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ULFA ready for talks with Centre
February 09, 2005 19:16 IST
Last Updated: February 09, 2005 19:50 IST
United Liberation Front of Asom chairman Arabinda Rajkhowa has for the first time expressed willingness to hold peace talks with the Centre provided the issue of "sovereignty" is included in the agenda.
A letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh written on the ULFA letterhead was to be communicated to National Security Advisor M K Narayanan by Assamese litterateur Indira Goswami on Wednesday.
ULFA rejects PM's offer | PM tells outfit to abjure violence before talks
The Gnanpeeth awardee is a go-between in the talks between the government and the insurgent outfit.
On Tuesday, ULFA leader Paresh Barua wrote to Goswami saying "they (the Centre) were interested in coming for talks".
"However, the core issue of sovereignty still remains and Barua wrote that ULFA cannot give up its core issue on which it has been fighting for 26 years", Goswami told PTI.
On December 9 last year, ULFA rejected the offer of talks extended by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
An e-mail to the media in Assam by a man claiming to be ULFA commander-in-chief Paresh Barua had termed as "disappointing" the letter given by Singh to Indira Goswami.
The letter was "disappointing" as it put conditions and did not mention the question of sovereignty demanded by the outfit for inclusion in any discussion, the e-mail had said.
Meanwhile, the All-Assam Students Union has called for urgent talks.
AASU advisor and North East Students' Organisation chairman Sammujal Bhattacharya and told media persons that ULFA should declare a unilateral ceasefire and the government must halt all operations against the outfit.