have trodden on some sensitive toes in the troubled region.
The Indian government and the World Bank say there is enormous - and so far unrealised - potential to tap rivers throughout the eight northeastern states.
The projects could generate around 60,000 MW of power - which is double India's current hydro output and more than half of today's total generating capacity - while the country's demand for energy is growing rapidly.
Project revenues could potentially double the region's net domestic product and even curb flooding, experts say.
But locals fear that tens of thousands of people will be forcibly evicted from their homes, the environment irrevocably damaged and ancient ways of life imperilled.
In a region where dozens of insurgent groups are already battling Indian rule, the government knows it needs to tread carefully. It acknowledges the need to improve accountability and transparency, as well as involve local communities, and will hold a "workshop" in New Delhi on June 25-26 to finalise its plans. But trust is in short supply. Many people here equate government with corruption and misrule, and have little faith in the authorities' ability to behave responsibly and sensitively.
"For whose benefits are these projects planned," asked Himanshu Thakkar of the South Asia Network on Dams, Rivers and People. "All the social and environmental costs would be borne by the people of the region. And if past experience is any guide, these costs are going to be heavy and mostly paid by the poorest, who depend on the natural resources around them."
Fast-flowing rivers running through the Himalayan mountains of Arunachal Pradesh have developers licking their lips. The state government plans to build 89 dams and hydro projects but locals say they have not been properly consulted. "The state is auctioning off Arunachal Pradesh without the consult of its people," said Bamang Anthony of Arunachal Citizens Rights. "Promoters are talking development. We also want development but we want to know what kind of development they want in our land. There is no transparency."
Anthony says the dams will submerge thousands of hectares of land, including some towns, and displace more than 30,000 people. India's track record in rehousing the displaced from major development projects leaves little room for confidence.
Dam construction could also disturb the fragile ecology of the eastern Himalayas, home to thousands of plant species. A dam on the Subansiri river threatens one of the last remaining habitats of the endangered Gangetic dolphin, environmentalists say. Dam construction also poses a special risk in one of the most earthquake-prone regions of the world.
Crucial talks on NE militancy today
New Delhi, June 21 : Continuing its efforts to resolve the insurgency problem in the North East, the Government will hold separate parleys tomorrow with negotiators from Assam and Nagaland.
The 11-member Peoples Consultative Group nominated by the ULFA will meet here with a Government team including Home Minister Shivraj Patil with an aim to facilitate direct talks between the banned group and the Centre.
A team of top leaders of the NSCN-IM will hold discussions with the Centres representatives including Union Minister Oscar Fernandes at the Hague on the Naga rebel groups 30-point charter of demands and extension of the ceasefire in Nagaland beyond July 31.
The talks with the PCG are likely to center around the ULFAs key demand to release five jailed leaders as a pre-condition for direct talks as well as a recent spurt of violence in Assam that was blamed on the group.
We are moving in the right direction and marching forward positively. We hope the Government will invite the ULFA for direct talks very soon and all issues raised by the PCG will be settled, PCG member Lachit Bordoloi said here today.
In the talks in the Netherlands, the NSCN-IM is likely to put pressure to get some kind of concession from New Delhi on its charter of demands, including autonomy for Nagaland, official sources said.
The NSCN-IM, which began talks with the Government in 1997 after the two sides agreed to a ceasefire, is likely to submit a fresh proposal on the kind of autonomy it wants for evaluation by the Centre, they said.
An Assam Government team led by Chief Secretary S Kabilan is understood to have briefed Union Home Ministry officials here today about the situation in the State, especially in the wake of a series of blasts this month that killed seven people and injured 25.
The State Government team reportedly suggested that only three of the five jailed ULFA leaders could be released.
The Assam officials said ULFA ideologue Bhimakanta Buragohain, vice chairman Pradip Gogoi and cultural secretary Pranati Deka could be set free.
This issue was also reportedly brought to the notice of National Security Advisor M K Narayan, who is expected to attend tomorrows talks.
Another PCG member, noted writer Indira Goswami, said the group will attend tomorrows meeting with a positive attitude.
We hope the Government will discuss all relevant issues, including the release of prisoners, and pave the way for direct talks with the ULFA, Goswami told PTI.
The NSCN-IM is expected to focus on greater autonomy for Nagaland since the Government is reluctant to concede its key demand for unifying all Naga-inhabitated areas in the North East. PTI
Decks cleared for Centre's direct talks with ULFA By Sanjay Kumar
New Delhi, June 22 (ANI): The third round of talks between the Central Government and the United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA)-nominated People's Consultative Group (PCG) ended here on Thursday with a substantive breakthrough. Talking to reporters after the almost three-hour-long talks, Home Secretary V.K. Duggal said that the ministry would consider the ULFA's demand for the release of five of its cadres favourably in consultation with the Government of Asom. The persons who are likely to be released are Pradeep Gogoi, Bhimkanti Bogawai, Mithinga Daimari, Pronoti Deka and Ramu Mech. The PCG spokesperson, Arup Borbora, also expressed satisfaction with the talks, saying that they would appeal to the ULFA to create and maintain a peaceful atmosphere in Asom, " which will be conducive for holding direct talks".
Borbora also expressed satisfaction over Home Minister Shivraj Patil's approach to the negotiation process. One significant outcome of Thursday's dialogue was that both sides agreed to maintain restraint in the region in so far as insurgency and counter-offensives were concerned. When asked to elaborate on the word restraint, Duggal refused to identify it as a formal cease-fire. When asked whether the next round of talks would be with the leadership of the ULFA, Duggal said "Yes".
Both sides described the talks as cordial and constructive aimed at ensuring a lasting peace in Assam. Simultaneously, Patil urged the PCG to impress upon the ULFA to ensure a peaceful and conducive environment so that direct talks with the Government of India are held at the earliest. Further modalities for holding these talks between the ULFA and the Government of India in a fixed timeframe, would be worked out through mutual consultations.
Apart from Patil and Duggal, National Security Adviser M.K.Narayanan, Chief Secretary of Assam S.Kabilan, Intelligence Bureau Director V.L.Narisimhan and other senior Home Ministry officials represented the government at today's talks. The PCG delegation was represented by 11 members, including noted Assamese author Indira Goswami, who has been the key interlocutor between the two sides in the talks that first began in October 2005. (ANI)
Crucial Centre, PCG talks in Delhi today By A Staff Reporter Assam tribune
GUWAHATI, June 21 The crucial third round of talks between the Government of India and the Peoples Consultative Group (PCG), formed by the United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) to pave the way for talks with the Government, will be held in New Delhi tomorrow. The Union Home Minister, Shivraj Patil, is scheduled to chair the talks, while the State Government will be represented by a high-level team headed by the Chief Secretary. The meeting assumes significance as several key issues, which are vital for bringing the ULFA to the negotiation table, are to be decided in the discussions. The ULFA is demanding that its jailed central committee members should be released to enable the outfit to take vital decisions regarding talks with the Government, while the State Government has reportedly recommended the release of only three of the five central committee members of the outfit and after the recent spate of violence, the Union Home Ministry is reluctant to accept the demand. It remains to be seen whether the third round of talks between the Government and the PCG manages to break the deadlock.
The second issue that is to come in the talks is the issue of suspension of operations. In the second round of meeting on February 7, the Government of India assured to take up confidence building measures to create a congenial atmosphere for talks and the PCG is likely to demand suspension of Army operations. However, the recent spate of violence by the ULFA raised question marks on whether the Government would go for suspension of operations and during the period from June 8 to 11, the ULFA militants let loose a reign of terror all over the State and triggered off as many as 29 explosions and official sources revealed that the members of the PCG may face uncomfortable questions on the issue tomorrow.
The third issue that is to come tomorrow is the whereabouts of the ULFA members missing since the operations against the ULFA by the Government of Bhutan in December,2003. The family members of the missing leaders of the ULFA submitted memorandum to the President of India and the Prime Minister and a copy of the same to the PCG with the request to take up the issue in tomorrows meeting and the PCG will ask the Government to make its stand clear on the whereabouts of the missing members of the ULFA. Another major point to be decided is the issues to be discussed in the talks with the ULFA. The militant outfit is insisting that sovereignty of Asom should be the core issue for talks, while, the Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh, who chaired the first meeting with the PCG, assured that the Government was ready to discuss all issues without specifying any particular issue.
The PCG members met the Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi yesterday and sought his cooperation for the success of the peace process. They also requested Gogoi to attend the meeting tomorrow. Gogoi assured all cooperation of the State Government for the success of the peace process, but expressed his inability to attend the meeting due to his illness.
Police commandos gun down two more suspected UGs The Imphal Free Press
IMPHAL, Jun 20: Imphal west police commandos shot dead two more suspected UG cadres today at Lainingkhul Lairenchingjel, under Lamshang police station, a day after eliminating two PLA activists in the Samurou area.
Police recovered two handguns from the slain cadres, whose identities are yet to be established.
Police said the two cadres were killed by the commandos in an exchange of fire that occurred in the course of a search operation launched in the area on the basis of specific information of the presence of the UGs. Giving details, police sources said the police were searching the area in the vicinity of Lairenchingjel this morning around 11:30 am, when some unidentified youths suddenly opened fire on them from the undergrowth, leading to an exchange of fire.
The youths while firing continuously attempted to escape by crossing the nearby hill, but were finally hit by the police bullets, the sources said. The police team recovered a 9 mm pistol with two live rounds and a .38 revolver along with several empty cases from the site of the encounter, the sources added. A senior police officer meanwhile said two other youths are believed to have escaped. A reliable report said the two killed may be PLA cadres but the report could not be immediately confirmed.
Lamshang police collected the dead bodies and kept at the RIMS morgue for official identification. Both youths appear to be Meitei, and between 25-30 years of age.
In the meantime the UG cadres who were slain yesterday have been identified as Khundrakpam Brojen, 38, son of late Kh Phullamani Singh of Leimapokpam Awang Leikai and Brahmachariyum Rameshwor, 25 son of late Iboyaima of Sagolband Tera Amudon Leirak. The respective families received their bodies after post mortem at RIMS mortuary today.
Rameshwor`s family said he once belonged to an UG outfit, but had married and had been staying at home for the last few years, working as a cook and a distributor of evening newspapers. He left home yesterday afternoon at around 1 pm, his wife said.